Nature's Place

Eye’s Up

Crowned Jumping SpiderWith a Leg MissingBush WallabyCurious BirdTriller? Keeping an Eye on Me

On a stem of grass the intrepid explorer climbed. Up, down and around he went, leaving no piece unchecked. With a grand view of the surrounding terrain. His only concern to be thorough.

And don’t get caught out in the open.

But a creature can’t live like that for long. One always must go out in the open, eventually. Though there are ways of doing it. Cautiously, of course. Dressed for the job.

I watched this little crowned jumping spider as it walked straight up a three foot stalk of grass, rapid style. It has eight legs so it can move fast.

It was a bit of a job following it for a picture. Up, down and around the stem. They don’t stand still for very long, just a couple of seconds at a time. Especially out on a limb as this one was.

Then it came around the edge into view and I was there. Gotcha! He looked for a moment and off he went again. I followed him up to the top where the ripened grain was. He covered every nook and cranny.

I got him again as he disappeared around the head of grain and see, he’s missing a leg. And no sign of a limp. No sign of loss. Just spider getting on with it. It’s only one of eight after all.

It’s the stump above the two long legs you can see. Then there’s a third leg behind that.


The mozzies have been keeping me out of the swamp and forest around here. There’s been a lot of rain for a long time and I can’t use the repellent any more, it makes me ill.

But the green of nature is cool clear water to my mind so every now and then I go into the woods, regardless. Almost. This time I got about fifty metres into the reserve before the mozzies became intolerable and I had to leave.

Not before I saw the brown Bush Wallaby grazing on the overgrown trail. She didn’t notice me for a long while. Probably because they are short sighted and she was over fifty metres away.

When she stood up I was ready for her. Usually they run as soon as they see people but not this time. She just stood there, looking at me. Then I had to leave.


There is one place where I am sure to see some birds without too many mozzies preying on me. It’s at the beginning of a track just off the road along the coast north of Wooyung.

It’s where the rain puddles last longest and the birds like to bathe at the end of the day. Very sensible behaviour. I have seen quite a few different kinds of birds here and I believe they may be getting to know me.

At first they would all disappear into the bush as soon as I showed up. Then after a while a few would hang around in the bushes, just out of reach, checking me out as I stood there talking to them. Just words of greeting.

The birds, I am not indifferent to them and there is no hostility. The natural creatures can tell. Maybe this is why they display some curiosity at times, as if peeping at me from behind their safe distance.

Now they bathe as freely as I believe they do at all times, wary of being caught out by such creatures as Goanna or Eagle, or Snake. As long as I don’t try to get too close for their comfort. They are wild creatures after all.

They don’t need anything from me. Instinct is a powerful force, almost undeniable. Except by a greater instinct, or a more real power beyond any force. Perhaps.

The track is bounded by small trees and tall bushes, the undergrowth is thick. They have their favourite branches from which to swoop down to the water and perch on to preen themselves.

It is lovely to watch them, each with their own particular behavioral quirks. Occasionally one doesn’t seem to mind me at all. But most of the time it is some variation on caution, keeping their eyes on me.

One will keep an eye on me from a branch as I walk past. Another will bathe facing me, looking me straight in the eye. Some will dip into the water as fast as lightning, and they are gone again.

Still others, extraordinarily, will bathe with their back to me. Apparently taking no notice of me at all, I wonder? Birds play.


In a hostile world eyes are tools of instinct, devised for survival. But it’s more than that now. Eyes are also the window to the presentation of beauty in form. Through which the beauty of our true nature can be seen and cognized, acknowledged.

Is it possible in the birds play there is the potential for the realization of Avian God?

What wonderful magic that conjures in me. Of untold tales of magnificent creatures in a world within.


All copyright reserved / Mark Berkery


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