Nature's Place

Denizen …

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Occasionally I see these huge beetles flying around the garden, with a loud buzz to match.  They do command attention.

The ones I get close to though are already stopped, such as the one pictured – I call them Leopard Beetles, for the markings – frolicking in the flowers.

It was climbing around one of the straw flowers, munching away on the pollen, so I took the opportunity for a few shots.

Others I have seen in the flowers of the garden have ended up as food for the Kookaburra or the Pied Magpie. Two who keep a close eye out for a morsel.

There seems to be enough to go around, for now.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge

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Lobelia Cafe …

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Born to hunger, built for the job, he set out to find his fulfilment.

This way and that, hither and thither, finding only what falls to his nose.

Then out of the blue, a stairway did rise, a possible route to enlightenment.

Climbing around, there a dead end, the scent of the mystic as ever arose.

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Undeterred, by weak footing and treacherous winds, his life appeared a plod.

Now and again, breakthrough the tangle, the stairway would rise up once more.

The darkness would come, he tuckered down, waking to morning light as a god.

To start over his climb, refreshed by the nectar, a sighting of the far shore.

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Til one day it occurred, he saw the flaw, stopping him dead in his track.

The error it was, the far shore is not there, was time to cease reaching.

Twas enough of him spent, the way he was bent, a load off of his back

Supped he from the well, the darkness dispel, listen … no more preaching.

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© Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge

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Bee-haviour

Sealing the entrance - When all else is done.

Sealing the entrance – When all else is done.

A little pollen might help - Sure won't harm.

A little pollen might help – Sure won’t harm.

Feasting Bee - Unseen injury.

Feasting Bee – Unseen injury.

Wasp - Robbing the life of a bee - What they do.

Wasp – Robbing the life of a bee – What they do.

Young one - The new born often turn to see whence they come - Reflection?

Young one – The new born often turn to see whence they come – Reflection?

A case of mistaken identity? She seemed to think so.

A case of mistaken identity? She seemed to think so.

Alone at last.

Alone at last.

When all else is done, sleep and die at home on a leaf.

When all else is done, sleep and die at home on a leaf.

Let go, let go ... I saw it first.

Let go, let go … I saw it first.

Under the veranda at front of the house is where I keep some tools and do much of my preparations for the garden. It’s also where I hang the few bee hotels, wooden posts about 8″ diameter x a few feet long drilled to accommodate any creature so inclined to nest – not just bees. So I am around the comings and goings of the dominant native bee, the Orange Tail Resin Bee, as she makes her nests, is born again, mates and dies.

I have noticed in the last bee-busy week a few weakened bees on the floor – or in a tray I have placed to catch any fallen ones. These bees are unable to fly it seems, so I gather them up and give them every chance to get things together. I present them with water, pollen (in a picked flower), put them in sun or shade and let them climb as high as they can to launch from. I usually end up putting them in one of the plant pots they can explore on the way to being a bee. They may never fly but they don’t die hungry in the dust on hard concrete.

Some are small enough to be new born and others are big enough to be mature. I suspect the young ones may be damaged by something while in the nest, maybe the parasitising Ichneumon Wasp, or other such wasps that can be seen visiting these hotels. The bigger ones are probably females worn out by the constant work of breeding and nest making and all the preparations that go into it. It’s a lot she has to do when the male only has to ambush her – not known as charming man, but driven.

I saw this slow flying mass wandering above the garden the other day and thought it one of those big cumbersome beetles. When it landed and I got close I could see it was two bees mating, or he was trying to mate and ‘she’ scratching at him – didn’t look too successful to me. Eventually he gave up and the other, she I presume, took a good grip of a leaf and rested a while – which was a boon to me.

While back at the nests she was busy filling and sealing the entrance, then off she went again.

Until the next cycle … of birth and death, and everything in between.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge

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Smiley …

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Did you know a spider smiles? Yes, somewhere, inside, below the surface appearance every spider smiles instinctively, psychically.

They smile because that is the natural state of things when there is no problem. And a spider never has a problem because a spider doesn’t think and get emotional.

Maybe they are on to something there, instinctively. Something we the people can perhaps learn from. Though we think, and it seems often too much, we can get back to the perfect instinct.

The instinct that allows no unnecessary thought and right action in the moment, and starts with the simple pure sensation inside, the tingling or pressure in every part of every body.

We only have to relearn it. After all we were once instinctive creatures, just like the spider and the fly. And it begins with attention to …

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Did you know every insect meditates? Yes, every fly, bee or bug … Except in flight from the spider.

And, in death, there is just no more need – for the insects, or we the people.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge

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Knock, Knock …

P1070645_filtered‘Who’s there?’

