Nature's Place

Dragon Hunt

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I have been finding a few Dragonfly’s recently, perhaps because of the generally warmer than usual weather, and the new location – a place I haven’t been to for many years. A nearby nature reserve that will soon become a horse track, I am told, so there may be some dung beetles soon to photograph … amongst the many creatures already to be found there.

The site is huge and Dragons can be found all over at different times of day, some by the water where it is clear of trees and brush, some hunt in the fields, some can be found asleep or at rest in the shade where the brush meets the open track, others in the dark shadows. At present there isn’t a ‘best’ spot, maybe as the spring gets on after the winter solstice locations will be more determined – by the nature.

There are many colours of Dragon though few individuals, and getting close to one can take a long time as they are inclined to take flight at the slightest disturbance in their view. Those big eyes are some indication of how sensitive is their sight.  Along with being consummate hunters goes a correspondingly evolved survival instinct.

Stillness is the key to observing these wonderful creatures, of mind and body, and the approach takes time and demands an attitude of respect for best results, in my experience.

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

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Nectar of The Gods

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Amrit, ambrosial immortalising food of the gods, fit for an ant – for if there is a god it is surely in all things, without exception, or the creation is flawed. Notice any holes in the fabric of your universe lately? Well, let’s not go into that too much …

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It was Garuda, bird – king, who stole the Ambrosia of the gods in order to release himself and his mother from enslavement to the snakes – or snake energy. He had to perform impossible feats in order to do so. And so impressed with his character was Vishnu that he made Garuda free forever.

It’s an interesting myth from Indian lore. And like all myth it has truth behind it. He had to take it.

Have you performed impossible feats lately?

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A site that is good for some creatures can be enhanced for macro shooting by the addition of a source of food, as with the honey for the ant here. Nothing wrong with enhancing the scene if everyone concerned benefits.

A little nectar goes a long way.

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

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Portraiture

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… to portray – the art of rendering ‘some-thing’ in the best possible light, according to accepted practice, by intuition – an untethered understanding reached through experience by letting go the already known – sifting gold from muck. Photography is just one medium for such expression, writing is another, gardening no less so.

Everybody is an artist, has something they excel at, if they have been lucky enough to find or been guided to it in these dense materialistic times. Some are more ‘artistic’ than others, doesn’t deny anybody’s art. Anyone who hasn’t found it is holding on to some mental construct of what they are.

The image is unreal, any image, only a representation of the thing, any thing. And representations change, being of things that die. Thing is to see the fact and go with the reality of change rather than hold to the known, old and worn. A representation is always of something passed, or past.

One such representation, bordering on the solution to finding the lost art, is to stand on a diving board in the dark of night with the intention of jumping in the water. Feel the fear? There are others, more fitting to some than many.

The simple solution is inside, looking past the sensation that is the basis for meditation, to no-thing – that has no image. It’s no big deal, it is where is after dreaming stops, from awake to asleep – a place inside.

Trick is to not ‘fall’ asleep, but go to sleep, looking to see. Just never mind the imagery on the way.

Or enjoy it but don’t hold on to what passes, as everything does.

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

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Of a Certain Nature

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An unusual place to find a Huntsman, atop a flower, in the morning.

 

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A big Drone fly landed on a nearby flower. Standoff, in my mind …

 

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But didn’t get caught by this spider, this time …

 

… gardening, and how not to do it.

Until recently my attitude to the garden has been of a minimalist approach; determine, sometimes intuit, location, plant a selection, water and feed – with little to no regard for the suitability of the earth it happens on and in. Lazy, yes, being a poor study of things I don’t ‘see’ the need for.

Then something happened, I stopped wasting energy in one area of my life, thinking I ‘should’ apply myself where I just didn’t fit, and that energy became available for other things. So I began to look deeper into where I do apply myself without the ‘should’.

The notion of growing a certain plant, for its wonderful flowers, slowly grew in my mind and I found myself thoroughly involved in researching how to do it the best I can – not unlike a root-bound seedling released from its constraining pot and transferred to fertile soil.

Of course, because nothing is certain in a world of change, it may not turn out as I envisage but I will have done my best – and that’s what counts, the doing, not the end.

I still love the little creatures, when they show themselves, but maybe I will focus a little more on the flowers that feed them – in all their ways.

When the garden’s soil develops and spring comes around.

… not the end.

