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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

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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.

Visitors galore! A garden birdbath during dry July

The garden birdbaths attract many birds and vervet monkeys too, plus of course insects, such as bees and wasps. I have also seen geckoes venturing out to drink from the rim. The birdbaths are especially heavily used during the winter, which is our dry season.

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Uh! Whaddya mean its Thursday already?

Maybe it’s the lockdown. Maybe it’s that we had no electricity for a day and a night. Maybe it’s because the municipal dump is on fire and choking us all with toxic smoke. Maybe it’s because there is no electricity again this evening. Whatever, but I thought it was Wednesday.

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The pigeonwood tree: Providing food, refuge and fun

The Pigeonwood tree does indeed attract pigeons and many other birds and creatures besides. It is one of the faster growing trees and is a vigorous pioneer plant establishing itself in disturbed soil and along watercourses. It can be useful for new gardens or to provide shelter where other slower growing plants need protection.

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The simple art of nature: Connecting with grace

Seeking a sense of calmness in nature, in simplicity and in accepting transience, I have chosen some images that bring to me a sense of grace.

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For the birds: Forest and woodland habitats

Our neighbourhood is at the foot of an escarpment that would have been part of a mosaic of Afro-montane forest and grassland prior to extensive exploitation of the forests for timber and the widespread introduction of intensive agriculture and the establishment of urban areas, which commenced with the colonial era.

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The elusive bushbuck: Surprising survivors in the suburbs

Bushbucks do indeed live up to their name, preferring dense bush or forest thickets that provide good cover and make it possible for them to survive even in human-dominated landscapes where there is suitable habitat such as in our suburb on the urban edge.

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Winter solstice: Pivoting towards the sun

As winter solstice approaches, cold weather has enveloped the country – earlier than usual and colder too than in recent years. The cold front changed our sunny winter days to overcast, and last night brought some rain.

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Shifting the focus when back in the now

Holiday escapism, even virtual holidays down memory lane, oftentimes involve wilfully ignoring inconvenient truths. So back home in the now, the hard realities in the news preoccupy me once again as Covid-19 infection rates escalate across significant parts of South Africa.

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At the waterhole: Mkhuze Game Reserve’s KuMasinga Hide

Mkhuze Game Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal has many reasons to draw visitors, but watching the animals visiting the reserve’s KuMasinga Hide watering point is always one of its highlights.

Continue reading “At the waterhole: Mkhuze Game Reserve’s KuMasinga Hide”

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