Nature's Place

Dragon’s Return – Red Lace Queen


They didn’t really go away, but they have been showing up more again on my walks recently. One in particular has been sitting still for me, if you could call it that in a swirling and gusting breeze. Down by the water, out in the bush, on an old dead tree branch sticking in the ground, a red beauty has been perching.

The first day it took a few minutes before she was comfortable with me having slowly edged up close and standing there next to her. Two feet away, close enough to get some good shots. It is the habit of the dragonfly to flit from the perch to chase down prey, anything small enough to eat, usually that also flies. She came and went for hours it seemed.

It is also the habit of the dragons to chase each other, and sometimes eat each other, as I have seen on occasion. Every time she came back it was face into the wind, naturally, to land. Then she would reorient herself so she was facing me, the best she could, the wind was strong at times. However the wind was blowing I remained on the sunny side, more or less.

When I moved left or right to get an angle shot, or more of her in the light she would move so she was facing me. So I got a lot of head-on shots. Eventually she gave up this con-frontational behaviour and went about her business as usual, with me now to be accounted for in her terrain, naturally.


A few days later I went walking there again and saw her perched on the same stick from ten metres down the track and as I approached she turned to me. We said hello, I did anyway. It didn’t take much time at all for her to become accustomed to me this time, a matter of seconds. She recognised me and knew no danger in the event.

Then she was off, chasing this and that on the wind. Returning to perch in front of me and facing into me again. I played this game with her for a while, dodging to the left and right to get the shot, and it worked out.

I met a beautiful creature and she met me, in silence, a rare exchange, and it resonates in me still.

Dark queen, wild red wind.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge

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Rose – A Simple Pleasure


When all is said and done it’s the simple pleasure of being that matters, without the trouble of mind.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge

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Mother Nature

It’s called a money tree – the leaves you can see, by someone, way back when I can’t remember. Where the wasp has started building a nest, a paper wasp, a paper nest. She is alone in the endeavour and there are at least three cells of the hive occupied so far. I have seen the little grub she leaves in the cell, a tiny thing about two millimetres long. And she spends a lot of time away from the hive, probably hunting food to put in with her young, her little babies. Food entombed in sensational paralysis to be eaten as needed, alive. My magnificent nature.
Whenever I go to have a look at the nest she fronts up and eyeballs me. Stands up tall, spreads her wings and ‘rattles’ her front legs at me. She is serious about her young, and dangerous if disturbed. But she won’t waste the energy harassing me if I don’t give her good cause by disturbing the nest. I wonder if she will get used to me, maybe one of the young will be my friend? I don’t think so somehow. Not these wild creatures, their instinct is too basic, no facility for socialising. But who knows, there are exceptions. Watch this space.
Isn’t she magnificent the way she poses in defence of the hive, the beautiful instinctive intelligence to survive in form rendered as a bold defiant stance, against all comers. And that she never has a doubt about what she is doing, no wasted thought, no wasted energy. All her energy going to what she is designed for, to live as wasp and reproduce, against all comers. Magnificent nature.
The fact is I see this, perceive this, in me. Inside. I re-cognise this part of my nature represented in the wasp. It is my nature, since I came ‘up’ through the species, the instinctive psychic structure and not just the appearance in sense. And it is still a part of me, a part of my nature now, in my psyche. The beauty of it is in recognising it I see the being of it, me being that, before thought gets in to distort and make something else of it.
It is wasp and, as clear as my attention to it is, I am being that, in the moment. When ‘that’ is not I am, being, no problem. The best I can. The same goes for any other nature I cognise, when thought or emotion doesn’t get in the way there is only ‘that’.
© Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge

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Beautiful Black Bee


No Grasshoppers today, though there are plenty to come, maybe.

I was out exploring some local bushland when I came across a single flowering plant. It was the focus for many flying insects that didn’t sit still for a moment, and then this black bee came along. It visited one flower after another and if I hadn’t been ready with settings on the camera it surely would have passed me by without a proper hello.

It is possible to plan such a shot and execute it, if you have nothing else to do. But I think too much is made of the photographer, after all if the nature doesn’t show up it’s just a camera with no pictures.

Apart from the technical information required to know what to do with the camera in any situation or lighting the one thing that sets a snapshooter above the crowd is vision. Inner vision, that makes the shot before it is taken.

So it is with any endeavour, clear intention and focus gets me through.  As clear as possible, as long as I persist. Whoever ‘I’ am.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge

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I have observed everything has its season and that includes things as they appear to me or in my perception. Things can be without them necessarily appearing ‘to me’. The dragons are still about in large numbers but they aren’t sitting for me much anymore. It is still the season for Dragons but not Dragons for me. Dragonflies are said to be symbolic of fundamental change, with style, obviously. And everything else is also symbolic. Of what is the question, it always is.

It is now the time of the grasshopper, they are everywhere I turn these days and I am waking up to their presence. So let’s have a look at what the grasshopper presents. They don’t have the same drama about them as the dragonfly but they do have their own character, though somewhat withdrawn from view.

Grasshoppers are grazers, laid back little fellows, and so don’t present a threat to anything but the leaves of plants. They tend to blend with their surroundings in various shades of green or brown, with the occasional showman or woman, unlike the dragons who are all colour and show.

They can disappear with a kick of a leg, I’ve seen them with only one, and they can be poked and prodded without giving more than a sideways shuffle to show they noticed. They are their own beauty, unassuming in appearance, soft and strong when necessary but never aggressive.

Have you ever seen a grasshopper negotiate for grazing rights?

© Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge

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