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

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A Sleepy Dragon

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It’s all … a gift, or a curse, depends on how you look at it. But the fact is whatever it is today is gone tomorrow, so there’s no point fretting it – whatever ‘it’ is. Making it less a curse, or a gift, and more simply what it is.

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I know, easy to say. But it can also be ‘done’ if done enough. Letting go is the key, not holding on to what’s inside – though it may appear outside – by thinking too much or getting emotional about ‘it’. Whatever it is.

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This sleepy dragon doesn’t give a … Lying there, resting in the hot afternoon sun, takes no notice of me – as long as I am careful, considerate of its sensibilities, discernible as what my own would be if …

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… I were a dragon.

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© Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab …
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Road – Kill – Heaven

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For a green head ant it is, heaven. Fresh meat delivered to the door and nature embraces the bounty, heedless something died for it. And heedless of the observer, absolutely un-self-conscious except with reference to the instinctive need to survive, these little beauties process the red meat into pieces small enough to carry back to the nest, to live. Heaven is relative here.

An honest ant, you always know where you stand with a green head ant, they bite and sting, what ants do. You could say the ant is the same no matter what it is doing, and that is true, ant is always ant, never a pretense at being anything but what it instinctively is.

That’s what makes its state of being heaven to this observer, no mind to confuse or conflict, no mind but ant mind. Human mind is something else, potentially full of conflict, with itself reflecting off self in the hall of mirrors the mind is.

Human being is something else, being what being is beyond human, or ant.

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Then, later when I went to see how things were, the meat was gone and there were paw prints in the earth around the area. Something, maybe a feral cat, had come and eaten the meat, ants and all.

So much death in one day, any day now – ‘heaven’ comes to us all in time.

We are lucky that way …

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

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New Born – Again

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My little Fire Tail Resin Bees – entertainment for the day.

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Just before I started putting mesh net over the buckets of water in the garden, to keep drinking insects/bees from drowning, I found this new-born Orange Tailed Resin Bee floundering. So I picked it up and brought it back to where it had recently emerged, to rest and recover out of harms way, on the bee hotel hanging under the veranda.

It was a bit stunned to begin with, shocked and recovered from near death, but soon took to exploring the wood and holes drilled in it for nesting bees. You know it’s a new born by its relative size. I do.

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Born Again. Looking at the term, from King James bible, by the man Jesus apparently, speaking of what it is to be born again; “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” Clearly there is no past or future, thinking and imagination, trying or hoping, no deceit, cunning or self delusion – all born of the past or reaching for a future – of any sort, in Spirit. And Spirit begins in sense.

Not an easy job for man or woman, to get back to sense, the work still needing to be done – the negation of self to the realisation of the one real moment Spirit is, now.

Nature has no such impediment, born anew every moment at source, free of the reflective element that gives rise to the need to master self.

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

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Apple Ant

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A piece of fruit in the morning is a good thing for the body – possibly one of the few things that wouldn’t be denied by anybody. And sitting eating it on the veranda overlooking the garden is a pleasure – also a good way to start the day.

Using a knife to section the apple for eating I notice different kinds of ant walking around the old wooden table where I sit, looking for morsels no doubt. It doesn’t take much to shave a little apple for a little creature, a tiny slice, to sate the perennial hunger.

And this one was hooked, couldn’t get too much of the sweet juicy pulp it had probably never come across before. It also seemed excited the way it supped at the apple for a while then stopped and ran around, stopped to groom itself and then back to the apple – over and over.

I helped it along, keeping the slice from blowing away in the breeze, orienting it for access and of course a few shots. It wasn’t very co-operative, wouldn’t be still for long, but I accept what comes.

It surely enjoyed the pure juice on the blade. Just one of life’s under-excitements, a simple pleasure when the mind is slowed enough there is no impatience.

© Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab, they do look better bigger – FireFox – for me

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Meditation …

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Rarely do I write a post directly on this subject, meditation, but today I begin teaching once more, having taught a number of times before in different places. There has been a good response to the only ad I put out, a free one in the community column of my local weekly paper The Bayside Bulletin, which covers a large area of the SE of Brisbane.

I am grateful for that service as it allows me to gauge the local need for meditation without a significant, to me, cash outlay. Part of the arrangement is that I don’t charge for the meditation instruction, which suits me fine as I prefer to keep money out of the process as much as possible and my costs are reduced to a few phone calls and a bit of ink and paper.

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The key to the meditation I teach is to ‘recognise the need to slow down and relax the mind from the stress of negative thinking and emotion.’ It is the only prerequisite to learning this form of meditation really. Without it there is no ‘real’ need and it would be too simple and so boring to the mind that’s looking for another form of excitement or entertainment.

