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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

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Wildlife friendly garden

There be dragonflies

Considering there are over 3000 species of dragonflies in the world, it’s not surprising that a few find their way to our garden pond. Continue reading “There be dragonflies”

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”

The beauty of leaves

Flowers are often the focus when we think about gardens, and when we photograph them too. Leaves, seeds, grasses and bark, although beautiful, interesting and photogenic, are neglected by comparison. Continue reading “The beauty of leaves”

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”

The iconic strelizia

This well-known South African plant probably needs little introduction as it is cultivated in many countries across the world. I was surprised to learn that it is the floral emblem of the city of Los Angeles. Continue reading “The iconic strelizia”

African Paradise Flycatcher brings a smile

Seeing an African Paradise Flycatcher in the garden always brings me joy. They are not only beautiful, but to the human ear their chirruping call is most cheering. Continue reading “African Paradise Flycatcher brings a smile”

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”

Just pondering: Reflecting on our garden pond

A pond or water feature can add liveliness to even the drabbest of backyards. No, I am not promoting a garden makeover, but thought I’d share something of the enjoyment I get from our garden pond, not least because a variety of wildlife get to enjoy it too. Continue reading “Just pondering: Reflecting on our garden pond”

Small and gregarious charmers: Cape White-eyes

The Cape White-eye is another of my favourite garden birds that is no less special for being a familiar presence in suburban gardens. Cape White-eyes forage busily in small groups and they are enthusiastic visitors to the bird baths where, after drinking, they bathe with much exuberance. Continue reading “Small and gregarious charmers: Cape White-eyes”

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