Nature's Place

A Shooting Star

P1110303b_filtered Mark Berkery

Click the picture for a bigger version.

A crop of above, for the unbelievers … :-)

Was this Jewel Bug blessed by a shooting star, or was it the photographer or the reader of this, or was it the earth it passed over? Does it matter … all that perceive are affected, by the perceived and the perception, nothing stays the same after the cosmic touch. It matters …

In ancient days, when we were less rigidly rational and perhaps more intuitively romantic, we saw significance in small things. The flight of a bird, the twist of a gust of wind or a falling star. Everything has meaning if you can read it, and it helps to know what others have seen.

What it means is subjective, personal, a matter of context. Such things as shooting stars are universal and as old as the sky above our heads and their meaning has been intuited in various ways, divined in a mind as clear and magnificent as the night sky. Your mind …

So reading the universal is aided and coloured by the context of the reader. I looked up where in our culture the shooting star has occurred and the instance that spoke was this : ‘And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.’

Looking down, or up, within,  see that ancient sky and all it contains now, as clear as mind can be. … are you a shooting star burning up with a flash of mystical purpose, or a rational meteorite.

Mystical purpose is a burning meteor, you wouldn’t know it to look at.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click the pix for a closer look

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Dragon Days

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Still, in the heat of the day, overseeing its territory from rest, no less dangerous for that, to the other airborne creatures hereabouts – the vast canyons of bright empty space surrounded by deep wells of dark shadow.

To the Dragon I was invisible, a trick of being, not being anything a Dragon would fear. In the ever moving colour and form of the psyche everything is connected, and when ‘the time is right’ one thing knows another, inside.

The smaller the creature, the more distant the relationship, the less direct or immediate the connection. But the Dragon knew me, like Dragon knows Dragon, nothing to reflect on. Nothing to resist, no separation.

In being. In form it’s another matter, everything going its own way, clashing and thrashing, killing and dying, as some thing, Dragon or man.

The trick, or knack, is to slow down enough inside to slip into nowhere, as no-thing, at will, and still function some where, as some thing, outside.

A life’s work, for a man. Dragon does it naturally.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click the pix for a closer look
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Things That Fly …

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Zebra Bee. Ok, not really. A native resting on a cold afternoon.

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An unusual fly warming up by the light at night.

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Too cold to fly away, resting on the grass.

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Racing Red and blue/black winged Wasp.

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Long legged fly enjoying the rotting fruit.

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Red Assassin Bug, hunting on the flowers other creatures eat.

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Bee echo …

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Assassin nymph chasing native bee.

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Hoverfly in the spiders grasp. Bye, bye fly.

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Mating time for the ants.

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Doli fly in the afternoon.

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Honey Bee meets Spider, usually ends bad for the bee – which is good for the spider.

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Mighty wasp. She was seeking nesting sites around the ants feasting on fruit.

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Asleep in the field, not far to travel for breakfast.

Things that get overlooked, in the garden or field and on the computer. There are so many images of encounters that are never seen but once.

It may serve as a reminder of the unique character of the individuals within the one amazing nature, everything with a place.

Nothing remains the same, even when change is imperceptibly incremental the movement is always towards ‘better’.

As long as we don’t give in to the dark side, and even that serves, has its place.

And time runs out, things die, nothing remains to change.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click the pix for a closer look
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Honey Bee Central

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Individuals from three visits over the past month or so, where the creek crosses the track in Venman. They come in waves from the hive, fill up at the waters edge and home again.

Hunkered down on the side of the track, off the landing zone and out of the flight path, watching for any nearby bee at the right angle and situation for a shot or two.

Careful not to kneel or lean on one, don’t want to kill or get stung, dipping the lens tip to the water at times for a bees eye view. Hat on in case of accidents from behind, listening for the tell-tale buzz from what can’t be seen.

Air traffic observation. A flurry of landings, a scattering of take offs, coming and going in apparent confusion with rare collision until, all of a sudden, nothing. Quiet space.

A gap in the busy work of the bee, it seems, and the mind at work with them dies, no more to take my attention.

Time to look to the sense, in between.

Mind the gap …

© Mark Berkery ……. Click the pix for a closer look

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Urban Jungle Monk

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The solitary visible resident of the remnant forest car park lay head down on a post. An awkward angle but a still subject, unmoving, as if deeply focussed.