It’s me, Bug …

‘Bug who?’

Buggg, your old mate.

‘Well, come on up old mate …’

G’day fly, me old mate. Howzit goin?

‘Hang on! You’re Ahhgggsassin bug. Bugoff!’

Aww come on, I’m only a little hungry on this cold night.

‘Buzzzz, bzzz, bzz – now where am I going to land, on this bloody …’

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The night is a bloody experience for many a bug. Some cop it, and some are copped – oops!

We are lucky, having come far from our savage nature. Or are we, did we …

Did we just mask the real for the convenient and safe – ish …

To have it stripped by consequences inevitable.

And it all comes from within.

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On that hill there …

What is it?

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Well, what is it disturbs in the quiet of night?

© Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge

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Prayer …

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Everything prays. Prayer works.

Careful what you pray …

© Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge

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Life In The Green

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Carrying a can of water down the bare earth path between the giant ferns at the corner of the house, leaves high on both sides, I sensed movement as a Praying Mantis came into view. I stopped to look, eye to eye, and offered a finger which she mounted and I carried her over to the other giant fern leaf.

She took a few strides into the dark green jungle before she swivelled her big eyed head back at me and said in her sharp clickity little voice “Thanks Mark.”

‘No problem’, said I. But no, I didn’t have my camera handy. It wasn’t one of those encounters. Was and wasn’t …

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This might have been one, or two, of her many babies that appeared a couple weeks ago on the deck.

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The flowers are coming along nicely, drinking a lot of water in their skyward stretch, a lot of leg work too – my legs. Hand watering a big-ish garden is a good way to get to know what’s going on in the greenery. Notably, not a lot – as I recall last year same time.

The Carpenter Bee is still coming and going, a few bees are visiting – but not to the hotels at all, lots of little green plant bugs, some flies and the occasional spider.

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He must have dropped in fully grown – climbed a tall tree, probably saw my bright yellow patch that instinctively registered ‘food’ and cast a strand to the wind in search of direction to pastures new. He’s a beauty, gentle faced and quiet of nature, a flower or ambush spider – consummate predator.

They often take on the colouring of their surrounds, camouflage to better hunt the visiting insects, collectors of pollen and drinkers of nectar – good in evading other hunters too.

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Morning is best time to catch a meal on a flower. An unlucky bee, early to the feast, lucky spider, and green bug snacks.

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And just for the show …

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Pausing every now and again, just to sense what is the nature now. Blue sky, trees blowing in the wind, Galah’s ripping up the seed pods of the African Tulip, smell of the wet earth, colour, sound, form – a simple pleasure. Feeding the winged visitors at days end.

Doves, Indian Mynahs, the Butcherbird and Pied Magpie. All with young ones to feed and be taught to fend for themselves, take a bit of bread in the late afternoon. You can see the teaching going on, the way things are.

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The only one I could get of him today. Others lost in a broken computer.

When the cat, Djinn, shows himself, what a commotion from the screeching Mynahs. He just sits unmoved, on the edge of stressed, so long as they can’t actually get at him.

In sense, instinctively …

© Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab …

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Jumper …

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So named for their ability to leap a good distance with some accuracy these spiders are the cuddly arachnids. They display a curiosity and fearlessness I would only expect to find in a pet or otherwise domesticated creature.

This one, a male with his punk hair-do, was on the door handle and I caught him just as he fell as I touched it. So I put him on a flower where he sat, maybe to catch something to eat …

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If pix or text don’t appear as normal that’s because I am using a different computer and having to improvise on what software I use on elements. It’s a different screen too, so can’t tell if pix look what I am used to.

My computer crashed and I haven’t been able to get it fixed, it may just be dead and gone. I should be able to recover files eventually but I’m not in any hurry, as long as there are bugs in the garden to photograph.

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Sometimes it’s a ‘blessing in disguise’ to lose what has grown over a period of years, a form of surgery. An opportunity to start again, at least to keep it simpler.

If I learn anything by experience it’s that, complicated fills the space reserved for peace – of mind.

And we do according to our … capacity or willingness to see through the imagery.

© Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab …

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Advertising …

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Everything’s an ad, symbolises or points to something else. Can’t get away from it, in relationship – existence.

This spider was waving to another spider across the way, part of the mating ritual I believe – having seen other spiders do similar that was obviously ritual.

Some are very demonstrative, colourful, eager. Others wary, reticent, indifferent. People can be emotional too, carrying the weight of particular past, as we tend to.

No matter, we do our best to transcend the robotic and all’s equal in the end. The end being the absence of all that existential commotion.

© Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab …

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Gardening …

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… in the mind too.

