Nature's Place

Caught Out

This Mantis is usually only ‘seen’ camouflaged against the bark of trees in the bush, in my experience. I followed this fellow around the wall of a building for a while to see what would happen. He didn’t like being corralled but it worked to slow him down for a while and keep him from running away.

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Then this Aphid appeared at a run over the edge of the wall and the Mantis took off after it and snatched it up in a vice like grip crushing it instantly at either end.

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Juicy.

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And tasty. To a Mantis.

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Going.

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Burp!

That’s livin.

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

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Going to Market

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The honey bee is dying here, apparently paralysed from the waist back, perhaps bitten by a spider.  Or it is experiencing one of the many maladies visited upon it in the effort to profit from it. It could only move its forearms to scramble around in the leaf litter, not its wings or other legs.

I put it on a nearby surface and covered it with a large leaf. Who knows, it might have recovered.

Who knows without looking?

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Flies are still the dominant creatures on my landscape though the weather is beginning to warm up. With the warm comes the biting midges and mozzies but I know how to deal with them now. The other larger creatures won’t be far behind though I expect a little more ebb and flowing of the cold yet.

I went for a walk recently at the nearby NR and met a gardener and he told me where there is a black bee hive, the ones I have a few pix of on the yellow flowers. I have yet to check it out but I’ll get to it soon enough. They are native bees and they don’t have a sting, or much of one.

There is something very pleasing about the black bee. Perhaps it’s that they aren’t domesticated, uncorrupted by man and his exploitive ways, unlike the honey bee.

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The gardener’s wife asked me to do a photography workshop after seeing some of my prints but I declined saying that’s not what I am, others know far more about photography than I do. So she asked me to give a presentation on how and why I got into photography using my pix as illustration and I agreed, as soon as I am set up on another front.

That is selling my images at the local markets, the other front. I am having to learn all about cutting mat and foam board and getting it right, not as easy as it first seems. But all in its time, that’s how it is.

All of it. In it’s time.

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Now the birds are dancing and singing in the trees in the morning. The magpie warbling resounds beautifully, magically in me, reminds me spring is almost here.

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

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Zen Frog

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This fellow is in a state of being; no problem with what or where he is, no rumination or regurgitation of his past experience interpreted nor fear of some possible future – the past reformed – thought and emotion. There is a simplicity to this creature that reminds me of my own simplicity at an uncommon level of being. The simplicity of being without movement of mind as past, being now. Now, the mystical moment available to anyone who is willing now.

Surrender-ed. The state of having let go enough that the past no longer grips the will by the usual momentum, without ones volition. It, being, is arrived at by unrelenting endeavour. The endeavour to realise no-thing by focusing on no-thing. But it begins with right meditation; focus on some-thing that doesn’t change, you can’t go straight to being-no-thing.

No matter what arises it is not the truth, you’ve got to know this. It’s an act of will to realise it. And it is enabled by the conservation of energy and its proper allocation.

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For example when you ruminate on the reasoning behind anger you make more anger, if you don’t know this yet try it out. So too if you attend to the simple good it appears to grow, though really it’s the other that diminishes.

Don’t give your energy to what causes emotional or mental pain and give it to what you enjoy. When you know one and the other and can tell the difference.

This is the formula for freedom, the freedom from what repeats and is unwanted.

Then, like now, the beautiful new is. Being.

Focus. And what you focus on.

It’s really that simple.

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

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A Plethora …

… of Flies.

I have been making my own magic potion for attracting photographic subjects to the back yard and it smells a bit up close. Though some of the best, wildest looking flies are from the bush where they can be found at predictable times and places with no potions.

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The bananas on the banana tree finally ripened enough for the bats to eat so I cut some down and they went into the making of great cake, banana cake with sultanas, etc. Yum!

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What bananas couldn’t be used were returned to the Earth via the Possum and her family, and all the various insects such as ants and flies that inhabit the surrounds of the house I live in. There have been some wonderful looking creatures caught on camera and a selection of them is here, for your viewing pleasure.

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You won’t enjoy these pix if you see them through your cultural conditioning – acquired subconscious mental and emotional associations. As in; Yuk! Dirty flies. Or maybe you can’t stand the thought of them walking all over you. After where you ‘know’ they have been, you’d have to swat them. Why?

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Thought and emotion, however well founded in common sense, flies do walk on shit. But is common sense a measure of  peace of mind? I don’t think so, given that everyone shares in common sense and aren’t any closer to inner peace for it, real inner peace.

