Nature's Place

Out and About


 
When I go into the garage and the swallows are there, as soon as they see me one gives a small whistling sound as it dives from the nest and in a smooth and graceful arc exits through the open door at the other end. Beautiful to watch. The other one now remains at the nest, perhaps there are eggs there now. I have heard swallows, they could be swifts or martins, will return year after year to a successful nest site. They are welcome as long as I am here.

It is a pleasure to watch the pair of them circling the space at the front of the house, swooping and dodging, talking as they go. Every now and then I surprise them by the front door next to the open door of the garage. A quick whistle and they’re away into the air. Strong, streamlined, fast and accurate hunters. Beautiful nature. I am pleased they are living next to me.

*

A big fly got in to the house with the cat, the big buzzing kind of fly. I can’t have such creatures living and laying in the house and I can’t leave the door open for it to exit since more, or something else, would probably enter. After following it around for a while I was able to swat it down and it lay there unconscious for long enough for me to shoot it, with the camera. Then it started moving again, got up on its feet and wandered in circles for a few seconds. I put it outside before it started flying again. Tough little fellows.

*

The Damselfly is smaller than the Dragonfly. Accordingly it appears to patrol a smaller territory. It doesn’t seem to have a favoured perch but easily moves to and from the available vantage points.

I watched one today as it moved around and saw it chase a few possibilities from one particular perch. I was quick enough of eye to see at least two small moths rise from the grass below the occupied perch and pass within reach of the Damsel. But the damsel was not quick or relentless enough to catch them. Realising, perhaps, it was a waste of valuable energy.

It returned to this perch four or five times, probably because the opportunities for feeding presented themselves here and not somewhere else. And then it was away to another perch, an opportunist rather than a hunter like the Dragonfly

*

The Bugs Are Back in strength. At the light outside that I have on to attract them away from the lights of the house they are spinning around. Orbiting the light as the planets orbit the sun. I’m not going out to see what they are yet. I know there will be mozzies and probably other delightful creatures – when I get close enough with the camera.

The little black biters are swarming in the Billinudgel NR. Midges I think they are. They have a very sharp bite, or whatever it is. It has been suggested they are actually inserting an egg or some such beneath the surface of the skin that some days later hatches and causes a terrible itch.

They are too small to see if it is so but some days later there is a terrible itch. It’s an odd thing but the itching seems to reach a crescendo when I go back into the bush, as if the newly hatched can tell when they are home and it’s time to jump ship.

The mozzies are back too with the warmer weather and the abundant wet of the nearby forest, but they’re not a problem yet. As long as I stay out of the darker places it’s ok. They don’t go out on the trails before the sun gets low either. So, from an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset it is relatively mozzie free. As long as the sun shines.

*

I was driving to the shop and I saw a python crossing the road in broad daylight. It was about five foot long. I stopped to get a closer look and it was unmoved by my presence. Unhurried, quietly, gracefully making its way up the hillside and into the trees. Seeking its way through the foliage, reaching out from a sturdy branch to the wisps of new growth that looked too flexible to give the long heavy snake any traction. A crossing requiring consummate balance, a clearly focused presence.

*

When I was taking pictures in the NR the other day, standing waiting for the Dragonfly to land, I felt something on my leg. I looked immediately – such things can’t be ignored when there are so many creatures with mechanical and chemical weaponry – and invasive reproductive systems. It was a jumping ant with its long and threatening jaws or mandibles – long pointy defensive and offensive tools at the front of the head.

I haven’t been bitten by one yet but have been told it is painful. This one was carrying a packet of something yellow which, when cropped, looks like a tiny caterpillar. This jumping ant wasn’t doing any jumping. In fact it was having great difficulty navigating over the hairs on my leg – its struggles getting it nowhere fast. So I knocked it off, back to traversable territory.

*

Another fly got into the house, and got whacked like the first one. This one got up again too.

Instinctive life, it just never gives up.
 
Copyright Reserved / Mark Berkery
 

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4 Responses

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  1. Mark said, on 10/11/2008 at 10:35 pm

    LOL. Hi Chloe. That fly shot was probably the easiest, it was unconscious after all.

  2. chloe said, on 10/11/2008 at 8:31 pm

    oh my, i am extremely envious of your (first) fly shot!!

  3. Mark said, on 14/10/2008 at 12:49 pm

    Thank you amigo

  4. pontonett said, on 14/10/2008 at 6:13 am

    BRASILLLLL
    até mais amigo
    belo post


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