Nature's Place


No, just do and die – that may not be without difficulty.
At Brunswick Heads today I was watching some birds in the trees. One had a large something in its mouth and two others were trying to get a bit of it. They didn’t have any luck; the first one flew away to a nearby tree and bashed whatever it had in its mouth off a branch a few times. To soften it up or kill it, no doubt.

The bird ate alone. As I was watching I saw something drop from the bird to the ground and kept focus on the spot in order to see what it was. I got to the spot and for ages couldn’t see anything but dry leaves, twigs and the usual plants.

I knew something big had fallen so I went on looking. Then something moved and I saw it. It was the same colour as the dried leaves which explains why I couldn’t see it before. I could see it was a moth and it had a wingspan of about five inches. It was big.

The amazing thing was it had no body. Its body had been eaten by the bird and the rest of it discarded, I presume. But it was still very much alive and doing its best to stay that way, crawling along the ground and scrambling up any tufts of grass it came to.
Nothing alive wants to stay on the ground for long in Australia, it’s the ants – the ubiquitous ant. Though I did come across a noisy miner sand bathing, or was it ant bathing? So it would be more right to say nothing that can be hindered in its normal functioning by one would want an ant on it. The Black Wasp for instance.

The ants were out. They must have sensed potential food and they weren’t wrong. But, search as they did, they didn’t quite hit the spot while I was there. The moth still had its legs and head and its wings were dragging out and behind it. No ant on it.
It didn’t have long to live but it didn’t give up either, no despair at its plight in it, just the undeniable will to live.
Copyright Reserved / Mark Berkery

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Death and Life

I am told by locals the recent cold spell is almost unprecedented for the area and it is telling on the frog and toad population. Everywhere I look I find dried out frogs and toads and not just around the house. In the rainforest I found a giant toad on the track that hadn’t been touched except by death.

As in a recent post in July, Just Doing What They Do, they are just stopping in their tracks and dying, in the grass on their way somewhere, under a water plant by the tanks, one died absorbing water through the skin of the belly, another climbing a stone, sheltering under some leaves. Everywhere.

Cold and hunger, the almost complete absence of insects as food, is killing them off at decimation rate.

Clearly, life, that which animates the structure, leaves the body.

And the bush flowers are blooming.

Walking in the nearby swamp yesterday I was observing the life forms at a few muddy pools of water in the ruts where 4WD’s had passed across the sodden earth. I only saw them when they were disturbed by my passing close by. Bees. They were taking water and nutrients from the wet earth.

If it was only water they were after they could have taken it direct from the pond, as some did. Bees get thirsty and need their vitamins, just like you and me. They were the same kind that stung me, last week?

They are not unlike me and you in their simple needs, just different. Creatures of sense, instinctive intelligence, in form.

The big difference is thought and emotion, they aren’t burdened with it.
Copyright Reserved / Mark Berkery

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Flower Power

A World of Beauty

A World of Beauty

Back in the sixties when flower power was at its height I wondered what it actually meant besides being just a signature slogan of a subculture.

Now I know. The power of a flower is to reflect to me the world from whence it comes. A world of light and beauty behind this one where nothing dies. It reminds me from whence I come.

But only if I can truly listen. And I can only do that when the noise of mind is absent.


Drugs gave us an apparently miraculous shortcut to heaven but, as anyone who has taken them and is reading this knows, there was and is a terrible price to be paid in arrears. Just look at the aftermath.
Copyright Reserved / Mark Berkery

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Billinudgel NR is almost open to walk in again, just two tracks still under water. For now. And no mozzies to bother me, significant that.

The NR runs right down to the beach at Wooyung which is where I went in from today. It’s a lovely meandering walk twisting this way and that so I can’t really see what’s coming up round the bend till I get to it. I enjoy that, the unfoldment of the trail, one bend at a time.

Expectation, knowing, takes the mystery out of it. And the trail without mystery is mere mechanics.

There are a number of pools on the track as wide as it in places and ruts, sand and mud. It is lined with all sorts of plants and flowers, wild ones. And really rough in places, pleasing to me. Natureful.

A ways in on the right is the old sand mine which is now a big hole in the ground filled with water and alive with plants and animals, lizards, birds, snakes and things. Though it is still too cold for much activity the birds are ever visible in their search for food. Tis a delight to watch the little ones when they get close enough to discern the action, seeking out the tiny creatures they often survive on.

