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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

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Birds

Patterns in nature: Symmetry in animals and flowers

Something is said to be symmetrical when the left and right halves match each other as in a mirror image on either side of a central line. Nature is replete with this kind of symmetry. Our tabby cat, Nina, in the photo above, shows off her wonderfully symmetrical structure and facial markings.

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Patterns in nature: Spots and dots

This has been – is being – a rough week, so this post is designed to be undemanding and easy on the eye. Continuing with the theme of patterns in nature, this week I feature spots and dots, shapes from nature that are appreciated and celebrated.  Such patterns are re-presented in many forms, such as in leopard skin prints and polka-dot fabrics, but here I stick with dots I spotted in their natural form.

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Raising awareness of the endangered African penguin

The African Penguin is endemic to southern Africa.  The annual African Penguin Awareness Day, which this year took place on 10 October, celebrates this iconic bird and draws attention to the ongoing and rapid decline of this endangered species.

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Spring in my step: Some of the joys of the season

It was spring equinox this week, inspiring this collection of spring sightings in the garden to bring a cheering lightness to lift our spirits.

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Springtime nesting: Black sparrowhawks beyond the bottom of our garden

Being spring here in South Africa, many creatures have already been a-courting and are turning to nest building or are in the process of brooding their young.

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Calling from the rooftops: Egyptian geese in the suburbs

Among the swelling signs of spring is the increasingly noticeable and highly vocal activity of Egyptian geese passing through our neighbourhood. The raucous calling of pairs in flight – or even when they alight on the roof of our or a neighbour’s roof – enlivens especially the early mornings and sometimes also the late afternoons.

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A diminutive and dynamic presence: The African firefinch

I hear the tinkling call of visiting African firefinches more often than I see them. They forage on the ground and in low vegetation, venturing out into open ground when undisturbed.

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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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