Nature's Place

Bug’s (‘n’ things) From the Garden

Green Tree FrogAssassin BugWild BeautyAnt WellButterflyOrb Spider
Bugs! Bugs?

All God’s children, no less than you or I. Some of them lend themselves to discrimination, like the wasp or cockroach, but that doesn’t mean they are any less created. And what is created is surely for the greater good.

Storm, quake, drought, car, skyscraper, strip mine.

That’s the ‘outer’ world of Nature and Man, whether I like it or not. So, being here, I might as well accept it all.

The other world, the world inside, is no different. The sun shines, the space is clear or crowded, and dark clouds form on the horizon.

Tracks of creeping thought mark the surface of mind, handholds to judgement. Another kind of death.

No matter how dark it gets it’s for the greater good. It’s only there to point the way to the light.

How long is a storm? As long as the Will of it.
Copyright Reserved / Mark Berkery

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Black Wasp

Edited 13/12/16 – for clarity only. Text and pictures – from when I started macro – remain as then, 14/4/08.

Black Wasp, ant on wing

Ant On Foot

Black Wasp, in trouble

Showing A Leg

Black Wasp Beauty

Ant In Trouble

Ant Eaten

Take That

Nice And Light Again

That\'s Better

I noticed a jet black insect with two bright yellow antennae crawling through the grass in a hurry at dusk yesterday. A wasp, looked like. About three centimetres long. I bent to have a look and arrived at ground level just as the creature started to make its way up a blade of grass.

The grass was only six inches long but it was off the ground and relatively safe. The wasp seemed agitated and I thought it was out of place for it to be in the open as the sun was going down. So I went to get the camera for a better look.

On close inspection it was obvious what was the matter. An ant had a grip of the side of one wing. Chances were it couldn’t fly with the ant’s weight throwing it off balance and ruining its aerodynamics. And it was getting dark.

The ant had only one thing in mind. I have left bits of fruit out for these ants, to get a closer look. But they are not interested. They prefer meat.

*A word about these ants. They are only tiny, maybe three or four millimetres long, but they have Herculean strength. I have seen just a few of them pulling the body of a big fly a hundred times their own weight along the ground, relentlessly. They are everywhere around the house and I have come to respect them as the cleaners. They tidy up everything they can use, anything dead – or alive, moths wings left over from the frogs dinner, anything. I have even seen one take on a jumping spider – and lose. But they are numerous, untiring and capable of phenomenal effort.

As I started snapping I noticed the ant on the wing wasn’t the only problem. There was another one attached to one of the black wasp’s feet. The wasp was swinging and shaking its leg while keeping it at a distance from its body.

If a second ant were to get on its other wing it would be a goner for sure. How did the ants get on it in the first place? The wasp must have stumbled into a stream or swarm of ants for two to get such a hold of it. It did well to get away with only the two hangers on.

At the top of this blade of grass, for the next few hours, I witnessed a mighty struggle indeed. A life and death struggle. The wasp couldn’t turn its head enough to get at the ant on its wing but this was the greatest threat so it focussed its attention here while keeping the other at a distance.

Without flight the wasp was surely dead. I watched it perform all sorts of manoeuvres to try to dislodge the ant but for a long time nothing worked. It turned every way around the blade of grass and, eventually, by design or fortune, the ant was dislodged. I didn’t see it go.

But I did see it being eaten, in pix six, seven and eight. Where the wasp is standing up on the tip of the grass, an almost triumphant stance. But the fight wasn’t over, in fact it raged on for ages. There was still the one on the leg which couldn’t be ignored.

He wasn’t going away just because he was on his own. I shot it all from every angle trying to keep it all in focus, in the dark, by the light of a dying torch. I tried different things to highlight the action but the fact is I couldn’t see what I was getting until later.

Out of a couple hundred shots I got a few reasonably good ones to illustrate the event. I think so. In pix nine and ten it is obvious the wasp won out and in the morning there was no sign of it. I assume it flew away on its own business.

In the end the ants had taken on more than they could handle. At least one of them paid with his life. The one on the wing. I suspect the other went the same way.

The little ants don’t give up and run away. The wasp was persistent, and stronger in the end.

Copyright – Mark Berkery

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In The Drink

Magnificent Neon FlyEatingCleaningIn The DrinkReclaimed
Some people say if you can’t see it with the naked eye you shouldn’t be looking. It’s a form of discipline, like not walking on the cracks in the pavement.

Taken to the extreme you would never look inside, because inside can’t be seen with the naked eye.

We have the tools and tools are for using. The tools were conceived inside and made out here.

