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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

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South African insects

Meanwhile back in the garden: Images of early winter

Shorter days and cooler nights bring changes as the daytime temperatures vary between hot and mild. With the dryer air the sunshine has a golden clarity enhancing the colourful winter flowers and mellow berries, and brightening the visiting birds and insects in the garden.

Continue reading “Meanwhile back in the garden: Images of early winter”

Tiny spiny flower mantid nymphs hunting in autumn flowers

While watching a solitary bee feeding on nectar in basil flowers in the herb patch a few weeks ago, I noticed a minute spiny flower mantid nestled down on one of the flower spikes with its spiny abdomen curled up over its back.

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Serendipity, scrutiny and surprises in the garden

Alliteration always amuses me, hence the headline – and it does describe some recent ambles around the garden. Peering as I go, I am sometimes amazed at what I come across – often in plain sight but so easy to overlook.

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Befriending solitary bees

Recently I spotted a lovely bee flitting about as it fed from small anthericum flowers in the garden.  Remarkably my camera was handy and I managed to snap a few photos. In an unusual turn of events, the bee obligingly stopped to preen allowing me to get a closer look.

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Singing cicadas seen at last

So loud and so tantalizingly near, cicadas tend to fall silent when approached, and their camouflage colours make them hard to see. But recently I was in luck as after hearing a faint cicada-like squeak from a tree, I stood still and scanned the stems of the tree methodically and then suddenly several cicadas became surprisingly obvious.

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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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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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How the colourful koppie foam grasshopper sheds its skin

This summer I had the chance to watch nymphs of the koppie foam grasshoppers moulting their exoskeletons. I have been keeping an eye on the juvenile grasshoppers as they congregated in greater numbers this season than usual. Continue reading “How the colourful koppie foam grasshopper sheds its skin”

Surprises and encouragements: Learning to see

A process of discovery is available to us if we learn to see what we usually overlook. But what we discover depends more on our own personal filters than on what we think we are looking at. Continue reading “Surprises and encouragements: Learning to see”

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