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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