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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

Making cold process soap at home

By making your own soap at home, not only can you customise the soap that you use every day, but you also reduce packaging waste and eliminate the use of parabens, surfactants and other undesirable chemicals.

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Raising awareness of the endangered African penguin

The African Penguin is endemic to southern Africa.  The annual African Penguin Awareness Day, which this year took place on 10 October, celebrates this iconic bird and draws attention to the ongoing and rapid decline of this endangered species.

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Tiny surprises: Curious creatures in the garden

Small in size but big in interest, here is a selection of some of the surprising sightings I have photographed in our garden.

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The kitchen garden: Brightening our lockdown horizons

Our veggie patch took on greater significance during the stringent first lockdown level of the pandemic when even grocery shopping could be a fraught experience. At the very last local farmers’ market that took place just before the late-March lockdown commenced, we bought some winter veg seedlings to add to our vegetable garden.

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Spring in my step: Some of the joys of the season

It was spring equinox this week, inspiring this collection of spring sightings in the garden to bring a cheering lightness to lift our spirits.

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Spring flowers at the West Coast

Spring truly arrived this week in our part of KwaZulu-Natal with a full day of gentle rains, softening the hard soil after a long dry winter. Fresh leaves are unfurling on deciduous trees and flowers are in bud or already blossoming.

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Springtime nesting: Black sparrowhawks beyond the bottom of our garden

Being spring here in South Africa, many creatures have already been a-courting and are turning to nest building or are in the process of brooding their young.

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Calling from the rooftops: Egyptian geese in the suburbs

Among the swelling signs of spring is the increasingly noticeable and highly vocal activity of Egyptian geese passing through our neighbourhood. The raucous calling of pairs in flight – or even when they alight on the roof of our or a neighbour’s roof – enlivens especially the early mornings and sometimes also the late afternoons.

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A diminutive and dynamic presence: The African firefinch

I hear the tinkling call of visiting African firefinches more often than I see them. They forage on the ground and in low vegetation, venturing out into open ground when undisturbed.

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