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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

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Birds

Feather texture revealed

For birds, regular preening of feathers is essential for flight. Continue reading “Feather texture revealed”

Winter satisfaction

The glossy red berries of the Solanum giganteum provide satisfaction for birds during the winter months when conditions can be harsh. Continue reading “Winter satisfaction”

Ground-foraging songbirds: There are thrushes at the bottom of the garden

The thrushes are as busy as ever this winter. Only two species of thrush visit our garden, out of the 12 or so species found in South Africa. Continue reading “Ground-foraging songbirds: There are thrushes at the bottom of the garden”

Aloe from the other side

This is my first post from outside our garden. We ventured forth to the annual Ashburton Aloe Festival that takes place in a nature conservancy on the other side of town. Continue reading “Aloe from the other side”

The understorey: The tale of the White Starred Robin

Once upon a time, not long ago and not far away, a White Starred Robin visited our garden pond. If I had the powers to understand the language of robins, what might I learn? Continue reading “The understorey: The tale of the White Starred Robin”

A woodpecker at the window

It wasn’t just a discrete little tap, tap, tap on the window frame, it was a very loud and insistent hammering. The first time I heard it early in the morning I thought what an inconsiderate visitor this is. It must be an emergency. Continue reading “A woodpecker at the window”

Wild Dagga: Cheerfulness in early winter

Bringing good cheer and nectar in the late autumn and early winter, the Wild Dagga’s bright orange flower clusters, arranged vertically on segmented tall stems, brighten wild grasslands and gardens alike. Continue reading “Wild Dagga: Cheerfulness in early winter”

Raptors, rat poisons and us

The appealing Wood Owl is one of the species of raptors that occur in our neighbourhood. Raptors are generally beneficial to us humans because they prey on species that, if their numbers get out of hand, can become problematic to us, in both urban and rural settings. Continue reading “Raptors, rat poisons and us”

Fleeting garden visitors: The Bush Blackcap and the Swee Waxbill

Previously, I have highlighted birds that are daily visitors to our garden. By contrast the Bush Blackcap and the Swee Waxbill appear to be infrequent or very discreet visitors. Continue reading “Fleeting garden visitors: The Bush Blackcap and the Swee Waxbill”

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