Nature's Place

This Little Girl …

… I found in the bucket of water I leave at the end of the garden to make it easier for watering a few starters – plants – there, the yellow bucket of the recent post of the same name.

She was exhausted from the effort to get out of the water and her temperature would have been below what is required for optimal operation of the system, but that’s a part of the effort she makes to survive, it also keeps her ‘warm’ in the cold water – while she dies from exhaustion.

I scooped her up, a finger beneath her and gently rose with her well balanced on it so as to put no strain on her meagre reserves, in trust she will recover with a little help. Insects die all the time from falling into water; it’s not unusual – a daily hazard where there is water and wind and predators – to evade, accidents happen too.

I brought her to a yellow Straw Flower in the sunshine where I could attend to her and feed her a little honey while she would clean, energise and dry out. Instead what happened was the honey blended or melted into the water drenching her little body and got in everywhere and made her sticky and unable to fly – I would suppose, putting myself in the bee’s shoes. Do bees have shoes? :)

She was disturbed, but not aggressively so. It was just that she now had more work to do because of my intrusion with the honey, however well intentioned. She may have taken a little of it but my placement of it was not regulated enough so there was just too much for best result, least effort to recovery.

So she went to work cleaning herself, and it seemed she would never succeed to get rid of the sticky water. So I interfered again, this time to spray her with more water from a bottle, to dilute the honey and make it easier for her to get rid of it. I did this three times and in the end, about an hour later, of me standing in the heat of the sunshine with her cupped in my hand for best solar heating as she gently gripped my skin in her jaws to enable the vigorous flapping of her wings and shaking of her bum to throw off any liquid, she seemed close to clean.

Then, when she was nearly ready to get back to her life as a free bee, free to do what she does, she climbed onto my finger, the highest part available to her – to launch from I suppose, since that’s what many creatures naturally do, but didn’t.

I was watching and waiting, I had observed and helped so far and was looking to see her take off but it wasn’t happening. She was just sitting on the top of my finger, only occasionally shifting herself this way or that, moving only slightly about. A few times it looked like she had just run out of energy, but I reckon the honey helped there at least.

I noticed a car coming into the driveway and looked up to see who it was, and it was just then she launched into the air and was gone.

Have to laugh! If it was personal I might have been disappointed she left unseen and without a wave. :)

But she left in her time and that’s always best, there’s no other way to go.

Nothing is done outside its time. It doesn’t matter what we may or may not want. Life is too big, and life is in charge.

A bow to thee, little bee.

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

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PS These pix were taken as my OB flash was dying on my #1 camera so exposure was hit and miss, these were the best of the lot.

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59 Responses

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  1. quueword said, on 16/05/2012 at 1:10 pm

    I just recently started following your blog….and i cant seem to get away from it. It’s beautiful. Much love! Thanks

    • Mark said, on 16/05/2012 at 5:11 pm

      Much appreciated Q, I do my best to do them justice.

  2. Lunar Euphoria said, on 13/05/2012 at 12:02 pm

    and a bow to thee.

    It’s always a joy to see the surprises here.

  3. writingthroughitall said, on 13/05/2012 at 1:34 am

    thank you for your compassion, Mark. Blessings-

  4. Donna said, on 04/05/2012 at 3:16 am

    Unbelievable shots!! Gorgeous photography! And truly loved the story…
    Have a super day!

  5. satnavandcider said, on 29/04/2012 at 11:27 am

    An excellent blog post from start to finish. I was riveted.

  6. janoogee said, on 28/04/2012 at 10:08 pm

    Thanks Mark – I am new to your blog. Great photos. Great story. Add me to your long list of admirers. I have signed onto your blog. The world would benefit greatly with more people being so kind and considerate of all inhabitants that exist on the earth both human and non human. The great web of life is complex. Thanks for keeping the bee going in your part of the world.