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Thought and emotion are all that stands in the way of inner peace, are the only source of disturbance. Are the disturbance. Where is the source of what is not peace if not the mind. It doesn’t matter what happens ‘outside’, it’s what is within that matters first that eventually returns in sense to disturb the mind that can be. Mind is the disturbance, when it is.

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And it is what is within that eventually negates the ‘outer’ source of disturbance that eliminates the inner.

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It begins inside, and ends inside, not out.

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Existence begins and ends in sense. Mind as thought and emotion is a consequence, of ignoring this fact and truth.

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Existence is now; mind is always some other time.

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See the fly now? The pure beautiful sense of it.

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No mind! That’s peace of mind.

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

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Sail On

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There, what rises in the clear dark space, inside. And passes.

Death, the wanderer pervades.

Colours green and silver in the deep blue place.

Up the wispy trail it is made.

Reminders of you. My love.

Going home on broken wings.

To no where.

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My Beautiful Raggedy Man.

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

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Magical I

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Out back where the flies fly and play there are a few tribes of ant that seem to get on together. That makes sense since they have inhabited the same piece of earth for millennia. Obviously they don’t compete directly or one of them would have been the victor by now, surely.

There are tiny golden ants that are so small they are rarely seen, unless I leave a little honey out. In fact that is how I discovered them. I left some honey on a few leaves to attract the flies but they weren’t interested and after some time the tiny goldies showed up and fed till it was gone. Now that I am aware of them I see them often.

There are some ants that are just too fast to shoot and don’t stop for anything, not for more than a fraction of a second. My camera wont focus that fast. In fact there are many kinds of ants about the house. There are the glossy black ants. And there are the armoured ants, in two different colours. Armoured because they have spikes protruding from their bodies at different strategic places, to give advantage in combat. No doubt they have their predators, as I have seen.

They all have different physical characteristics, sizes, colours, feeding habits, demeanor. Unique and beautiful expressions of the being of Ant, a quality of god from out of the pure psyche.

As all things are.

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Then there are the quiet blue – green ants. There are two nests that I know of in the back garden. I have seen them many times but until recently they have been very elusive to the camera. They don’t normally eat fruit like the others and they live in the ground at the base of the fence. When they come out it is usually to find the source of disturbance, which is usually me lately, since they are on the sunny side where I shoot flies in the afternoon.

In the last couple of days they have been out eating at the ripe banana that has fallen from the tree where the bats and possum have been plundering, and at the apple I put out today. Maybe they are just hungry enough after the long cold and rain, relative cold that is.

Anyway, I have taken the opportunity to shoot them and the results are wonderful. They have deep contours in their skin that reflect the darkest magical blue and green of the psyche. And they are gentle creatures.

I observed one appeared to be bowed, maybe resting, and was tended by another looking down on it and waving its antennae over it. They do communicate, and care, obviously. In their way.

I am touched, at the place where Ant and caring is. Where I am that.

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

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Ambrosia

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Nectar of the Gods.

Garuda, half man half bird, king of birds, eater of snakes, took it upon himself to steal the Ambrosia from an impossible place to ransom his mother from the snake queen. At the same time promising to return it to Vishnu which he did and for which he was given the honour of being Vishnu’s steed.

Ambrosia. That’s the aroma that was in the air today. An impossible sweetness, always just out of full sense. Not quite existential perhaps.

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The weather has been cold at night and warm at day. I have enjoyed shooting the flies out back where the bananas have fallen to the ground and the possum family have trampled the remains to ferment in the sun. I could swear some of the flies were drunk the other day, no kidding.

After they fed they would stop on a nearby leaf and rest a while for me to shoot. But it’s always on the day, in the moment. If I go looking for the same situation again it is usually elusive. That’s what keeps me from calcifying, everything keeps moving on. Nothing stays the same for long.

That’s what I love, the freshness of the new. Not knowing keeps me going. A paradox.

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This fly was enjoying a bit of fermenting banana in the afternoon sun, stomped on and mashed the night before by the possum that lives in the roof, when a mate came along. You can tell they are mates by the way they touch each other as they pass in their feeding meander. In #2 the left fly has a foot on the eye of the right fly while it has a leg on the left fly. #3 looks like high fives?

There is an obvious recognition in this touching. It’s a form of communication. They did this for a while, touching as they passed each other, and clearly it is a speci-al thing, you don’t see flies of different kinds touching this way. I don’t anyway. Though flies of different kinds recognise flies, clearly, from the way they chase and avoid each other.

Apart from the obvious size, form, colour and the fact you have never seen a depressed fly are they so different from you and I? Really?

Different yes, but so? Inside?

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

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