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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

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Birds

Sound and vision: The Purple-crested Turaco

One of the most colourfully eye-catching birds with the most vibrant calls to visit our garden is the truly gorgeous Purple-crested Turaco. Continue reading “Sound and vision: The Purple-crested Turaco”

A dry season: Just add water

The main seasons in our part of the world are only two: wet season and dry season. But prolonged drought over much of the country has erased that distinction into one long dry bleakness where rain of any significance is a memory or a hope. Continue reading “A dry season: Just add water”

Mountain walking on a hot winter’s day

Yes that’s right, a hot winter’s day. Yesterday’s high temperature of 28°C intensified the season’s dryness as we found when we ventured forth from suburbia for a walk in the Drakensberg mountains. Continue reading “Mountain walking on a hot winter’s day”

The Tassel Berry tree: Bountiful in fruit and flower

I first fell in love with a Tassel Berry tree at the Hluhluwe Game Reserve Hilltop Camp. It was old, gnarled and shaped by the prevailing wind. By contrast, the tree in our garden leads a sheltered life. Continue reading “The Tassel Berry tree: Bountiful in fruit and flower”

Winter in the garden: a selection of photos

This young Vervet monkey is part of a group enjoying early morning winter sunshine while eating berries from the Pigeonwood (Trema orientalis) tree. I like how the youngster is taking advantage of a wild banana (Strelizia nicolai) leaf as a partial hammock. Continue reading “Winter in the garden: a selection of photos”

Woodpeckers foraging two-by-two

We often hear woodpeckers tap-tap-tapping on wood as they search for food in the trees in our suburb most of the year round. They are also quite vocal, but despite all this noisiness they can be difficult to see as they are mostly high up among the branches and foliage of the taller trees. Continue reading “Woodpeckers foraging two-by-two”

Sunrise, dawn and times of transition

Conventionally, the rising of the sun indicates the promise of a new day Dawn brings a transition from darkness into light ranging from the subtle to the dramatic, a transition associated with awakening, hope and possibility. Continue reading “Sunrise, dawn and times of transition”

A feisty strategist: The Fork-tailed Drongo

Fork-tailed Drongos are active visitors to our garden. In the summer months they are at their most conspicuous, issuing their jumbled call while perching in trees, sallying forth to hawk insects. Continue reading “A feisty strategist: The Fork-tailed Drongo”

Hadeda ibis: From wetlands to birdbaths

From being primarily associated with wetlands and woodlands the hadeda ibis has successfully expanded its range across much of the country even where it was formerly absent, and nowadays populations flourish even in urban areas. In suburbia it continues its association with water in the form of well-watered lawns, ponds and swimming pools. Continue reading “Hadeda ibis: From wetlands to birdbaths”

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