letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces


Suburban garden

Black Sparrowhawks in urban areas: Where to now?

The name “sparrowhawk” comes from the prey (sparrows) of some species of sparrowhawks, and does not refer to the size of the raptor itself. Continue reading “Black Sparrowhawks in urban areas: Where to now?”

A wish for the vulnerable

“Sharing wishes with strangers makes a powerful emotional statement”. This week’s photo challenge is inspired by the Japanese tradition of sharing hopes and dreams by writing wishes on small wooden plaques called ema, which are a hung up together in Shinto shrines in the hope that the spirits will grant these wishes. Continue reading “A wish for the vulnerable”

Take me to your Commodore: Garden butterflies from the African savannahs

Even those who don’t like caterpillars tend to like butterflies, perhaps forgetting that caterpillars are the larvae of butterflies? Continue reading “Take me to your Commodore: Garden butterflies from the African savannahs”

The road taken: Snail trail encounter

This large Granular Agate Snail, was making slow but determined progress across our garden lawn. Guessing the direction of the road it had taken, I lay down on the lawn with my camera. Continue reading “The road taken: Snail trail encounter”

Crocosmia aurea: Saffron-scented falling stars

The rich lushness of the Crocosmia flowering in late summer, is a sign that autumn is imminent. The increasingly golden light of autumn perfectly enhances the oranges and reds of this season of change, preceding the more subtle colours of winter. Continue reading “Crocosmia aurea: Saffron-scented falling stars”

A good match: Pollinator and flower

Flowers need pollinating and bees need pollen and nectar. This week’s photo challenge asks us to share a photo of things that complement each other. Continue reading “A good match: Pollinator and flower”

Black-headed Oriole: Golden bird of the African treetops

Here is a bird that lives up to its beautiful namethe word “oriole” derives from the Latin for “golden”. Continue reading “Black-headed Oriole: Golden bird of the African treetops”

Against the odds: Finding tree frogs in flowers

The odds against identifying this tree frog were not good, as they have very variable colouration, so I hope that I am right in saying that this is a Natal Forest Tree Frog.  We live close to the edge of its range, and that reduces the odds of seeing it here, in our inland garden, when they are more common in the coastal region. Continue reading “Against the odds: Finding tree frogs in flowers”

Cats and the wildlife garden

What to do if you love wild birds, but you also love cats? We decided to choose a compromise that we think of as a middle way. Continue reading “Cats and the wildlife garden”

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