Nature's Place

The Dark Side

Sometimes, when no small creatures are showing up, I go searching. This day I thought I’d look in the un-usual places, the dark places that I love to look into – that every boy delights in. Don’t they? Where dangerous creatures live.

I’d lift a fallen log from the forest floor, damp earth smell – rotting wood – life at work, and some-thing would run for cover. Little black bugs, jumpers of some kind too small for me to make out, worms and things.

What is harder to notice is what doesn’t move, the more advanced evolutionary types that know the value of stillness. They know movement is a ‘dead’ giveaway. You need the instincts of a predator to know the need of stillness.

And that’s the trick, stillness. They were still, but I was stiller, and I saw them – a change in the pattern. So I moved in for the shot, carefully. Very careful not to disturb the ground, the air, the creature – by any way or sense.

Here live hunters, the Huntsman and Mouse spiders, and the Centipede. Each brings swift death to their prey, each venomous in their way. So I was careful not to act as a predator, aggressively or intrusive, and gave their due respect.

It’s important to understand the instincts of a predator, and to convey that understanding, in the stillness of being. And so, encounters can be communications between beings of different forms of the same life realised, the same nature.

Nature, one nature, not many.

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

14 Responses

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  1. direktendonentop said, on 23/10/2010 at 11:14 pm

    They are so terrible and very, very beatiful. Thanks.

  2. southafricaninsects said, on 30/08/2010 at 10:19 pm

    I can see you have been doing this for a long time Mark and have learnt the secrets of taking pictures of our small world. Most people do not have patience to sit and wait for things and their eyes have not adapted to spotting the smallest movement but with a bit of practice, it comes easily after a while.

    At one stage I was doing more macro than I am now as a lot of prefer to see the whole insect and I am doing it more as an educational tool.

    I am trying to figure out which country you are from but cannot find a clue in all this. :)

    I see this is logging me in with my WordPress details but my other blog is: http ://

    Love you post Mark and will continue to visit as often as I can. I have a few projects I need to get finished first though. :)

    • Mark said, on 31/08/2010 at 12:27 am

      Hi Joan. A couple years with a camera, 40+ observing nature and human nature. As you can see, or read, the photography is complimentary, and the nature no less wonderful. I’m presently in Brisbane Australia, close to SA in some ways. I had a look at your three blogs, wonderful stuff, and what a privilege to have worked as a guide in Kruger NGR.

      All the best.

      • southafricaninsects said, on 31/08/2010 at 2:53 am

        Hello Mark,
        Thanks for taking the time to have a look and reply. I have been doing close-up for just over 2 years now and love every minute of it. I have discovered a world which I never realized existed and it seems the more I photograph and learn, the more involved I become.

        Thanks for letting me know where you are from as I love to compare species in various places.

        Yes, it was a privilege to work there and I miss it every day and would love to get back but I am now classified as too old. :) I have had various Blogger buddies over and so have at least been able to do my “tour guide” bit with them thank goodness. :)

        Keep well Mark. Best wishes,

        Ps Do you mind if I ask you questions about your insects and pictures? I wanted to know about the centipede – what is the length of it and is that just one which is laying bent with its head and tail together?

        • Mark said, on 31/08/2010 at 2:35 pm

          Hi Joan. As you see, I put the two msgs together. No problem.

          The world of nature at our feet is usually overlooked. If more took notice of it the world would be a different place, no doubt. If you have any questions about creatures or pix, or anything else, just ask. For pix I wrote the page ‘Macro Illustrated‘ The Centipede was about 3.5 – 4 inch long and it’s just the one and I haven’t seen another.

          All the best. M

  3. suchglidingwonders said, on 30/08/2010 at 8:29 pm

    Great pictures. That black spider looks nasty, though.

    • Mark said, on 31/08/2010 at 12:13 am

      You mean ‘looks magnificent’ don’t you? ((:

  4. jamyun said, on 30/08/2010 at 1:33 pm

    wau..Mark..too dangerous i thought..but nice pic..well done..perfect..but i’m not going to do this..heheh..

    • Mark said, on 31/08/2010 at 12:16 am

      Hi Jamyun. You’ve just got to be careful to leave room for the dangerous ones to escape if they need to. And cross your fingers they don’t escape up the lens. ((:

  5. photographyfree4all said, on 30/08/2010 at 12:45 am

    Great shots! Love the narrative. Close-ups are great.

  6. Joshua Rose said, on 30/08/2010 at 12:29 am

    Love these, Thanks

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