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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

Author

naturebackin

Sharing insights and celebrating the creatures and plants that inhabit and enrich suburban spaces, with images mostly from my own garden in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands in South Africa and sometimes from further afield.

Stuff to do during lockdown: Tips from our cats

Here we are locked down at home, with our pets being a major source of distraction as we try to alleviate anxiety and find ways of not becoming addicted to reading the news and obsessing about Covid-19 and our collective futures. Continue reading “Stuff to do during lockdown: Tips from our cats”

On the wings of hope

Hope can be a powerful force that sustains us through dark days and times of hardship. Many of us lean towards trusting in the possibilities for a better future as uncertainty, anxiety, fear, suffering, grief and hardship envelop the globe in these times of the Covid-19 pandemic.   Continue reading “On the wings of hope”

A story book for children: The tale of Nougat the Kitten

Companion animals bring comfort and friendship to many in these stressful days of lockdown and social isolation. Pets are a very immediate way of bringing nature back into our lives even in constrained circumstances. Continue reading “A story book for children: The tale of Nougat the Kitten”

Salad in the cupboard: Sprouting lentils

Store cupboard items can produce fresh salad ingredients within two days. That is the magic of seed germination – otherwise known as sprouting. Continue reading “Salad in the cupboard: Sprouting lentils”

Learning from animals in these times: Cats and music in a world where love survives

Starting at midnight tonight it is South Africa’s turn to go into lockdown to try to slow down the transmission of the Covid-19 coronavirus disease so that our fragile health services might be less overwhelmed. Our government is acting decisively in the face of unimaginable challenges and we are all wondering how we will cope. Continue reading “Learning from animals in these times: Cats and music in a world where love survives”

Finding resilience and fragility

Across the globe we are facing the uncertainty and challenges associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. Here too in South Africa a State of Disaster has been declared as the number of people who test positive for the virus increases by the day. Continue reading “Finding resilience and fragility”

The beautiful Cape chestnut: Host to the citrus swallowtail butterfly

An African tree renowned for its beauty is the Cape chestnut, which is a larval host plant of the citrus swallowtail butterfly that featured in last week’s post. We are fortunate to have one of these trees at the bottom of the garden and it is mature enough to flower each summer. Continue reading “The beautiful Cape chestnut: Host to the citrus swallowtail butterfly”

Citrus swallowtail butterflies, a caterpillar and an agama too

Although butterflies, including citrus swallowtails, are particularly prolific in autumn, I was surprised to see a small group of butterflies gathering together while they sucked up moisture on the lawn. Even more surprising – I was able to get some photos of them as they were keen on returning to the same patch as they flitted about. Continue reading “Citrus swallowtail butterflies, a caterpillar and an agama too”

Suburban owls: African wood owl and spotted eagle-owl

The African wood owls are particularly vocal in our neighbourhood. But apart from sometimes seeing a dark silhouette at dusk or a flash of flying feathers illuminated by a street light at night, we seldom catch even a glimpse of them. Continue reading “Suburban owls: African wood owl and spotted eagle-owl”

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