We can now go where no man has gone before. Into the wild blue yonder, or yinder.

The trick, or discipline, is not to get lost in what is seen. Outside or inside.

What we see out here is inside.

Where inside? Where I see inside.
Look at these magnificent creatures. You’d never see them with the naked eye. Neon fly I call it.

Twirling and dancing on the leaves about the garden they are as elusive to capture as the magical Faerie Queene.

Life, proud, contained, in a beautiful little body coloured and shaped as no man can make.

Standing alone in the vastness of my world, exposed to what may come.

Eating, another fly that also stood proud, contained. Could just as easily happen to him, my little neon fly.

Cleaning his wings after hectic flight, the way all creatures do. He eventually ends up in the drink. In the fish tank.

Reclaimed by strands of green algae, the colour and form reduced to whence it came.

Life returns home.
Copyright Reserved / Mark Berkery

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Red Crowned Angel

Little Jumping Spider


Prowling around the house, seeking out the hunting places of frogs and things, I came upon one more creature of wonder.

Out of the dark of the night she came. To rest on the wall of my house. And grace the place with a certain light.

Not a light of the day or man. A light of the night.

Red capped wonder, dark ringed danger, gold frilled. Pearled – silver mantle. Tuft of silver nose between new moon eyes.

What a beauty. Resting on the brick wall. The wind blowing the longer gold hairs one way across the ladies red cap.

Her cloak wings tiled with scales of silver pearl, shielded from damage by soft white hair.

Antennae swept back along the line of angel’s wing.

Tufted legs spread flat, gripping with invisible fingers.

Powered by the invisible darkness.


Oh! And don’t forget the spider. Little jumping spider’s got eyes on you.

Jumping! Jumping! Jumping! In the minds of men.

Tick, tick, tick. Tack, tack, tack. Little fingers moving.

Better watch out or he’ll get you!

This way and that. Tick tack.


Copyright reserved / Mark Berkery


Another World?


Wandering through unknown space the other day on my way to the bog I came upon these artefacts of a hand other than Man’s.

Shaped by an unknown intelligence it is clear evidence of ITI, Intra Terrestrial Intelligence. So there! Case closed!

Since I was just passing through at the speed of sense using primitive technology, a human body, I only got a few blurry images.

I picked up some bad fuel too, a long time ago, which sometimes gets into the vehicle’s optical system. So it’s not always easy to see clearly.

But after bumbling my way through the innerverse for a while I eventually made it to the bog.

Copyright Reserved / Mark Berkery


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New Place

Blue Crab HerdA Crowd Of CrabsBeautiful BlueGrey HeronDiving TernLoch Nessy?


I discovered another place today, filled with the creatures of this bountiful Earth. It’s by the Brunswick River and it is called Brunswick River NR, naturally. It’s surrounded by water on three sides, the ocean on one and the river on two.

I only got to see one side properly, the one nearest the car park on the northern arm of the river. I went along an old track through some trees and bushes and as soon as I got to the sand flats, it was low tide, I noticed mass movement in light blue all along the ground from my feet out to the water thirty metres away.

There were hundreds of blue crabs and as soon as they saw me they were off. Away from me in all directions, mostly towards the water.

Beautiful little things. You have to wonder at the intelligent creativity of the Earth. Certainly no accidental or incidental evolution, they are mystery manifest. As fitting of a place in the whole as you or I.

When they got to the water they didn’t want to go in. Possibly too visible to the many fish that also live in these waters. Including Dolphin.

I played with them for a while, herding them this way and that to see what they would do and to get a better look at them, nothing exhausting.

One small group split from the herd and went out on a small sand bank and got caught at the waters edge. They turned their backs to the river and tip toed this way and that and finally, with a little help, made their way, huddled together, back to the mass.

It was an unusual sight, another of the little secrets of this naturefull place where I live. There were a couple of crows in the distance seemed to be eating their fill, as crows do, being the opportunists crows are.

But no mass feeding by the many other birds that also live hereabouts. The Heron and Cormorant, Tern and Gull. That was unusual too.


The Dolphin is a very hard creature to photograph but I got one, sort of, from a long way off.

The picture is really not good but illustrates the fact. I only got it by guessing where it would surface next.

And all of the time I was wrong, so I had to fix focus and shift fast. This one looks a bit like the Loch Ness monster; nobody ever got a picture of it either.

You can’t have everything.


There were a few more creatures here today and they were at relative ease with me there, though still wild.

The fact people go there frequently has something to do with that. I’ll come back to this place.

A peaceful place.


All Copyright Reserved / Mark Berkery


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