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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

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South Africa

Butterflies – Reasons to be cheerful

Butterflies are widely appreciated for their beauty and their fleetness on the wing, as much as they are associated with transformation, hope, joy and love. Continue reading “Butterflies – Reasons to be cheerful”

Skeletons in the garden Pt 1: Terracotta cicadas

Cicadas are best known by the loud high-pitched sound adult male cicadas make mostly during the months of summer. Even though they are loud they are hard to locate and so well camouflaged they are difficult to spot, and typically we only see cicadas that have accidentally bumbled indoors. But sometimes we may come across exoskeletons left behind by cicada nymphs at the time of their last moult into their winged adult form. Continue reading “Skeletons in the garden Pt 1: Terracotta cicadas”

Watching butterflies emerging and getting ready to fly

To see a butterfly emerging from the pupa to uncurl and spread its wings is akin to watching a miracle. Following on from last week’s post, here is my record of what might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience: witnessing individual butterflies emerge from the pupa (chrysalis). Continue reading “Watching butterflies emerging and getting ready to fly”

The blues is alright: Butterflies and flowers

Members of a subfamily of gossamer-winged butterflies known as “the blues” are common in our garden. It is only when they open their wings that their blue colouration is revealed. Although these butterflies are small – in the region of about one inch across from wingtip to wingtip – their markings can be intricately detailed. Continue reading “The blues is alright: Butterflies and flowers”

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”

Weekly Photo Find: Primate watching

Who, who’s watching who? A young vervet monkey watched me, matching my curiosity as I watched back. Continue reading “Weekly Photo Find: Primate watching”

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”

Ornately elegant engineer: Garden orb-weaving spider

The first creature that caught my eye on the first day of 2019 and caused me to pick up my camera, was this garden orb spider. Its complex round web was strung across the vertical spikes of a Common Rush (Juncus effusus) next to our garden pond. Continue reading “Ornately elegant engineer: Garden orb-weaving spider”

Mistbelt grassland flowers in the summer time

Mistbelt grasslands sustain a rich diversity of life, especially when they form part of a complex mosaic that includes also forest, wetlands and rivers and streams. Continue reading “Mistbelt grassland flowers in the summer time”

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