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nature and nurture in suburban spaces

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African wildlife

Here’s looking at you: Some special encounters with African wildlife

Even in conservation areas, wild animals do not always tolerate the presence of approaching vehicles or people on foot. Some are nervous and dash off immediately and others may hesitate before deciding to turn away. But happily many do grant us the privilege of a calm encounter, even continuing as they were before, ignoring intruding visitors or even showing some signs of curiosity. In some ways it’s a shame to view such wild animals mostly through the lens of a camera, but for better or worse here is a random collection of photographs that are special to me.

Continue reading “Here’s looking at you: Some special encounters with African wildlife”

Patterns in nature: Symmetry in animals and flowers

Something is said to be symmetrical when the left and right halves match each other as in a mirror image on either side of a central line. Nature is replete with this kind of symmetry. Our tabby cat, Nina, in the photo above, shows off her wonderfully symmetrical structure and facial markings.

Continue reading “Patterns in nature: Symmetry in animals and flowers”

At the waterhole: Mkhuze Game Reserve’s KuMasinga Hide

Mkhuze Game Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal has many reasons to draw visitors, but watching the animals visiting the reserve’s KuMasinga Hide watering point is always one of its highlights.

Continue reading “At the waterhole: Mkhuze Game Reserve’s KuMasinga Hide”

Camdeboo National Park: Resilience amidst desolation in the Karoo

Camdeboo National Park is best known for Desolation Valley with its panoramic viewpoints where tall columns of volcanic rock tower up to 120 m high over the plains of Camdeboo below. The aridity of the region gave rise to the name Desolation Valley. It is even more desolate now in the current drought emergency. Continue reading “Camdeboo National Park: Resilience amidst desolation in the Karoo”

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”

Animal interactions at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi wildlife park

I thought I’d share some interesting wildlife interactions between and within species that caught my eye (and camera) on our recent visit to the iMfolozi section of the Hlulhuwe-iMfolozi Park in Zululand. Although the focus of this blog is letting nature back into suburbia,  you might like to share in this recent trip that let suburbanite me back into nature in a less domesticated context.

Continue reading “Animal interactions at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi wildlife park”

Weekly Photo Find: Forest Foraging

A Grey Duiker picks its way through fallen leaves as it forages at the margins of a patch of mistbelt forest in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Continue reading “Weekly Photo Find: Forest Foraging”

Weekly Photo Find: Buffalo encountering a tortoise

This week’s photo find is of two buffalo approaching a tortoise, grazing near a waterhole in the Addo Elephant National Park. Continue reading “Weekly Photo Find: Buffalo encountering a tortoise”

Weekly Photo Find: Scrub Hare

There was one clear view through the stems of surrounding shrubbery of this Scrub Hare remaining motionless in dappled shade, apparently hoping not to be seen, one foreleg extended rather elegantly forward. Continue reading “Weekly Photo Find: Scrub Hare”

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