This is the very practical work of stilling the mind so living can be enjoyed in its simplest form, the senses. It is practical because it works. It works by the practise of some simple exercises that enable the transit from mental emotion living, or being, to being in sense – as the sensation inside where it is always a pleasure, and the senses that reveal the wonder of the earth. Anybody who is willing can do this.

Sensation is best described as grains of sand in space, inner space, seperate and immersed. It’s the actual feeling and not the image the mind would make. There is space between each grain and space in and behind. Look into it until there is nothing else but that.

Or it could be dots of light in the darkness inside, appearing and disappearing in inner space. A pressure, a pulsing, whatever it is for you is what you focus on – the actuality. The mental image is not the actuality.

Space, inside and ‘out’ – everything occurs in space, see it, sense it, allow it to be. Everything else passes.

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There is a distinction between the earth and the world. Earth is magnificent, where we can see the wonder of the stars at night and the beauty and magnificence of the flowers and insects of the garden by day, the clouds as they pass on by and the rain or sun on our skin, all forms of sense. Sense is simple, there’s no problem in it, it’s a pleasure that everyone experiences at some time, especially when young. The simple pleasure of sense only becomes eclipsed in time by the emotion generated by experience when the truth of the matter is not known or understood. This emotion, and the thinking it generates, which begets more emotion, accumulates until it is enough of a problem to do something about it.

Mind is where all problems originate, mind as rampant or unbidden thinking and emotion. Mind as seemingly endless associative thinking that stirs emotion which generates more thinking in an ever worsening spiral of negativity until it just can’t be tolerated any more. That’s when a solution ‘must’ be found and the realisation may occur; my mind is the problem, it’s not ‘out there’ at all – and nobody else can fix it but the one realising it.

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When this meditation is practised properly for long enough the transit from the occupation with complicated mind to the simplicity of sense is effected and living, what was once a pain, becomes a pleasure, or a love – and what other purpose is there to it ‘all’ …

That’s the beauty of it, once the solution is known nobody can take it away. It also eventually dawns; ‘I’ am responsible for my life – I do it or I don’t do it.

The way of stillness or ‘no-thing’ is difficult at times, and invariably rewarding.

© Mark Berkery … CLICK a link for more – MeditationThe IdeaNature’s Place

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Storm Crew

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The long dry spring come summer ended with a massive thunderstorm, fittingly – the dry spell to, well, dry out, and the rain to impel the life-forms to rise up anew.

I was outside in the field when I saw the storm coming, darkening the sky until I was in between the afternoon light on my right and night-time dark on my left where all the street and car lights had come on of necessity – a thin line.

The sky was black grey and it started to rain as I got home, pouring down soon enough. The lightning would flash and the thunder did follow, the time it took between them indicating the distance to the centre. In a short time the lightning flash was followed immediately by a thundering clap of the air – attention.

Right outside my window, the surrounding storm electrifying; it’s coming an exclamation, it’s passing a sign of the new to come. And as it passed I stood out in the rain, the pleasure of the clean cold water washing away the dusty days. In the few days since there has been cloud and rain and damp so some bees, and others, have come into sense once more, heralds of the new year – angels of a kind.

Magical brew … and just as I finished the necessary work in the garden.

Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab, they do look better bigger – FireFox – for me

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Rare Earth

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The weather here in my part of Oz has been dry a long time now, months without rain, and it is apparent in that there are few creatures of any kind about, especially insects. Still there are some, here and there, hanging on in the face of great adversity – to them, being also under assault from incessant human activity.

But there’s enough wild water to keep things going in the surrounding scrub bush and managed suburban gardens do help the little creatures survive another day, especially if there is accessible clean water – that they won’t fall into and drown.

Late afternoon recently a rare bee flew into the house, to the cool darkness of the basement. It was trapped against a window for a while, trying to get out, so I caught it but it was too late to release it.

I kept it in a huge jar and slid a sugar laced flower in with it and that way kept it healthy until daylight when it could fly away without the danger of the night.

She didn’t seem to mind at all, this Domino Cuckoo bee – was probably attracted to my bee hotels for somewhere to lay her young.

Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab, they do look better bigger – FireFox – for me

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The Brothers We-evil

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Three different individuals doing what weevils do, wandering around in the fulfillment of their nature, what else. Not a problem in sight.