Unblinking metallic eyes, all-seeing atop a long stubbled neck, arms folded in prayer, not unusual for a Mantis.

Focussed … is one word could describe this momentarily statuesque creature, free of the need to think.

Simple natural intelligence, ubiquitous and so rarely realised.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click the pix for a closer look
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Meditate …

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A Lizard, found exposed up on a wire fence after heavy rain forced it to seek high ground.

for peace of mind.

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Periodically I offer to teach meditation and this is that time once more.

I started teaching years ago and paid the insurance and hired a hall, put flyers up all over the place and paid for advertising. And charged accordingly.

Today I only teach from home, in Victoria Point, Queensland and there is no charge for the meditation as there is no cost to me.

Or I can travel and if it’s any distance I would need my costs covered.

Either way it is my pleasure to teach where it is needed.

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What I teach is to still the mind. It is not easy to do but it is simple and worthwhile, and once learned you won’t forget it – what you need of it stays with you.

You can best benefit from this meditation if you are conscious of a degree of stress, tension, emotionality or unhappiness and recognise the need for peace of mind. That way you are motivated and will readily see how it works so the learning goes deeper.

If you want this contact me, by phone is best, email is ok too. See Contact page, top right.

See the other pages top right too, for the idea …

© Mark Berkery ……. Click the pix for a closer look
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Luna …

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tic, tic.

The moon is on the rise and with it the pressure of tide in all things, everything rises and falls with the coming and going of the moon.

Old time lunatic asylums were so named for the propensity of the inmates to agitate with the waxing of the moon. The moon acted on their mentality, pulled it out, magnified it.

The moon magnifies or activates what is already there, in the mind. What you acknowledge is what is there, more and more.

Be careful what you acknowledge, or you might end up a lunatic, tic, tic.

When the madness is gone there’s only the pressure.

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Look up, see the milky light of the full disc on the cold dark blue sky.

The quiet emptiness, emptied of human mind.

What a beauty that is.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click the pix for a closer look
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The Hunter

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The same day I found The Huntress I found her male counterpart, in much the same way, by searching the places I would hide during the day if … I were a night hunter.

I took the loosened bark down from the side of the tree and turned it gently but quickly as it came away so whatever might be on the other side became visible and exposed, perhaps triggering a freeze response and not flight or fright. There, sitting stock still, was a huge male Huntsman.

I didn’t know how long I had before he took off so I set to photographing him from the available angles, his back to the tree, where else – not to expose him unnecessarily, it’s a balance of forces applied.

And after a minute or so shooting, just as I took my eye off him to adjust something for no more than a second or two, he was gone, deftly disappearing back into the hideaway that is the debris at the foot of his tall tree.

His tree is about 50 metres from her tree, a world away it seems, but there is no reason to believe they didn’t meet.

Little things have their ways.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click the pix for a closer look
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The Huntress

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In the nearby remnant rainforest there is still sign of insect life. In fact it never really goes away, just hides out from our winter’s cold, and other dangers.

So, hiding as they are these days, the obvious thing to do is seek – and ye shall find, seeking? Not this time, this time I found two magnificent members of the Huntsman tribe.

One female and the other male, in similar places on different trees, hiding behind the loosening bark that the gum trees drop every year. Even trees shed the old to be new.

As I carefully removed a section of loose bark she was alarmed at the intrusion. She ran rapidly up and down the piece of bark once and I thought she was going to do a classic and run up my arm, but she quickly found and settled into the only safe and defensible nook available and went statue still. A protected position from where she was only partially visible and could see any approaching danger – me.

But I was no danger to her, I placed the bark down on the leaf litter, careful not to knock it on anything so she wouldn’t be frightened and bolt. Keeping my movements slow and deliberate I got the camera assembled and moved in for the shoot, what was presented.

This is the female Huntsman, Huntress. A magnificent creature, as impressive as any of the massive familiar animals. And beautiful, with streaked silver hair cradling her eight simple black eyes, massive death dealing fangs and armour spiked to secure prey or repel attackers.

God made thing. From the inscrutable formlessness embracing and upholding all things, a Queen in spider form.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click the pix for a closer look
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The Invitation …

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Everything, by it’s presence, is an invitation. To what, then, is the question. That depends on its intent and your predisposition.

In this case intent is inoffensive. So, to capture an image of a resting Potter Wasp.

