Nature's Place

Travelling Ant

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Out on my wandering in the local byways I often come across something unique, that I only ever see once.

As I was crossing this fallen – with a little help – fence I noticed there was an occupant of unusual character.

The ant, a kind I haven’t seen before, was using the fence line as a highway across the otherwise difficult terrain and appeared in no hurry.

It had been dry for a few days so I wet the line where the ant would pass and when they met it stopped to take a sip. Free moisture can be a rarity in the wild.

An ant might travel the equivalent of many miles for a drink, but not today. Manna from the sky, and it clearly enjoyed it, stopping to sip a while before resuming its journey.

I could wonder where that ant was going but I know already. It’s going home, if it’s not already there.

Small, instinctive, non self reflective mind.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click on those pictures for a closer look
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All Sorts …

… from the garden and beyond. Some creatures are only ever seen once, or stop only long enough for one shot. These are a few of those.

If you’re into macro it pays to let the garden manage itself as much as possible. It may take time but it takes time for life cycles to establish and creatures to emerge, whatever the season.

Plant them, feed them, prune them, move them but otherwise let things be as much as possible – whatever you do don’t poison them, if you can help it. Works for me.

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Creature of the darkness … Longhorn beetle, favoured the dried out stems for a few nights.

*Click the pictures for a bigger version – the better to see them.

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Ant takes time out of its solitary patrol to preen. A few seconds and it was on its way again.

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Assassin Bug nymph, shelters under the red flower during the day and hunts at night – lately.

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Plant Hopper, looks all bent but it may be moulting – a long time at it.

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Click Beetle up on a leaf in the dead of night, shows up once in a blue moon.

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Male Lynx spider, caught a fruit-fly meal on a decaying lemon staked in the garden.

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Teddy Bear Weevil? Soft and gentle looking. On a post in the car park of the local rainforest remnant.

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Bluebottle in the garden,  they don’t stop long at all for a shot.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click on those pictures for a closer look
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Life On A Lemon

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Him – with the longest front legs, on a lemon.

*Click the pictures for a bigger version.

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Her, on an orange.

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It on my finger. Every time I tried from the side it turned away.

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She is actually laying beneath the skin here. He appears to be guarding, attending her.

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It got crowded on the lemon after a while.

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Alone at last.

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Oh, oh … here comes trouble.

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Two males fighting over a female, antennae and legs flailing. Not the best but the only shot.

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For a change, she appears to seek him out.

These little things, about a centimetre long, are living out their lives on an ageing lemon in the garden, on a bamboo stake. They are attracted to something about the decaying fruit, mold, fungus or/and other qualities not discernible to me.

They live on similarly decaying oranges, and the occasional banana – I have a veritable orchard staked in the garden, all good fun – just to attract the faeries from the bottom of the garden.

Did you know the faeries are insects? Yes, that’s the form they take. And some take no sensible form, preferring the fleetness and relative safety of the insubstantial. Each has its advantages.

The point is though, these creatures of story are in your garden too, if only you look to see, and not to judge. No need for any psychic nonsense either, they are detectable by the senses.

And the wonder of it is sense makes more sense, no nonsense.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click on those pictures for a closer look
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Crucified …

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A kind of Beetle only found on the pink Crucifix Orchid, so far. Surveying her domain.

*Click the pictures to see bigger version.

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She loves a good feed of the freshest buds, both with a colourful heart.

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Aware too of the photographer, just doesn’t know me by name.

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Disappearing for days at a time she comes and goes by her own nature’s design.

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Looking good in her yellow jacket, a warning to some perhaps. Pretty on pink …

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Always climbing back up towards the light, where the freshest buds are found.

The rain came followed by a cold snap, here in a sub tropical Brisbane winter, and must have driven all the small creatures into the depths for survival. Those it didn’t kill.

Such is nature, everything in constant flux, no rest in any condition for too long. And of course the weather can be reflective of what’s inside, if you can see it.

Rain to wash away the dust of seasons past, cold to wake you up or knock you down. Nature doesn’t care one way or another, or cares for all the same.

So, Beetle or man, you shake it off or take it on, rise up and start another day.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click on those pictures for a closer look
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The Last Bee

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Before : resting undisturbed.

