Nature's Place


At first this post may seem off theme for my site but someone recently mentioned to me an article he was writing on ridding the world of tyrants. This post was inspired by that – amongst other things.

It is an analogy of how difficult living can be at times. And of the untold and often untellable story of those in the trenches and the cockpits of daily living doing their best to get through, and of those that get through. The ordinary people doing it right and getting back up after the inevitable fall.

We all have a tyrant in us. Some more than others. And in different forms of expression but always first through thought and emotion. Nobody can deny it.

If the world is ever to be rid of tyrants it has to start where I find it first, in the tyranny of emotion and thinking, in me – whoever I may be.

This post is for those that recognise it, as is this site, so read it to the end if you will.


FBTSOMP, it’s the acronym for ‘flying by the seat of my pants’. It’s a euphemism for how close to the ground pilots sometimes had to fly in order to see anything – maybe even feel it, on the seat of their pants. It probably comes from the First World War – the second one too, when there was no radar or none reliable. Often the pilots of crippled English fighter planes from the famous dogfights (aerial battles) with the Germans over the English Channel, especially in the historic Battle of Britain, were trying to find their way home to land.

No radar, the plane was probably damaged from battle and that infamous English fog effectively blinded the pilot. With the occasional encouragement from a distant radio operator – if the radio was still working, and maybe some chance sighting of a landmark in a break in the fog, the pilots often made it home.

Then, when they were fit enough – or even when they weren’t – out they went again. More often than not to die in battle. And the pilots were not only British, they were from all over the world. They didn’t feel heroic or noble, they knew fear until the moment of engagement with the enemy, and exhaustion. They knew loss, suffering of another kind. And no doubt they were always glad to get back home, those that did.

I have seen the movies and I don’t think it was all propaganda. The war was thrust upon the British people by a tyrant with a will to conquer his neighbours, who had at his command a far superior, ready and highly disciplined military machine. And though many battles were lost I believe the British were able to endure because they were ‘right’.

The time was right. The cause was right. And the right man to lead was available for the duration. I was never a student of history but Winston Churchill made some great speeches. One in particular comes to mind. “We shall fight on the beaches..We shall never surrender”. Inspiring stuff.



Walking down a track today through a stand of paperbark trees rising out of a field of reeds, I came to an opening in the woods where a creek ran through. The creek was broad and shallow and the reeds that grew from it were much smaller than in the surrounding field.

Standing there in the shadow of a tree, looking out into the bright sunlit glade that formed about the creek, I could see the shiny threads of silk left by the spiders at the tops of the tall reeds to either side waving freely in the breeze. There was much traffic up to head height, much too-ing and fro-ing of various small flying insects, this way and that at different speeds, patterns and shades of colour. Indications of a certain character.

The occasional dry leaves falling from the treetops, twisting, spiralling, tumbling, flopping and plumb straight down. A large Dragonfly entered my view at speed and so easily took one of these fallings on the wing then, in an instant, released it as he flew, finding nothing of sustenance there. And on his way he went.

I watched him patrolling the clear space above the creek of reeds, to and fro, hovering here and there. Only six feet from me I saw him skim the calm surface of the clear water and leave a wake in it where he took a sup, or a bite.

Then I saw a second Dragonfly enter the stage and join the first in a high speed aerial duet that was dazzling to the eye. It lasted a few seconds before they gracefully parted to go about their solitary Dragonfly business.

A wonderful place. Inside.
Copyright Reserved / Mark Berkery

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6 Responses

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  1. Mark said, on 14/10/2008 at 12:53 pm

    Thanks Jenelle. The simple is best in my experience. The little things do matter a lot.

  2. Jenelle said, on 13/10/2008 at 3:38 pm

    This is really good, nature is so awesome and sometimes we don’t have time to slow down and look at the nice little things that make the big things

  3. Mark said, on 07/10/2008 at 1:44 pm

    Thanks Shane. Some ants are on the way. I’m sure you’ll appreciate the two here… ….All the best

  4. Shane said, on 07/10/2008 at 9:52 am

    Wow… very refreshing Mark. What a wonderfull way yu have of seperating gods work aside with the greed and fear that our Race live by. Being still at one with Nature has been explosive in regard to opening my mind to something bigger than the daily grind… in merely observing Natures way i see and feel a mode of peace that is nearly indescribable… love your blog mate… just a hint i find Ant’s interesting in the way they go about their daily grind…maybe yu could chek it out…. i will be back…. love and light….Shane

  5. Mark said, on 07/10/2008 at 2:14 am

    Hi Karen. Yes, it’s good to be in the woods. It helps to maximise the purer nature – where there is no tyrant. It was a good day for Dragonfly’s. Glad you enjoy it. It’s 1.00am in Aus, down time.

  6. Karen said, on 07/10/2008 at 1:51 am

    What a retreat from the tyrants of this world the woods seems to give–at least from a human perspective. It’s true that all of us harbor the tyrant potential. Hopefully through life experience and God’s help we at least minimize that nature. As for FBTSOMP, I do that quite often. I guess it’s part of the learning curve.
    Great macro photos as usual. I thoroughly enjoy your blogs.

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