Further on I turned right into a field of reeds, a boggy area with wallaby tracks criss-crossing it. I had to step carefully in places not to sink in the sodden soil, mud and peat. An open expanse of reeds and grass tufts bordered by trees of all kinds, the Aussie kind.

This is where I found the Violet, if that’s the right name. So far I have only found it in the one place, shaded and off the beaten track. You have to really look to find some of the flowers pictured here. They are often so small and quiet – is the word – and hidden, they are easy to overlook.
In another place I came across a bee reveling in a big yellow flower. I have never seen a bee spend so much time in one place. It went busily round and round the cluster of stamen and seemed to be just tucking in with wild abandon, oblivious to the observer. Scrambling, bumbling. Feasting in the afternoon sun.

Pollen, or honey heaven to a bee.

Another bee came along and tried to push his way into the flower but the first wasn’t having it. There was an exchange of loud buzzing and a bit of pushing until the newcomer buzzed off to another flower. It must have been a good one, flower that is.

It was delightful to see the vigorous engagement of the bee with the flower. Almost making love, you might say. Bees love flowers, especially fresh ones.

Later, as the sun was going down, I was returning home along the same trail and noticed a few small flowers I haven’t seen before. With a few tiny visitors, invisible to the unaided eye – mine anyway. The light was low enough to need the flash to capture the image.

All things have their place, an integrity that serves in the particular which serves the whole. Sometimes a little science enables a clearer, sharper reflection.

And balance is preserved no matter what.
Copyright Reserved / Mark Berkery

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Forest Dwellers

It has been dry for a while and the track into the forest was dusty. A very fine sandy coloured dust that rose in a cloud in the wake of the car.

I haven’t been to Mooball NP for a while and it was pleasant to be there. Sun streaming through tall gum trees, broad leaves of fern and palm and others fluttering in the mountain breeze, birds calling in the dark of the woods.

Not many insects, it has been cold for a while. But some plants are putting out flowers anyway. Nature knows best.

It was nice walking along the trails. Just me, the forest and its inhabitants. Not another person in sight or earshot. Quiet of mind. Silence? Sense.

Some things had changed, there were rocks on the track as if they had been falling from the steep hillsides and the slasher had been through recently clearing the firebreak trails.

There was some sign of the dry cold in the desiccated toad I found but the forest is well, you can see it. A clarity in the psyche.

I took it easy going up the steep trails. Taking time to look at the growth alongside. It takes time for the particular in nature to properly register so it’s important to be at ease and not in a hurry, giving attention. It is good to be at ease.

Some of the flowers are so small and blend with their background, or so it seems. Their gift is only for the relaxed of eye, the quiet of mind. Too quick and you miss them for they are not many or loud.
Copyright Reserved / Mark Berkery

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It is a pleasure for me to observe the forms of nature, the bugs and flowers, and everything else. In the particular and the sense of the whole. What happens in that world, my world – for it is my nature as it is anyone’s who acknowledges it, is often a reflection of my own self.

Often I will see in nature the wisdom I already know but unclouded by any mind, just a clear reflection that is all too easy to overlook.
The way it works is simple. All existence is a reflection of my own inner life. All existence is what I can sense now, anything else is in the mind.

The light of intelligence I am behind shines out through the purer impersonal psyche where nature’s reality is and on the way picks up the one sense of it for projection through the body, the senses, as the Earth. Nature takes form.

On the way, closer to existence, it (or I, the light I am) also passes through the personal psyche, with its varying degrees of emotional conditioning and factual experience, and picks up the sense of it for projection into existence as the world on the Earth and my circumstances or situation in it. Mind takes form too.

Whether or what I see in the sense of it all depends very much on how still I can be inside, still of mind. For it is only the movement of mind that clouds the reflection.

A clear reflection depends on a still mind.

When the mind of emotion and thinking is still it is possible to see nature as it is, the fact of it. Or the world for that matter.

When I can see the fact of it without the distortion of mind there is a possibility of seeing the reality behind. Emotion gives rise to distortion. Fact gives way to reality.

When I have practiced seeing the fact of nature enough I see through the fact to the reality of the beauty of it. Nature is beauty.