The nightmare is Man’s alone to make and break, zombie dogs at the window, nowhere to hide. Vampires running the show.

Analogies, actualities or realities … What a strange world we have made, that has so little to do with our simple nature.

Phew! It was just a dream after all …

Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab, they do look better bigger – FireFox – for me

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For the Life of Me …

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We’ve had some rain recently and no shortage of sunshine, but today was a remarkable day for the creatures of the garden. The first visitor was a bronze lizard, about 4” long, which came into view as I was sitting at the computer, zipping along the floor. The second was a Snowy Egret, a tall slim elegant bird that landed in the garden looking for a meal, keeping an eye on me as it strutted around.

The third was a Blue Banded Bee that, while I was watering some plants, came and hovered in the spray from the hose – made me smile that. And the fourth was a Water Dragon that appeared from beneath a pile of broken branches from a tree and sat there while I sprayed it, elevating its rear body while dropping its head to catch the water that flowed down towards its mouth.

They all have two things in common. They appeared in (my perception) the house or garden and I didn’t get a picture of any of them – this time. I let the little lizard wander about the house, no point in trying to catch it – probably do it damage. When the Dragon had enough it climbed into the pile below the trees and disappeared, for now.

The bee, along with all its flying kind, buzzes around the garden supping from the many flowers and when I went to look where the Egret was investigating I found what I had thought might be the case. Death, what else …

The leopard beetle I saw tucking into the flowers heart yesterday was gone. I found a piece of its carapace on one of the sunflowers broad leaves. No doubt the Egret will be back, along with the rest.

It’s a pleasure watching the garden grow, the life that comes and goes.

Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab, they do look better bigger – FireFox – for me

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A Golden Meal

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See the Sun rise through the trees, feel the wind blow all a-flutter, flowers reaching for the light, the smell of rain soaked earth, sounds of various birds a-stutter. It’s nice walking in the garden early morning in the still cool shade of the paperbark trees greeting, in a certain way, the emergents of my little patch.

It’s a matter of acknowledgment, if I don’t give my little earth attention it will surely die. As it appears to be on the grand scale by the world’s exclusive focus on making money, the acquisition of power and influence over people and things that means nothing ever really changes for the good, and means little to nothing in itself.

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The simple good that any man or woman can realize in their ordinary life, given time and reminded to – by words such as these perhaps. And that’s the simple truth, you can observe the utter insanity of ‘Our Way of Life’ – on the TV or inside, because ‘we’ made it, that’s just knowing your self – and still nurture the space of inner peace by deliberately giving the rest of your available attention to the reciprocal as the simple earth.

Knowing what you are doing.

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The garden and its colours and forms, the smell of flowering plants calling through the air, feel the elements of heat, cool and wind. And when that’s not nearby focusing on the simple sensation inside will make it easier to do the next time.

A reminder in a world of distraction, if you need it – Meditate.

Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab, they do look better bigger – FireFox – for me

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Bee On My Finger

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When I get up, usually sometime in the morning, I have in mind to take a look around the garden. Not only because gardens require some tending, more that the sense of nature is soothing to the psyche and when put first, the sense, it has the effect of diminishing the mentality, the thinking and emotionality engendered by modern living.

It’s a good way to start the day. It helps resolve any lingering dream. And when I have been quiet enough for long enough I can come to things, inside, that nag at me to do something about it – whatever it is. It is tempting to gloss over what hasn’t been resolved, comfortable even, but that is not the way to peace of mind. It’s got to be about peace of mind first …

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On the way around I check the water buckets, where I let it sit to evaporate off the chlorine. I check for trapped or drowning creatures that don’t need to be so, and amongst the others there was a honey bee on its last legs. I lifted it out by putting my finger under it and raising it out of the water, as I do with them all, and I could see by some small movement it was still alive.

It had been raining for days, and cold, so I left it on my finger to warm up and dry out. It didn’t seem to be in any hurry so I got the camera and performed a few contortions to get a few shots. Eventually it woke enough and I put it down in a sheltered spot to gather its strength, fed it a little sugar water and next morning it was gone – back home or back to the hive, who knows. But not yet time to die.

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Did it succumb overnight to a creeping cold malaise or return to its vital instinctive self, given enough life left in it to do so. You just never know, and that state of not knowing is one of the beauties of truth. Because truth, or love – that beautiful state of bee-ing, is beyond the knowing mind.

Nature can be reflective … of the low and the high.

Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab, they do look better bigger – FireFox – for me

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