    Jerry

    • Mark said, on 29/04/2012 at 1:00 am

      G’day Jerry. You can learn to love and once you do it never leaves, just beckons to greater depths … In the end there is no choice and I want none. The bee worked at it, that’s for sure. Every now and then it seemed too far gone to recover but it just kept getting back up and eventually flew away.

      … best. M

  7. Lois Randall said, on 28/04/2012 at 8:56 am

    Dear Mark,
    You are a remarkable person, what more can I say. I look forward to your posts and pictures. Thank you for the gift of sharing your life and love of all the little creatures. It means so much…
    All my best to you,
    Lois aka 8-Legged-Cat

    • Mark said, on 28/04/2012 at 3:58 pm

      Hello Lois, how’s the cat? 8 legs, really? :)

      Just doing ‘my’ thing the best I can. I believe everybody who is real does too.

      … best. M

  8. Laura Conowitch said, on 28/04/2012 at 8:45 am

    Thank you for sharing! Love the photos, the story and the metaphor!

    • Mark said, on 28/04/2012 at 3:56 pm

      Thanks Laura, much appreciated you take the time.

  9. suzysomething said, on 28/04/2012 at 3:13 am

    Mark, would you permit me to share a few of your photos on my Nature’s glory board in Pinterest? I would be sure to include your name as the artist and a link if you will provide one for me to cut and paste. I think that Pinterest would give you the exposure (pardon the pun) you richly deserve.

  10. suzysomething said, on 28/04/2012 at 3:04 am

    Mark, your photos and your eloquence have made my day. Yours is the first email I open in the morning because I know it will be something wonderful. Your reverence for Nature is evident in your photography and in your words. I too am in awe of Nature and always feel the wonder of being among her creatures. Your blog lets me experience Nature’s glory sitting here at my computer when I’d much rather be out in the sun looking for insects that might need a gentle and patient helping hand. Thank you.

    • Mark said, on 28/04/2012 at 3:53 pm

      Thanks you Suzy, you can always take a few minutes – nature never goes away. When I lived in London in the shadow of two tall buildings I still grew a few plants that struggled to the light. It’s the attention that counts.

  11. lautal said, on 28/04/2012 at 1:41 am

    Mark, when I’m reading your stories it is not about photo for me anymore. It looks like you have a close connection to the small creatures world. You are trying to open our eyes and let us understand their world and life. Thank you. Pictures are awesome as usually. For me your work is the best what I’ve seen in that kind of macro.

    • Mark said, on 28/04/2012 at 3:48 pm

      Thanks Lautal, there are some excellent macro photographers around and for them, as far as I know so far, it’s about the photography – or something else. I just think I have to do my best with what I’ve got in this world. A few breadcrumbs can lead out of the forest if they are the right ones at the right time.

  12. Mark said, on 28/04/2012 at 1:30 am

    PS Don’t forget to click the images to open bigger in another tab, especially if you have FF 11.0.

  13. Estetica de la Luz said, on 28/04/2012 at 12:11 am

    Hi Mark, I’m totally fascinated with your photos. I got surprised with the quality and sharpness of the images. If you don’t mind, I would like to know which lens did you use. Thanks and greetings from Argentina!

    • Mark said, on 28/04/2012 at 1:27 am

      Hello Gustavo – from FM? No, he would know what I am using and I think he’s from Brazil.

      Hello Eugenia, a lovely place and people – Argentina, and welcome to Oz and our little beauties.

      I use old tech Pany FZ50′s, achromats and snooted/diffused on board flash. Plus the Pany G1 + old Macro lenses with same achromats – I like to have a short working distance for macro – which is about all I do. See : http://beingmark.com/macro-illustrated/ for the rundown.

  14. mldiggs said, on 27/04/2012 at 11:40 pm

    Great images and story!

  15. bentehaarstad said, on 27/04/2012 at 11:28 pm

    Hi, and thanks for a wonderful story in addition to the photos, that are always good!

