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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

Elephant rumbles

When I was a child growing up in Kwa-Zulu Natal, elephants had not yet been introduced into our provincial parks, and so apart from sighting elephants on two brief trips to Kruger National Park, it was only in the early 1990s on slightly more extended trips to Botswana that we spent more time observing elephants – usually from our vehicle but sometimes too as they walked by, or even into, our camping site.

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Just saying hi!

This week things have got a bit hectic so I am just saying hi and postponing the post on elephant communication until next week.

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Paying tribute to elephants

I have been thinking about elephants after last week’s post that mentioned the two pairs of elephant tusks framing the South African national Coat of Arms. In this national emblem elephants are seen to symbolise “wisdom, strength, moderation and eternity”, and by coincidence today is World Elephant Day.

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The secretarybird and the rising sun

A secretarybird with wings outspread and crowned by a stylised rising sun, tops the South African national Coat of Arms. The light, energy and splendour of the sun signifying the rebirth of every day at sunrise, and the soaring flight and power of the secretarybird are intended to inspire confidence and evoke potency.

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Like a rainbow

Nature infuses our imaginations, our dreams, our poets, artists, folklore, religions and even our national symbols with its potency. Even when it seems to be banished to the periphery, nature actually undergirds us all.

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Wordless in the aftermath: KwaZulu-Natal July 2021

This week in the aftermath of the widespread looting and destruction across much of KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng I have few words. Although a semblance of calm might seem to prevail and road delivery routes are opening up, suffering and bereavement, sadness and pain, loss and fear, anger and resentment remain.

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What may emerge from the ashes of destruction?

We have a crisis in our land. Reports of an orchestrated insurrection seem increasingly credible.  The political campaign ignited an explosion of destruction, and according to many analysts, it exploited and was partly fuelled by the misery and hopelessness of dire poverty and high unemployment levels that afflict a high percentage of people in our country (with youth unemployment being over 50%).

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Fungilorious: Four trees hosting fabulous fungi

The variety in shape, form and colour of the fungi that fruit in our garden, usually during the wet and warmth of summer, is incredible. In addition to the mushroom/toadstool forms that were featured in last week’s post, some other forms of fungi include bracket, crust, puffball, bird’s nest, earthstar, stinkhorn, coral, jelly ears, saddle and cup.

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Mushrooms and toadstools in our garden

To my amazement, not everyone with gardens is delighted to find mushrooms and toadstools growing there. Of course many fungi are in gardens anyway, but they are usually unseen until circumstances are right for some species to seemingly spontaneously erupt into fruiting.

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