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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

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Creatures

Ladybirds: Not a bird but a beetle

I seldom see ladybirds nowadays, so I was pleased when I noticed this pair of ladybirds when I was doing some planting in the veggie patch. They were rapidly twirling and whirling as they made the way up and down the stalks. Oh good, I thought, they might munch some of the aphids, but I just hope they are not ladybirds of the invasive alien kind. Continue reading “Ladybirds: Not a bird but a beetle”

Weekly Photo Find: Web design

A section of a spider’s web, photographed in mistbelt forest in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Continue reading “Weekly Photo Find: Web design”

The battle of the rival Tree Agamas

Usually the Tree Agamas in our garden appear to be peaceful, even in the breeding season. But this week I witnessed a prolonged duelling match that turned quite violent at times between two competing males. Continue reading “The battle of the rival Tree Agamas”

The grasshopper that shrieks in the night

Perhaps because Bladder Grasshoppers are active at night, they are heard rather than seen. The call of the male Bladder Grasshopper, something between a bleat, a shriek and a croak, is alarmingly loud. Continue reading “The grasshopper that shrieks in the night”

Weekly Photo Find: River frogs

Taken in spring last year, these Common River Frogs are making sure of a fecund spring. Common River Frogs are very variable in colour, so I hope that I have identified this pair correctly. Continue reading “Weekly Photo Find: River frogs”

Weekly photo find: Long-haired caterpillar

This little caterpillar has impressively long hair down the entire length of its body. It looks rather as if it has just left the hair salon. Continue reading “Weekly photo find: Long-haired caterpillar”

The Puzzle Bush: Tough, pretty and nutritious

Among the first spring flowers are the delicately scented lilac-hued blossoms of the shrubby Puzzle bush. Continue reading “The Puzzle Bush: Tough, pretty and nutritious”

Weekly Photo Find: Oleander Hawk-moth

A large and beautifully marked Oleander Hawk-moth, photographed on a wall in our garden two years ago. I assume that it laid the small green eggs visible on the wall below it. Continue reading “Weekly Photo Find: Oleander Hawk-moth”

Gimme shelter: Juvenile Natal Green Snake finding overnight lodging

Only eventually did we notice a small, juvenile Natal Green Snake apparently trying to climb the smooth surface of a high window pane, when we were having coffee out on our back deck.  The small creature seemed more than a little agitated as it struggled to climb to the top of the window. Continue reading “Gimme shelter: Juvenile Natal Green Snake finding overnight lodging”

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