Spring time and all the forms of nature are on the rise. These flies, Doli for short, emerged around one particular plant and I got some shots in the early morning. Have tried getting some shots of the adults but they are flash sensitive and are gone on the pre-flash. It’s rare they stay for a shot.

Occasionally it occurs to me how I started doing macro. After I got a camera and was spending time in nature it became obvious my attraction was to the small creatures at my feet rather than big creatures over there or broad landscapes.

The nearer the better it seems soon took my energies and it was 2 or 3 years of application before I was really any good. It was a process of elimination, of what didn’t work, to reveal what works.

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Someone started me on it, photography. I don’t remember exactly how but do remember C had some influence. He was a friend in his way. I say ‘his’ way since he was a friend and then one day he just stopped communicating.

Don’t know what happened but I am grateful for the small things. From seed big trees grow, and die.

All the best C old friend, wherever thee may be.

© Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab …

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Little Heart, Big Hearted …

Carpenter Bee making nest early 2013

Mother Carpenter Bee making the nest early 2013 – a rare appearance as she tossed debris

Teddy Bear Bee feeding on nearby flowers

Male Carpenter Bee feeding on nearby flowers

The best I could get - she's big and fast

The best I could get – he’s big and fast – I was lucky

It’s a male Carpenter Bee, I think. It has been occupying the nest excavated in 2013 by the female/mother – I believe – Carpenter Bee. The nest is in a two inch thick stick I had to secure to a metal rod after it rotted in the ground – soft wood.

Then I built the no-till garden beds and recently, a week or so ago, sowed some seed that needed shade from the hot sun, and the shade got in the bees way of returning home – that I noticed one day, having already missed it.

So I remedied the situation, I thought, only to find something else had acted to block the nest for a short while. And no bee to be seen for days now. I wonder if it has another nest somewhere …

I doubt its little heart could survive the rigours of homelessness for long, not like people do. People, it seems, can adapt to almost anything … almost.

We can usually retreat, recover and renew – if the situation allows.

*And just after posting this he returned to the nest.

© Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab …

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Sense and Sensation

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The local stingless bees are well fed the mornings here. Salad plants, started as seedlings meant to be eaten, gone to seed and now 4 foot tall with white and yellow flowers are their source of nourishment, for now – with much to come if seed cast and sown is viable, with some already visible.

They are gone by early afternoon, back to do hive work. Lots of coming and going in the garden, not a lot for me to shoot though – too small or fast.

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The pure sensation, a simple tingling inside once you get down to it. A sense upon which the mind is ever trying to create ‘something’, as thought and emotion. The exercise is to resist the pull of the mind to think by focusing on the sensation.

And this occurs in space, the sense of it inside. The more it’s done, the greater the realisation. It takes time, and there is no failure – just the endeavour.

It really is that simple … and a couple more things. :-)

© Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab …

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Gone …

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… I was thinking last week I would offer to teach meditation once more and then, out of the blue, one lady who had been before rang to ask if she could come along, saying she saw my current ad in the local paper.

Thing is I don’t have a current ad, or didn’t when she rang. So I took the cue and will start teaching next week – if anyone wants to come along …

All are welcome, especially any who already recognise the need for peace of mind.

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Meditation is the beginning of the end of the mind as a problem. It naturally leads to the practise of being and both are done alone.

There is another realisation of space and sensation that can be called love that is done in partnership.

A rare event … one foot in front of the other.

© Mark Berkery … Click on any picture to enlarge in a new tab …

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Disguised

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Tending to the compost bin recently I noticed what looked like a bee come to investigate. It looked and flew like a bee in that its path was cautious, slow and deliberate as it entered the open drum and made its way around inside.

When it stopped on the plastic rim of the entrance I got a few shots and it became apparent it was a fly, by the eyes and other parts, to me.

A bee mimicking fly, must afford it some advantage. Difficult to see past the disguise in motion.

© Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab …

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The Dead of …

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Male and Female Lynx spiders

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… winter, if that it be.

Sun shines so much I don’t know you see.

But the absence of little ones is telling to me.

Time spent in the garden used mostly to pee.

So no pix to post on this dark wintry night.

Crows only about that do take to flight.

Maybe a pic from the past is aright.

One from a world that can afright.

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Time ebbs and flows, form comes and goes, how hard it sticks depends on a coupla tricks.

Tricks as in feeling for the bottom to clear out the mud, looking not thinking that settles the water, reaching with seeing to the emptiness above and beyond. Where there’s nothing to take or to give. Til the nothing I am in all things is all there is left, until …

Time ebbs and flows, form comes and goes …

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© Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab …

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