Nature's Place

Livin Aint Easy!

So many songs about it, and it’s true. It aint! But it can be simple. When the complication of mind is left behind. Left behind as something taken too seriously.

That’s what this blog is all about. But it’s only a blog, remote, not personal enough to make any real difference to anyone but me. And not enough to me, in the end!

Not to diminish the value of it. It has and does serve me well, as an acknowledgment of the simple. Acknowledgment is what I give my time and energy to. Acknowledgment counts. But it has to be lived as well.
The pictures are all weeds from the garden. Weeds and the beautiful little creatures that love them. And one that loves the little creatures, enough to eat!

Apparently it is not popular to portray the beauty of weeds. Why? I suspect if weeds became known for their beauty we would have to change our ways and our perception and appreciation of much else besides.

But that’s another story. Or is it?
This one is as simple as you see. The colour, the sense, the wonder and awe at the magnificence of the creation in ‘all’ it’s beauty.

What does that say about the creator? A light? The light from which all light shines? Beauty? Doesn’t do it does it? Not without a knowledge of the reality behind.

The light behind. Beyond words to describe but not beyond seeing, knowing, being inside.

If you see or are touched by the beauty or wonder in anything you see or otherwise sense that’s it, or the beginning of it.

It, the magnificent, the unspeakable. I’ll have to stop there for now.
Copyright Reserved / Mark Berkery

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Intelligent Earth

The wind changed yesterday. Instead of a cold southerly the wind now comes from the north and it is warm again, being in the southern hemisphere. It was so sudden and dramatic the condensation is still dripping off the cold metal water tanks a day later.

The frogs are pleased. Everywhere about the house there are frogs sitting, as frogs do. I have seen a dozen or so tonight and they are looking a bit thin, a bit bony, after the cold spell. I wonder if they eat mince meat?

They eat tuna, I’ve seen one climbing out of the cat’s bowl with a big grin on his face. Do frogs grin?
The occasional large moth has come fluttering about the light outside and it is nice to have a pic of one in the nearby tree, its natural habitat, lovely colour and form.

At first it tried to land on the bulb but found no foothold and fell, fell and fell again until it settled on the wooden beam just above. I got a few close ups of it stationary but they don’t match the couple I got of it scrambling up the tree branch. And then it disappeared into the night where I couldn’t follow.
I haven’t mown the grass for a while and it is getting long in places. Back of the house mostly for some reason, where there are most dandelions. It’s more sheltered there. These sunny yellow dandelions are the biggest attraction for the insects at the moment so I won’t be mowing the grass for a while yet.

There are pockets of dandelions and daisies about the garden where the bees and hoverfly’s feed. And other small flowering plants – weeds to some. And creatures such as tiny wasps and fly’s. It really is amazing what is seen through the macro and close up lens. Or just when I look – with my looking glasses on.
The bees are very fast feeding at the flower, in and out mostly. Sometimes they vigorously investigate the flower to be sure they have everything to be had at that time. Though they usually look as if they are in a hurry – to serve the hive I reckon.

It’s their instinct, programming, to get as much as possible as quickly as possible and get back home. Real busy worker bees.

The hoverfly’s are more sedate but fewer in number. It requires some persistence to get a good photo of either. And planning.

To plan I usually select a flower likely to attract a bee, let’s say, one just come to full bloom is best – freshest.

I position for the shot with consideration for the angle of shot and the direction of light/shadow and flight path – usually the same because the flower points to the sun so it is more visible to the bee from that direction.

I establish working distance for the magnification to be used and sometimes lock focus and perhaps exposure for the anticipated position and lighting of the subject. Working distance is the distance from the camera it is possible to get something in focus – fairly well defined with macro lenses.

If there are a lot of flowers it is difficult to plan – which flower to sit in wait at. It’s exhausting chasing bees around to get a photo – I tried, and mostly fruitless unless there are many bees. I have since found it best to be economical with exertions. But you can be sitting for a long time before a subject comes along and under the right conditions and position.

But it happens, the extraordinary image is captured, even if only by luck – and patience and a little know how. I have seen a picture of a dragonfly in flight across open water and they are ‘fast’.
The wasp’s are back as well. Thoroughly searching up and down the back of the house for anything to eat, and maybe a future nest site – who knows? There must be a nest nearby. They are discernibly cognizant of my presence but as long as no threat is offered they are passive, though still guarded.

Occasionally one lands on or near the Passionfruit plant leaves where I can get a good look at – her? Maybe, I suspect most of these wasps are female since my only real experience of them is of a very successful nest tended by many mothers – I presume.

The one pictured was climbing about the greenery inspecting this spot and that and finally settled in a sheltered spot under a leaf, facing out to the world. It looked to me to be waiting in ambush for any unwary creature to come along – since such creature’s needs are simple and predictable. Or was it just resting in the green shade?

It kept an eye on me as I approached and backed into its shelter to signal I was close enough. Any closer and she would have taken action, like hide or fly away – or attack.

Intelligent little creatures all.
Copyright Reserved / Mark Berkery

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Still Climbing

Yes but….what….’s that hanging on to his…. finger? Oh no, not another epic battle mum!

