Nature's Place


I was delighted to see two swallows building a nest in the garage the other morning. They were startled as I went in to start the car and immediately took flight.

Around the garage they went first, just one circuit, then out the door two feet above my head making small soft whistles as they went. Talking to each other.

Then they sat on the power line outside and watched. I am careful not to do anything that may be threatening to them, or the nest. They are a sweetness in the place, in me, and I am pleased they came.
The weather is warming to Aussie spring and the insects are coming out too. Walking down the track to Billinudgel NR I noticed movement, just a flicker of shadow on the light sandy ground. And it stopped, then started, then stopped again on the ground to the side of the trail.

I stood still, waiting to see what it was. It was bigger than a bee and smaller than a dragonfly but until I got close I couldn’t know. When it stopped I had to keep my eye on the spot so as not to lose it in the debris of the forest floor, such is its camouflage.

I approached the spot slowly and fluidly, no sharp movement. As I got to it I could see it was a Damselfly, probably so named because they are pretty creatures in their colour and form, who knows. But they are pretty creatures.

Three different spots, it was not easily spooked.
There are many buds on the passion fruit plant at the back of the house and if I am lucky there will be many flowers too, soon enough. When I was looking I saw the neon flies are coming back too, what a work they are to capture.

I didn’t have the time to chase one of them around for a picture but one fiery eyed tiger fly stood still long enough for me to capture his image.

An interesting creature with a face in his face, as it were. If you look close enough you might see your self.

‘Here’s lookin at you babe!’ ‘Old friend.’
Later in the afternoon I was out back of the house where there is a big bucket that catches rainwater from the roof. I noticed movement on the water and saw it was a honey bee when I got close enough. It was drowning.

Its movement was slight as if it was exhausted from its struggle so I put a large leaf under it and lifted it out. It didn’t have much energy left and it was wet and the night was coming with its cold. Cold to a bee that is used to spending the night tucked up with its mates in the warm hive.

So I did what I could for it. I put it on a piece of wood and covered it from the last light of the day and the coming night with some shells from the table. When I put a square of tissue in with it the bee climbed onto it and settled down.

It needed to dry off and the tissue would wick the water from its furry body, or else it would surely die that night.

It did, die. It makes non sense to be attached to anything, it dies.
Copyright Reserved / Mark Berkery

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