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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

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Urban wildlife KwaZulu-Natal

The cackling presence of the Green Wood-Hoopoe

Although striking in appearance and obvious because they are gregarious, it is usually the loud cackling that first alert one to the presence of Green Wood-Hoopoes in the garden. Continue reading “The cackling presence of the Green Wood-Hoopoe”

The battle of the rival Tree Agamas

Usually the Tree Agamas in our garden appear to be peaceful, even in the breeding season. But this week I witnessed a prolonged duelling match that turned quite violent at times between two competing males. Continue reading “The battle of the rival Tree Agamas”

Mannikins: Gregarious seed-eaters gracing the garden

Small flocks of mannikins are frequent garden visitors, arriving in a sudden flurry often accompanied by high-pitched chirping. These are very small birds weighing only 10 g (less than half an ounce). Continue reading “Mannikins: Gregarious seed-eaters gracing the garden”

Weekly photo find: Long-haired caterpillar

This little caterpillar has impressively long hair down the entire length of its body. It looks rather as if it has just left the hair salon. Continue reading “Weekly photo find: Long-haired caterpillar”

The Puzzle Bush: Tough, pretty and nutritious

Among the first spring flowers are the delicately scented lilac-hued blossoms of the shrubby Puzzle bush. Continue reading “The Puzzle Bush: Tough, pretty and nutritious”

Weekly Photo Find: Oleander Hawk-moth

A large and beautifully marked Oleander Hawk-moth, photographed on a wall in our garden two years ago. I assume that it laid the small green eggs visible on the wall below it. Continue reading “Weekly Photo Find: Oleander Hawk-moth”

Flower Mantis ambush hunting a bee

Except for three heads of lavender-coloured blooms, the buds are mostly still tight on the Sagewood shrubs (Buddleja salviifolia) in our garden. When looking to see if any more blooms had opened I was delighted to discover a small Flower Mantis nestled in the tiny flowers of one of the flowerheads. Continue reading “Flower Mantis ambush hunting a bee”

Porcupines have no defence against the quill trade

The ability of porcupines to survive in areas proximate to farmlands and suburbia is a double-edged sword for them, because their initial success results in their ongoing persecution by humans. Continue reading “Porcupines have no defence against the quill trade”

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