Nature's Place

Fly Soup

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It seems there are fewer creatures to photograph now but really there are newer ones. Newer in the sense they are revealed by the absence of the more showy characters like the Dragonflies and other larger forms, though they were always there.

It takes the absence of the familiar to reveal the ever present beauty. Beauty being outside the condition of mind familiarity is – being ‘used’ to something – implying a continuity or repetition that dulls the intelligence to the perception of the new.

It’s why the new is often difficult to appreciate, and then we get familiar with it and the process starts again. Life breaks up any condition or position, of course – in the course of being in existence, where all is change.

The fly is one of these newer fellows and isn’t he a beauty, lovely colours and intriguing form. Capturing these fellows, cognitively and photographically, is a matter of focus. A focus of the will to see the new by letting go the familiar.

Being new. And this new being is always now, in sense to begin with, eventually out of sense but not in mind as thought or emotion. A very subtle and rare state of being within and behind sense that begins with the sensation in the body.

That’s called meditation, then being. And it can be done with the aid of a fly.

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

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Spider Craft

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Since winter has arrived – it’s all relative, there is less to shoot the camera at. Much of it is in or close to indoors, depending on the heat of the day. I must stress, it’s all relative, perceptually so as well as actually.

Downstairs where I live there is an open bathroom that isn’t used except on occasion and I leave it open to see what nature will bring. A few spiders have lived here as evidenced from the scattering of dead insect bodies discarded on the windowsill, all sorts of flies that have entered but not exited. It’s a veritable killing field. Other creatures come and go, the gecko, moths, wasps and of course mozzies.

Right now there is a small and very successful spider that locates under the window and above the bath and has as its shelter and hideaway a roof made of insect parts held together by a weave of spider silk at the centre of an elaborate web. Whenever I enter to inspect the place this one makes a b line for the shelter and I leave it to itself, probably informed by one of the many almost invisible strands radiating from the web. But if I wait a little while I often find another kind of spider patrolling the window pane.

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This one is a character, fiercely unselfconscious in his proud dance across the glass, jumping this way and that, seeing what he sees to make him so. A roaming hunter this one. When I put my finger in his way he jumped on it and then off again as fast, testing what am I. A good question the spider never asks.

Up close it is apparent this one is in his prime, a sprightly gait, colourful fur, clear eyed and a somewhat playful manner the way he punches out with his paps – or front ‘arms’, as if engaging an unseen foe. A pugilist among his kind perhaps, or do I know him from somewhere else? As someone else?

I am always delighted when a god made creature engages with me in whatever degree, as long as it’s not a bite. It is touching, of a point inside where nature is one in all things. It’s a psychic thing, or psycho – spiritual, in that there is a recognition at some level of perception there is no separation as it appears ‘out’ here. And in that oneness there is a sense of wonder, of beauty. A sense. It’s got to make sense.

I don’t mind spider at all. God spider, spider god? What blasphemy to the rigidly religious mind, love it.

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

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What God Is

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All things, it is said. And if this god is the simple power in and behind all things, and all things – what else could it be, then it is so, without doubt. The only question is how can I know god’s mind? And the answer has to be simple, leave the man or mind made out of my inner vision as much as possible.

That’s the rub, what’s possible can only be known where there is the willingness to give up all consideration, of anything. Only then can it be seen what remains. And what remains must be god made, surely. But what a task, to leave all consideration behind.

God is a wasp. The queen is guarding her nest against me intruding. Whenever I showed up she was out front and telling me ‘Don’t come any closer, I am dangerous” and, of course, I listened, up to a point. To get closer to her I had to visit her often to let her know, behind her fierce instinct, I am no harm to her. After a while, though she never gave up her expressive behaviour, she relented somewhat and I got as close as four inches for the purpose of capturing her image, only somewhat. The ferocity of instinct etched in her face and stance would never be abandoned since it is essential to her character, locked to the form of god being wasp.

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

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Changes

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The small Aussie wasps out back of the house have moved home, on to some dead leaves that give some break to any wind, and into the sunshine. They are making the most of the day’s heat as it is getting colder at night. Vitally motivated to survive, the primary motivation of all forms of life.

It really is getting cold and the insects are fast disappearing, until the next wave of heat. Even so there are some still about and because it is cold they are a bit easier to shoot, though you can’t bank on it.

Can’t bank on anything since everything is subject to change in one way or another. That’s living.

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

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Possum

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I went out the back door last night and as I closed it a Possum came out of the roof along the beam and stopped dead and looked me in the eye. She looked a little lost with those big eyes fixed on me. I said hello and she didn’t seem to be afraid so I put a bit of homemade biscuit in front of her. She was about to examine it when a bigger Possum came up behind her and made a nuisance of himself, chasing her off along the beams of the veranda roof. He looked a little lost too when he realised I was there, maybe a little alarmed to see me so close, two feet, no more. And when he went off after her he didn’t sense the biscuit under his nose. I have often heard something falling from the roof to the ground through the thick palm trees around the house. I believe it is a Possum losing its footing or being chased off by the other bigger one. That must hurt.

I’ve been getting some good Dragon pix lately. Good as in sharp and in focus with soft warm afternoon sunlight. Opportunities for natural light captures where there is something to brace against, and flash assisted ones to stop the action in the wind. I was shooting a mature red Dragon at one of my favourite spots and it was so attuned to my presence after a few minutes I was able to touch a wing with my finger. That was nice and it was acknowledged. Sweet thing. Who ever calls a Dragonfly sweet thing? Ha!

While I was shooting the Dragon was frequently chasing down what passed by on the wind, coming and going from its perch. Once she almost landed on my ear with a loud flapping of her gossamer wings, another time I heard and felt her stop on my hat for a few seconds before she returned to the stick. One time she landed on the diffuser of the camera’s flash and almost immediately slipped off the smooth hard material. I think she was playing with me, why not.

And the moon is rising, big in the afternoon sky, sinking in the west soon enough after dark. A cold wind blows tonight. Maybe it’s time for trousers.

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

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A Wonder

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The weather has been mild and lovely here in Brisbane’s autumn. And though there hasn’t been much in the way of photo opportunities it is pleasant to be in the nature, just the sense of it. The soft warmth of the sunshine and the cool breezes make it a time of great ease, from the heat of summer.

I still walk my favourite tracks and meet some magical creatures that are often too shy to be seen in more than a glance, or I’ve slowed down too. The wallabies are sweet creatures that will stay still until I am almost upon them and off they go. Bounding along in a leisurely way, not alarmed at all. It’s a shame they are dying off at an unsustainable rate in this area, too many cars. But that’s living, can’t buck it.

Ants are as prolific as ever but they don’t stop for a shot, mostly. There are the last of the grasshoppers, the aborigine’s symbol of success. And  there are different creatures for the season. It’s a matter of making the most of what presents itself now, no more big choice of photo subjects until the next season, or place.

What a lovely place the Earth is, the sense of it without letting the mind in, as much as possible when there is always something to be done. And it ends, doesn’t it. And it is said there is a world of light and beauty beyond this one where nothing dies and there is no problem of mind, where all problems are or start.

Was it a dream where I saw this place? But you can’t believe anyone, you’ve got to die for yourself and find out alone. So it seems to me.

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The creature pictured was found on my bedroom floor, nearly dead. But I wasn’t deterred from posing him (or her) and then I placed it in a safe place to die, which it did. Now it rests in being where all things go, its shell is in the old fish tank with the shell of an elephant beetle. It makes no difference to either of them, only to me who likes to see their magnificent forms now and again.

I am blessed with a simple life. Some would think otherwise. Isn’t it always so.

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

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