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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

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Nature photography

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.

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Patterns in nature: Spots and dots

This has been – is being – a rough week, so this post is designed to be undemanding and easy on the eye. Continuing with the theme of patterns in nature, this week I feature spots and dots, shapes from nature that are appreciated and celebrated.  Such patterns are re-presented in many forms, such as in leopard skin prints and polka-dot fabrics, but here I stick with dots I spotted in their natural form.

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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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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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Going grey: Moving to monochrome

Colour photography only started taking off for the home photographer in the 1960s, becoming more widely used as it became less expensive into the 1970s. Before that home photographers used black and white film photography, as old family photograph albums testify.

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Visitors galore! A garden birdbath during dry July

The garden birdbaths attract many birds and vervet monkeys too, plus of course insects, such as bees and wasps. I have also seen geckoes venturing out to drink from the rim. The birdbaths are especially heavily used during the winter, which is our dry season.

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The pigeonwood tree: Providing food, refuge and fun

The Pigeonwood tree does indeed attract pigeons and many other birds and creatures besides. It is one of the faster growing trees and is a vigorous pioneer plant establishing itself in disturbed soil and along watercourses. It can be useful for new gardens or to provide shelter where other slower growing plants need protection.

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Winter solstice: Pivoting towards the sun

As winter solstice approaches, cold weather has enveloped the country – earlier than usual and colder too than in recent years. The cold front changed our sunny winter days to overcast, and last night brought some rain.

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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.

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