When I reflect on the beauty of nature enough I begin to resonate inside at the frequency of the beauty the intelligence of nature is and I am that. I return to my true nature. Or truer, more real nature.
What I acknowledge this way returns as my existence. Troublesome mind and world or beautiful nature and world in its place.

Acknowledgment is not thinking about it, not getting emotional about it. It is being reflecting on the sense of it. Whatever it is.

It all depends on what I acknowledge. I do it. I make my life what it is. Or I don’t do it and I still make my life what it is. So might as well do it?
Acknowledgment of the simple sense of good nature is doesn’t just happen. It is done. Then you’ll see what happens.
Copyright Reserved / Mark Berkery

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Once More


Bee Formation

Bee Formation

Don’t get too close to an active bee hive.

I went there again today to see if I could get a better shot of them coming in to land. I tried different settings on the camera and got a few reasonably good ones.

But. I was close to the ground and out of the flight path but one bee took exception to my presence. Maybe it was the flash that disturbed or attracted it but it came at me with a will. A will to see me off. Which it did.

I waved it away with my hand and then my hat and thought it had given up when I was ten metres away from the hive but it came at me again, and again. The third time it landed on my arm and tried to sting me.

It did but I got to the stinger in time to pull it out before too much toxin was injected. I remember seeing somewhere the stinger continues to pump toxin after it has been ripped from the bee and my body’s reaction was instant.

Piggy Back Bees

Piggy Back Bees

A little information from a long time ago helped a lot when it was needed, amazing body – brain. Survival instinct utilising information from ages ago in an instant to mitigate a dangerous situation. Wasn’t I lucky, and quick.

Lucky it was only the one bee. And the natural intelligence of the body – brain was the quick, sense – ibly so.
Copyright Reserved / Mark Berkery

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Wandering in the Wonder

I can walk again in the nearby Billinudgel NR. It’s a swamp really that has been impassable in many places for a long time now with all the rain, but the cold has killed off most of the mozzies. And those there are don’t seem to have the strength for biting too much.

I discovered a bee hive today and thought ‘what an opportunity’ until one blundered into the back of my neck. I swished it away and ran for cover just in case he was focused on me. He wasn’t and a few seconds later I went back but stayed out of the flight path this time, close to the ground and to the side, live and learn – once more.

It was getting late, the sun was high and the entrance to the hive was on the shaded side of a dead tree trunk so the camera wasn’t able to get the action very well. I took many pix but only one was any good. I might go there early some morning to catch them coming out.

Most of my photographic subjects are from the plot of land where I live in Wooyung. And though the flowers are of what is generally considered a weed and often very small, they are beautiful.
Beauty, the re – cognizance of a place inside, in the psyche, manifests as the nature all around me. I only have to look and taking photo’s is one way of doing it, a good way to acknowledge that which is without the considerations of mind – the so called worldly stuff.

The effect of this over time is the worldly stuff fades to its proper perspective. As something to be attended to as a matter of fact, as needs be. While the nature, the beauty of it, fills the space left by the diminishing stuff of mind.

It has to be done to be appreciated. Done to be realised. The flip side is what stuff of mind that lingers has to be let go and often it doesn’t want to go since it is in, or is, the habit of repeating itself. So perseverance is required. And right action.
Not unlike the way a seed perseveres on its journey to the light. It first needs to sense the potential of life as water or it won’t even begin. Then it has to break out of its usually hard shell and spread its first leaves to the light to get the energy to grow roots to take sustenance from the earth to support its growing body. One thing at a time.

It’s a balancing act, one action sustaining the other. Too much reaching for the light and it lacks the strength of stem and root to reach on with any reliability. Too much root will die back for lack of light coming through the leaves. Each unbalancing causing its own particular problems.

Thankfully nature usually takes care of the balancing act. The only place it can really be disturbed is in man as he is now, often focused in the emotional and mental, where energy can be unnecessarily lost to the condition of mind. Energy that is needed for the balancing.

Only man is unbalanced because we have largely left nature out of our lives as a conscious acknowledgment – not knowing what we are doing.

The beauty of it is no matter how unbalanced we get it is possible to return to equilibrium – knowing what we are doing.

There is no perfection here, only the best I can do. Which, by doing it, can get better.
Copyright Reserved / Mark Berkery

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