    • Mark said, on 28/04/2012 at 1:14 am

      Hi B. Thanks for dropping by, always good.

  16. Jenn said, on 27/04/2012 at 11:13 pm

    Lovely Mark. I just had to read every line intently just to see what happened in your encounter with this exquiste bee…no matter how exhausted I was, it enlivened me also!!!

    • Mark said, on 28/04/2012 at 1:13 am

      Hi Jenn, long time no … :) Exhausted? Me too, must be the change in the weather, and the age of things – they seem to be getting older. Hmmm!

  17. Barbara Rodgers said, on 27/04/2012 at 10:50 pm

    What a beautiful story, a sweet glimpse into the world of a bee, and some amazing pictures to go with it!

    • Mark said, on 28/04/2012 at 1:11 am

      Thanks Barbara, a little too sweet perhaps … If it was only water she’d have been away in a fraction of the time.

  18. simplyenjoy said, on 27/04/2012 at 10:49 pm

    Love this story and metaphor/lesson at the end. It reminded me of the time my fiance untangled a fly from his mist net in the woods. These are great close up shots, too. So crisp.

    • Mark said, on 28/04/2012 at 1:09 am

      Thanks Stephanie. Mist net? It must be fine to catch/trap a fly.

  19. Onibe said, on 27/04/2012 at 9:08 pm

    great photos, just love them!

  20. katiepede said, on 27/04/2012 at 8:12 pm

    I rescued a spider today from some water…. it dried itself off and wandered on :-)

    • Mark said, on 28/04/2012 at 1:06 am

      They do so easily sometimes, not so this one, nor others at all …

      • katiepede said, on 28/04/2012 at 1:29 am

        I remember as a child rescuing a spider from our tadpole bowl, and it bit me because it was scared, but I still like spiders :-) I love bees even more!

        • Mark said, on 28/04/2012 at 1:36 am

          Hello Katie. I remember catching bees in a jam jar when I was a kid, all the different kinds. Someone once told me one of them was a doctor bee and I think I believed it …

          I have a spider coming up, a giant of a mother … but not yet. :)

          • katiepede said, on 28/04/2012 at 1:54 am

            Will look out for him :-)

            • Mark said, on 28/04/2012 at 3:50 pm

              He was shorter than the rest, and lighter in colour, and very business-like with dark rimmed glasses and a stethoscope … :)

            • katiepede said, on 29/04/2012 at 8:28 pm

              Ahh think I met him once, many years ago! :-)

            • Mark said, on 29/04/2012 at 11:19 pm

              :)

    • katiepede said, on 28/04/2012 at 1:27 am

      (wrong person :-))

    • cobaltnaturalist said, on 08/05/2012 at 1:59 pm

      Many spiders have rescued me… I love that they keep my home somewhat in “ant”-balance. … they do the ant-feasting work while I live around the little sugar ants. And many bees share my days…. Mark, your lovely experience with your bee is much appreciated… thank you for sharing so carefully. She looks like she needed a nap at the tip of your finger. -Aimee

      • Mark said, on 08/05/2012 at 10:21 pm

        Thanks Aimee. It’s where I find myself … She took her time taking to the air again, a long preening and a pause before departure.

  21. Kat said, on 27/04/2012 at 7:34 pm

    Beautiful photos and narrative. Looks like she was missing a leg!

    • Mark said, on 27/04/2012 at 7:50 pm

      Thanks Kat. It looks like that in the second last shot but she was vigorously cleaning and It looks like it’s just hidden up around or under her neck. In Shot #2 you can clearly see six legs. I do often come across insects with parts missing, they don’t seem to mind.

  22. nonoymanga said, on 27/04/2012 at 6:37 pm

    Mark the details are killing me, Macro photography as good as it gets. Good day Nonoy Manga

    • Mark said, on 27/04/2012 at 6:41 pm

      G’day NM. She was a great subject, what can I say … :)


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