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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

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Creatures

Damselflies: Fleet flyer, aquatic egg layer

 

Damselflies hunt on the wing. They are not as acrobatic in flight as dragonflies, and I have seen them in flight manoeuvring slowly, rather like emaciated air balloons, floating horizontally searching for prey in the garden. Continue reading “Damselflies: Fleet flyer, aquatic egg layer”

The blues is alright: Butterflies and flowers

Members of a subfamily of gossamer-winged butterflies known as “the blues” are common in our garden. It is only when they open their wings that their blue colouration is revealed. Although these butterflies are small – in the region of about one inch across from wingtip to wingtip – their markings can be intricately detailed. Continue reading “The blues is alright: Butterflies and flowers”

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”

Autumnal orange flowers

Orange is associated with autumn. In our garden this colour is most evident in flowers blooming during March and April, rather than in leaves turning colour on the deciduous trees. Continue reading “Autumnal orange flowers”

Blood-red Acraea butterfly: A complete life cycle in one shrubby tree

The African dog rose is usually admired for its flowers, but it also plays host to many small creatures, including a species of butterfly, enabling it to complete its life cycle from egg to adult. Surprising as it was to find one plant sustaining so much life, it surprised me more that it sustained so much interest in me. Continue reading “Blood-red Acraea butterfly: A complete life cycle in one shrubby tree”

Rediscovering a sense of wonder: Seeing insects as tiny treasures

Highlighting a bleak future in the wake of the unchecked use of pesticides, Rachel Carson’s landmark book Silent Spring (1962) raised awareness of the vulnerability of nature and our dependence on it and motivated many people to become active in environmental protection. Possibly less well known is the sense of wonder in nature that inspired her, a wonder that stirs joy and a sense of mystery in children and adults alike

Continue reading “Rediscovering a sense of wonder: Seeing insects as tiny treasures”

Weekly Photo Find: Thoughtful vervet monkey

An apparently thoughtful young vervet monkey photographed while quietly savouring a small fruit on the back deck of our house. Continue reading “Weekly Photo Find: Thoughtful vervet monkey”

Weekly Photo Find: Primate watching

Who, who’s watching who? A young vervet monkey watched me, matching my curiosity as I watched back. Continue reading “Weekly Photo Find: Primate watching”

Campsite visitors: Bushpigs and other animals

A family of bushpigs were intriguing nocturnal visitors to our camp on our recent trip to KwaZulu-Natal’s Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. At first two females and a baby snuffled around amiably. It was only when the big male arrived that we realised the real reason for their visit. Continue reading “Campsite visitors: Bushpigs and other animals”

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