letting nature back in

at home and further afield


South African garden

Random quirkiness in the garden

Some of these photos taken in our garden last year strike me as being little bit quirky. So here they are, without titles or captions, to provide a little undemanding diversion.

Continue reading Random quirkiness in the garden

In the pink: Flower mantids in the garden

My next-door neighbour told me about these mantids in a rose bush in his garden. Three of them have taken up residence in a pink-flowering rosebush and have been there for over a week. Continue reading “In the pink: Flower mantids in the garden”

Back to the garden

Although cities have their attractions, I prefer more natural places. We are fortunate to have a suburban garden that backs onto a quiet plantation. Continue reading “Back to the garden”

On garden pond: Homemade and wildlife friendly

A wildlife-friendly pond even in a suburban garden can really enrich the space. Although we still provide bird baths, which are heavily used, a pond with aquatic plants adds another dimension, attracting other creatures in addition to the birds. Continue reading “On garden pond: Homemade and wildlife friendly”

The forest-loving African Olive-Pigeon – a special garden visitor

What has bright yellow legs and bill, is predominantly purple-brown with beautiful speckled markings and hints of iridescence, a soothing deep and almost resonant call, clambers about in large trees with clumsy agility in search of small fruits, and is one of my favourite garden birds? Continue reading “The forest-loving African Olive-Pigeon – a special garden visitor”

Christmas cards and robins

Even in sunny South Africa, European winter traditions are evident at Christmas time. There are Christmas cards that feature red-breasted European robins and there was a time when shop windows sported cotton-wool snow and plastic holly, even though December is at the height of the southern hemisphere summer!  Continue reading “Christmas cards and robins”

Favourite Garden Birds: Laughing Doves

The name “Laughing Dove” derives from its bubbling call that is said to have a gentle laughing quality. Laughing Doves are thought to be monogamous, with birds pairing for life. Continue reading “Favourite Garden Birds: Laughing Doves”

Agamas in the garden

Southern Tree Agamas, commonly known as Blue-headed lizards, have adapted to suburban gardens, especially where there are suitable trees to sustain them. When breeding, the males are colourful and their vividly blue heads are most striking. Non-breeding males and females are considerably less conspicuous although their more understated scaly markings still render them handsome reptiles. Continue reading “Agamas in the garden”

Vervet monkey mom snatches a second baby from its mother: Weekly photo challenge – Rare

It is rare to capture an encounter like this in a suburban garden and so it seems appropriate for it to be included in the Rare: Weekly photo challenge. Although vervet monkeys are attracted to infants and often solicit permission from monkey mothers to touch or even hold their infants, I think this encounter is rare as the mother is approached by another mother who is already nursing her own baby. Also she takes the baby without permission. To find out what happens see the full photo essay in the previous post at letting nature back in


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