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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

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Nature photography

Southern tree agama ambush hunting and eating ants

They may be tiny but they are plentiful, and ants make up a significant part of the diet of southern tree agamas. For agamas, catching ants seems relatively easy: find an ant pathway and waylay the passing ants. Simply pick them out one at a time using the tongue to scoop and swallow.

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Phoning home: Lockdown nature photos on my phone

As it is easy to carry tucked into a pocket, having my phone with me allows me to be impulsive and experiment with photographing plants and creatures that catch my eye when I am out in the garden.

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Lockdown walking in the woodland, or rather plantation

Various lockdown permutations since March last year have affected when and where we could walk, but current restrictions allow walking and exercising outdoors so long as protocols are followed. Fortunately for us, we have an easily accessible area for outdoor walking as our suburb is skirted by a commercial plantation.

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Finding solace in trees and woodland

In these dark days I found sombre solace in the quiet strength of woodland trees and the plants and fallen leaves of the understorey. It seemed fittingly subdued to shoot these photos in monochrome.

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Horsewood: Slender tree of the forest margins

Despite its pretty spring flowers and its summer fruits, the horsewood is known more for the smell associated with its crushed leaves than for its attractive appearance. In South Africa it is commonly referred to by its Afrikaans name, perdepis, which literally means ‘horse piss’.  

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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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