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letting nature back in

at home and further afield

Cabbage-trees – a virtual and literal feast in the garden

Distinctive cabbage-trees have succulent stems and large compound leaves that characteristically crowd at the end of branches. Endemic to Africa, Yemen and the Comoro Islands, due to their strong architectural form some species are cultivated as garden plants.

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Following footpaths in the central Drakensberg

Mountains, cliffs, forests, grasslands, flowers, clear streams and waterfalls, the Drakensberg has all that and more to delight and sometimes challenge a hiker.

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African elephants, bark stripping, nutrition and trees

Elephants are very dextrous when stripping bark and branches from trees, using trunk, tusks and their feet in the process – as shown in this series of photos and video.

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The African baobab: Super tree with super fruit

Giant baobab trees are icons of sub-Saharan Africa’s dry savannahs. Their vital statistics are impressive, they dominate the landscape and they provide resources for people and for many species of animals.

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Subtropical depression: Catastrophic flooding in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape

Packing gale-force winds of up to 95 km/h (60 mph) and dumping record-breaking heavy rains on the eastern regions of South Africa, Subtropical Depression Issa evolved from a low-pressure weather system off the south-east coast and reached its peak on Tuesday, 12 April.

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My camera and eye: Strange fascination

A photograph arises from the relationship between the photographer and the camera, from the eye looking through the lens in the moment, and it attains meaning through those receiving the image long after the click.

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Pets and war: Ernesto’s Sanctuary for Cats in Syria

Our dog Amy had a brush with cancer recently, but fortunately we got her to the vet in time for the tumour to be removed before the cancer spread. While waiting for her test results we were preparing to maybe lose her, but when she was returned to us we understood more fully her preciousness.

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Take me to the river: Riverine roaming at Kruger National Park

Rivers with natural vegetation along their banks are special spaces that for some may evoke spiritual responses and notions of the sacred. Even when rivers are dry the riverine vegetation retains a sheltering and nurturing power.

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From tall giraffes to a ground-dwelling nightjar

Giraffe are always fascinating to watch. Usually they are sedate and they spend a lot of time browsing leaves to provide nutrition for their enormous bodies. Recently at Kruger National Park we saw giraffes galloping away from an apparent threat, and later a giraffe nearly trod on a ground-roosting nightjar that otherwise we would have overlooked.

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