Click on the pix …

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Bigger than she looks.

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Not a comfortable mouthful for a night-time predator.

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And after : back to sleep.

Definitely the last Blue Banded Bee for this year. I have been trying to provide enough for her to survive but I think the cold may get her in the end. I even have a white bowl out with a blue sponge in the middle of it soaked in sugar solution, like a giant flower, so she doesn’t have to fly far first thing on a cold morning to fuel up – haven’t seen her take it yet.

The shots were taken in the dead of a cold night with a reflector under her, so there was less shadow below. It was just a piece of paper attached to the lens by elastic, a bit clumsy really but it worked to a point. I bumped her with it and she protested by spreading her legs that way, as if to say ‘I’m a bigger mouthful than I first looked, and you could choke on my sharp pointy bits’.

They do that when disturbed at night, if it’s cold enough that they don’t fly off to the light, make themselves look bigger. Many creatures do it, cause themselves to appear bigger than they are, or an uncomfortable mouthful, until the threat is gone.

It’s a working strategy people also employ when feeling threatened. Nature … it’s our nature after all.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click on those pictures for a closer look
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Straggler …

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Click the pix, they open in a new tab and are meant to be seen a little bigger.

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… in a cold landscape. Too active until recently, too warm, too fast. They depend on temperature for their activity.

This one surrendered to the inevitable, or didn’t even notice as it wandered about the leaf litter one day.

Once on the twig it was only a matter of time before it stopped where I could get the angle.

Background is important too but you take what’s going and move on without stress.

Relaxed is important too …

© Mark Berkery ……. Click on those pictures for a closer look

 

Time Flies

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Click pictures for a bigger version, a better view.

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Just the two left now, out of 20 or so. The cold and scarcity of food has killed off most of the tribe of Blue Banded Bees.

Such is living in a seasonal world, and they have prepared for it by laying the seed of next years marvellous little creatures.

There is intelligence behind such design and planning, it’s not just a cascade of effects of effects of effects.

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Work your way back to now, through the sensation, and before any effect is space.

That’s gotta be significant … a sense of space.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click on those pictures for a closer look

 

Banana Drama …

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Aggression as communication. Occasionally the giant beetle glanced in the ants direction. Well aware of each other.

*Click the pictures …

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Aware but not intimidated, armoured as she is. The ants were focussed on the beetle as she continued eating regardless.

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The ants settled down and now and then one would come to inspect the giant, perhaps to bathe in its quiet presence.

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At some point it all got disturbed and the beetle came to life, other than eating, and I got a few shots for the record.

The Chafer Beetles have had their fill, only one to the fermenting banana this week, and only for a day or so.

The little black ants are also retreating from the cold, plus it has been overcast for a couple days, so colder too.

Had a look just after sundown and there was a Gecko lapping up the banana juice, may account for the missing beetles.

Quite an active little world, the railing on the veranda.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click on those pictures for a closer look
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Treasure …

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In one end, out the other. So hungry they dug in and ignored the ants who made the most of the fresh opening.

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Rare enough, to catch one with its face out of the banana. These 1st 3 pictures were taken with a zoom + achromat.

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The banana dried tough in dry winter sun so the ants had to go where the beetles made a fresh break in the ‘skin’.

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These 2 taken with a broken macro lens. Double image, an aperture blade in the lens tore and jammed the action.

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Still got some of the better pictures with it, though just curiosities now. Lens has gone for repair – we’ll see …

The cold has come to Brisbane and the garden is bereft of its aerial inhabitants, not much to be seen at all.

So I put a piece of over-ripe banana out to see what happens, and they came from all corners for the feast.

A hidden tribe of flower beetles descended upon the banana in the sun, dug in and haven’t let go yet.

That was Monday, this is Thursday and there’s still three or four of what was ten or more at one point.

A welcome entertainment as the winter garden closes down in preparation for maintenance, naturally.

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Clearly they use sense to detect the presence of food. I’m sure it wasn’t broadcast any other way, it just makes sense.

Does the making of sense encourage the sensing of things that are now, as distinct from thinking about …

© Mark Berkery ……. *Click on those pictures for a closer look

 

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