Or its significance is something unseen.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click the pix for a closer look
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Canon 70D – Pany FZ50 + G1

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Couldn’t resist …

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A bug from my travels down the local byways.

Just thought I’d post a few samples of each camera, since I’m checking it anyway – in other places.

The same species bug, different individuals at different times. So it’s not really a controlled comparison, just what looks and feels best, for me. Because I’ve had my eye on changing cameras, for improvement of image quality.

I find the old FZ50 the easiest cam to operate, I can do it one handed most of the time and if I drop it I have another in the bag. :-) All shots from this cam are Auto Focus via the (A)rticulating LCD and through an achromat at around 4 to 5″ working distance. Keeper rate is the best at around 90%.

The Pany G1 has an Oly 50/f2 macro lens and same achromat as the others. Focus is manual via the (A) LCD – took some getting used to and isn’t always practical when subject is dark or reflection on LCD is too distracting. Keeper rate is around 30/40%

The 70D hasn’t been set up for macro lighting properly here. Shots by this are AF via the (A) LCD. I find this cam too heavy and can’t hold it steady for long enough – feels awkward. The keeper rate suffers accordingly. It’s a fine camera for everything but macro, for me.

All are JPG’s out of the cam and are post processed in exactly the same way, denoised and sharpened using the same settings.

It’s all entertainment really, not scientific.

They all have their qualities.

Everything is right.

And in its place.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click the pix for a closer look
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Sweet Attraction …

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It’s been cold and wet lately but still some creatures about and looking for nourishment. So I put out some cooked fruit to see what may come. There have been a lot of fruit flies, a few weevils and two beetles I usually find in flowers munching on the pollen.

First the big one came and had a look around, and took off very soon after. She, I think she ‘just because’, didn’t stay long enough to eat the first time but came back the next day, after it would have fermented some more.

I set her to the fruit you see, away from the madding crowd of flies and ants, and she tucked in and didn’t raise her head until this smaller version showed up. They shared the food until the little one took off, didn’t take long at all, and the older one didn’t move for a couple days.

I thought she might have died so I poked her with a piece of straw and she moved, so I left her be. It occurred to me she might be drunk and unable to rise but I wasn’t about to interrupt her experience.

Then, when I was sure she must be comatose from alcohol poisoning she got up and flew away. I trust she did since I didn’t actually see her but you never know what happens in the unknown, obviously.

But in this story they lived happily ever after, this time …

© Mark Berkery ……. Click the pix for a closer look
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Little Things …

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This little thing …

 

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In time, becomes this little thing …

 

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That eventually meets another little thing to do a little thing so more little things can in turn do their thing …

 

Life on earth depends on the little things.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click the pix for a closer look
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Born Of The Green

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The green, earth as it may be remembered, mother to every creature born, without exception. So why do we think we are the exception, that we can ruin the nature for a profit?

We separate ourselves from nature and call it progress. But what is it progress from or to? From the simplicity of being content in nature, to a future imaginary world that only makes the present unreachable.

I’ve lived long enough to have involved myself in the delicious addiction to minding, as thinking and emotion sustaining a ‘way of life’, to have come to know it as nothing more than the pain of separation from the simplicity of being content now.

And now there is only one concern, one purpose, to live long enough to love enough to not have to do it again – live this life of progression from one self generated delusion to the next, one insane mental construct that only serves to divide, until it serves, as it does. To know love enough.

Look around, the world is going to hell, the world is hell and madmen are in charge. Seeing it is hell reveals the beginning of heaven, separating from the madness, and it is not up or over ‘there’.

Enough experience will do that, especially if you live long enough to get old and ill while retaining a sense of equilibrium throughout, regardless …

There’s got to be less, or other, than this …

© Mark Berkery ……. Click the pix for a closer look
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Whittling Down The Form …

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Winter has advanced across our sub tropical night with the dark clear sky and the native bees are feeling its cold grip. There weren’t that many to start with but now down to two, and they don’t give up, though there is no choice in the matter, in the season – as health fails.

As soon as the sun is high enough off they are into the garden to find sustenance, and maybe a mate – there seems to be a couple females foraging through the day – to complete their instinctive little lives.

It is always a pleasure to see them patrolling the flowers, always careful of potential predators, where I discourage the spider’s webs and the neighbour’s grandchildren from retiring them early.

The least I can do for our garden’s indispensable residents.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click the pix for a closer look *

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