Nature's Place

Passion – Fruit

The passion fruit plant is coming into flower. This is only its second year and it has taken over the fifteen foot long trellis out back and climbed the shade cloth to the roof. There are many buds already and it promises a forest of flowers and all the creatures that visit, then maybe some fruit, we’ll see.

The ants are busy patrolling the passion fruit plant and they are not interested in honey. I tried a bit to see if one would stand still long enough to get a shot with the strongest lens – shortest depth of field/focus. Not interested.

A greying mantis was out exploring, yes greying – he looked aged to me, making his way slowly through the forest of greenery that is the passion plant.

The neon fly is back in numbers, a beautifully coloured creature that flits around the greenery with its mates. Impossible to shoot on the wing but it often stops still for a while, especially in the shade.

The sun has the effect of enlivening the little forms of life, no surprise there – the sun is the symbol of the source of life, inner and outer. It’s the same with the dragonflies and the damselflies, the ants, the mantis and the snakes.

And people, more noticeably in the colder northern hemisphere.


I suspect the name passion fruit comes from the abundance of growth and the delicious sweetness of the fruit. But mostly from the exotic looking flower that is testament to the magnificent beauty that is its nature, its instinctive nature. And the spiritual impulse behind that makes it manifest.

I see it inside as a soft singing, a multi-coloured note in the song of life, a passionate one. Not at all insignificant.


Saw a snake today, slowly and silently making its graceful way across the trail. A brown snake, about three foot long. It’s the first I’ve seen in the Billinudgel NR in over a year walking there. There is nothing like the appearance of a venomous snake to instantly raise the body’s intelligence to high alert, telling in a quickening of the eye to focus and a heightened awareness of the surrounds. Though in this case there was no cause to action. Hello snake, goodbye.

As I walk the trail I am aware of any sudden movement to either side, good peripheral vision. Noticeable movement usually means something for me to investigate. I take note of where the movement starts and stops and after a few moments of looking I approach carefully, slowly.

Sometimes it doesn’t stop but eventually returns to where it moved from. This is a habit of dragonflies. They have particular places where they often sit and watch from.


Standing there on the trail, one I haven’t been on for a while because of all the rain, waiting for the dragonfly to return to her perch, I was delighted when she landed on my walking stick instead.

She didn’t stay long. I turned the stick slowly so the dragonfly was visible in the sun and she just edged back to the shady side. There was no way I could get a picture of her at the time but she did go back to her perch very soon after. She had two perches near me where she would stand in the sunshine keeping an eye out for any passing food.

It is necessary to be patient with the little creatures, especially in the wild places where they don’t know people at all. Their instinct knows to run from danger but it can also tell harmless when it is demonstrated.

Harmless is demonstrated by slow deliberate non-threatening movement on my part. Inside it is best to take no thought other than the aim of being there in that moment, which is just to get in position to capture an image. Which, when you know what you are doing, is an action more of the body than the mind.

Accept no emotion such as disappointment when she flies away, and no anxious stalking. An inner gratitude to the creature for allowing its picture to be taken is not a bad idea either.

Thank you little one, for giving a little of thy magnificent beauty. Why not? It goes back to the source.


And then there was the Damselfly in the late afternoon sun. The sun was going down and I knew, or thought, if I was to see any creatures it would be near water. So I went towards the old sand mine which is now a small lake.

She was the only creature moving that was big enough to photograph. A real beauty with her wings shining in the rapidly fading sunlight, and the colours. She moved from place to place and each time I had to work to get in position until she perched above me on a branch and I just couldn’t hold the camera still enough anymore.

She made me earn my crust then but she, life, was just teasing me. Trying to tease some reaction out of me. But I had none, just physical strain. Life does that sometimes doesn’t it, teases the reactive self into the light for me to see and give up? Or give in?


When there are no creatures to investigate I give my attention to what is present. The sensation inside, the green leaves of the bushes, the ever present sound of the ocean beating in waves on the shore, and of the birds before they settle down for the night. The wind on my body, the varying textured material of the meandering trail and the smells of the place. In short, I give my attention to the Earth.

In so doing I often find myself resonating inside to the nature outside, in my body/mind. The one strikes the chord of the other. It is not unlike a musical note that carries on the wind, a never ending spiritual wind, inside. A singing of life that appears in ‘outer’ space as colour and form, sound and touch and smell – sense – the acknowledgment of which re-touches a place inside that is trouble free.

And when I get home and if I sit in the darkness, looking inside, the nature I have acknowledged often reverberates in my inner space. Not as thought or feeling – emotion, but deeper than that, as itself – the beauty it is, the simple peace it is. Peace of mind.
Copyright Reserved / Mark Berkery

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