David And Goliath

The Frog And The Ant

A Green Tree Frog climbing a vertical post on his way to the light where there is an abundance of insects to eat. This shot was taken before the summer ended. The ant was probably too small for the frog to eat and the frog too big for the ant. I suspect they went their seperate ways soon after this shot was taken though those ants can be tenacious little fella’s without regard for the unsuitability of their prey.
Copyright Reserved / Mark Berkery

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Just Doing What They Do

A beautiful sunny day. Down by the river where ordinary people go. I met Margaret, a 75 year old lady who talked a lot. A chatterbox. I gave her some time.

As I turned away from her I saw out of the corner of my eye a Willy Wagtail take an insect in mid-flight. With a twist of the tail and a flick of the wing it was in position to pluck it from the air with ease. A slow flying beetle, probably never saw it coming.

I also saw a Pee Wee trip up in the twig and leaf litter below a bush. I had to laugh at that.

How could a natural creature actually trip up? But they do. And he caught himself and continued in his stride unbroken.

It was early morning and they were both out chasing insects, mostly along the ground.
The wagtail has a number of tactics to startle prey into moving so it can see them. If it doesn’t move there is no visual trigger to action, no contrast in the scene from one moment to the next.

Often it will fan its tail and wag it from side to side, hence the Wagtail, which may have the effect of disturbing some insects.

One of its tactics is to raise its wings rapidly above its head as it hops up in the air, perhaps to startle any resting prey into movement. And for a better view and to use its cloaking shadow to better see in the harsh Australian sunlight.

That would reduce the glare from the ground in front making it easier to see from the shade of its wings.

Then dash up on the fateful creature and gobble it whole.

A menacing prospect for any insect in view of it.
The Pee Wee is a prince who just struts about, confident from its higher vantage point. It is twice the height of the WW.

Perhaps overconfident on occasion. Could that be? Or just prone to the inevitable mistake like the rest of us.

And in this place, near the river, there was seemingly no end to the feast that I rarely saw.
Not far from the river.

I came across something interesting. A near desiccated green tree frog, undamaged as far as I can see. There is a pile of pine needles out back of the house and I looked down as I passed it and noticed this strange looking thing.

It was still drying out since there was fluid still exiting its body, life still exiting its body. Maybe it died of cold or hunger, or both. It has been cold lately and there is very little insect life to be seen around the place, food to a frog.

From its position and posture it would have simply stopped on the pile and not moved again.

Well, every body dies. It’s the way it is.

The picture says it all.
Copyright Reserved / Mark Berkery

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Little Beauty Being

It has been raining for a few days now. And c-c-cold in the morning. Today it was just drizzling. Enough to get wet on a long walk home.
One good thing about living in the country is you get to walk or hitch home when you leave the car at the mechanic’s.
It really slows one down, inside. No kidding!
He, the mechanic, offered me a lift home, gratis, but I declined. They give enough as it is, fitting me in on short notice.
On the way back I got two lifts part way. One from a local fellow driving an almost worn out 4WD who has worked for the council for thirty years and now looks after his sick wife.
A pleasantly simple man.
The other from a Muso with a hat. He was a stylish fellow with a clear eye. I have worked carrying musicians around Ireland and England and I just knew he was a muso when I got in the car.
They have an air about them. Or a look.
On the road home I saw a dead black snake. I haven’t seen many snakes since I got to Wooyung and I love those creatures. It was only a baby.
It’s in the character of snake to be loved. Wouldn’t you agree? Magnificent creatures.
And later the occasional suspicious farmer, not knowing what to make of me taking photo’s on the road. But curious.
Along the side of the road I saw many flowers, some strange, some considered weeds. All beautiful. And one Hoverfly.
Beautiful beings indeed.
Being being a body, of fly or flower, you or me. The life that makes all one. Eliminating the conflict of being the many.
Acknowledge enough the being of beauty and it fills the mind. While the other drains away.
Copyright Reserved / Mark Berkery

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A Colourful Garden

Pot O GoldMaster FlySoft Dandy LionCloaked Lady MothAgainst The RulesWasp On MetropolisJinny JoeRed BeautySpiderG\'day Mate!No NameDandelion
The fields are misted over in the early morning as the sun comes up. Seen through the kitchen window.

It has been very cold at night in Wooyung but soon after sunrise, say a couple of hours, it is warm and sunny. Beautiful weather.

Early in the morning the pollen collectors and nectar eaters are in the garden checking out the flowers for something to take home. Or to take them to the next feeding place.

Bees, Birds, Hoverfly’s, Wasps, Flies, Butterfly’s. There is the appearance of inactivity in the cold of this winter but it is relative – in the mind.

Dandelion’s are most profuse at the moment, having been let grow for some time, beautiful yellow – leaf green yellow. And all the other flowers you see, I can’t remember names.

What can survive the cold of night does so well for the golden sunlight during the day and the ever present moisture from condensation – the nights gift to the day.

It is really quite deep, green, golden natureful. Red. Yellow. Beauty. Simple colour, texture, sound.
Sense. Beautiful sense.

It is a pleasure examining the nature for inclusion here. To acknowledge the beauty the sense of nature is – is to acknowledge the purity of the psyche that nature is inside.

Acknowledgement occurs inside. And the more I do it the less of the ‘other’ there is. Subject to testing, of course.

Want to know the sound of self dying? It is the same old stuff of unhappiness, in all the forms you know. Culminating in, ‘There’s something wrong here!’ No need to name it any more than that.

As long as I don’t grip it in belief I pass on through. Or it passes on through. Either way it dies.

In the end. Where endings happen.


Copyright Reserved / Mark Berkery


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