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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

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Hadeda Ibis

Owed to a tree: For its beauty and bounty many thanks

This springtime, at first we didn’t have rain. Then we had a lot. And one morning a favourite old tree, sodden with the weight of the water, fell with a shuddering thud. Continue reading “Owed to a tree: For its beauty and bounty many thanks”

Transcendent suburban skies

Back in the suburbs after our travels, we still have the transcendent sky Paradoxically, as it arches above us, out of reach and sublime, it also reconnects us to Earth. Continue reading “Transcendent suburban skies”

Winter in the garden: a selection of photos

This young Vervet monkey is part of a group enjoying early morning winter sunshine while eating berries from the Pigeonwood (Trema orientalis) tree. I like how the youngster is taking advantage of a wild banana (Strelizia nicolai) leaf as a partial hammock. Continue reading “Winter in the garden: a selection of photos”

Hadeda ibis: From wetlands to birdbaths

From being primarily associated with wetlands and woodlands the hadeda ibis has successfully expanded its range across much of the country even where it was formerly absent, and nowadays populations flourish even in urban areas. In suburbia it continues its association with water in the form of well-watered lawns, ponds and swimming pools. Continue reading “Hadeda ibis: From wetlands to birdbaths”

Midwinter basking: Soaking up the sunshine

Winter and sunshine are not mutually exclusive where I live in KwaZulu-Natal. Of course too much of a good thing is not a good thing. May 2018 was the fourth-hottest May globally on record, with the other hottest Mays all occurring in the last five years (for details see here). Continue reading “Midwinter basking: Soaking up the sunshine”

Bottle variations

These old bottles were all dug up in a long-disused household rubbish pit behind our house. Variations include bottles for medicines, tomato sauce, beer, lime juice, milk, hair oil, Vicks, Marmite, and liqueur. Continue reading “Bottle variations”

Birds do it – sunbathe that is

Birds sunbathe too – not all species, but many do. Continue reading “Birds do it – sunbathe that is”

Feather texture revealed

For birds, regular preening of feathers is essential for flight. Continue reading “Feather texture revealed”

The security of parental care

Although nearly fully grown, this juvenile Hadeda Ibis still seeks a sense of security from its parent. Continue reading “The security of parental care”

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