Nature's Place

King of Flies – Robber of Life


At a small clearing in the forest the grass had grown long and green with the recent rains. Ideal breeding ground for some creatures, ideal hunting ground for others.

Large by the usual size of flies around here, this hunter reigned. It moved easily with grace, never seeming to falter in take-off, capture or landing. There was an efficiency about it, no unnecessary movement or sound, a consummate conservationist designed for stealth.

He sat high in the long untidy grass in wait for something to emerge from the dark shadows below. As soon as a suitable creature, unaware, was within reach up he went to capture with those long spiny legs – the better to grip with – and deliver the ‘coup de grace’ to the creature with a sharp and deadly lancet sheathed in its strong stubby proboscis, usually to somewhere behind the head, via a cocktail of neurotoxin and digestive enzymes that rapidly paralyse and consume.

Cranefly was the prey of incidence today, not too big and not too small, and available in abundance right now – it also has very long legs that help trap it in the hunters embrace, and it moves at a speed and pattern that was easy to track.

The Robber, or Assassin Fly – so called for the way it quickly and silently snatches the life from its prey – was well fed this day.


It pays to be present to see what is now, and not occupied in the memory – which is then and a bridge to a robber of a different kind.

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

125 Responses

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  1. Mark said, on 27/10/2010 at 3:29 pm

    Thank you one and all for your time and attention. And to those who see the whole point, maybe I’ll see you again.

  2. Tracy Reid said, on 27/10/2010 at 12:06 pm

    Absolutely stunning!

  3. missusk76 said, on 26/10/2010 at 2:49 pm

    Spectacular photography. Well observed and eloquently described.

  4. gnarlyoak said, on 26/10/2010 at 1:29 am

    CRAZY PICTURES. The dragon fly actually is like a savage dragon

    • Mark said, on 10/11/2010 at 12:07 am

      Thanks Knarly, the Robberfly is savage, beautifully so.

  5. e6n1 said, on 26/10/2010 at 12:24 am

    Amazing photography!

  6. Custom WordPress Web Design said, on 25/10/2010 at 6:23 pm

    Those are amazing close-ups – what detail!

  7. reemoya said, on 25/10/2010 at 5:43 pm

    This is AMAZING!! Wonderful macro shots and beautiful colors!!
    great work indeed :)
    Thanks for the description.

  8. neelima s said, on 25/10/2010 at 2:30 pm

    great shots!

  9. qahmad said, on 25/10/2010 at 1:33 pm

    I really like your photography. You’ve captured it really well.

  10. samalbahaykubo said, on 25/10/2010 at 7:55 am

    Stunning photos. I’m in awe!

  11. lochgarry said, on 25/10/2010 at 7:31 am

    Great photos and text. I need to tell my son-in-law about your site. He’s into insects.

  12. Gadget Information said, on 25/10/2010 at 6:58 am

    its just wow
    amazing macro, like it

  13. oshany said, on 25/10/2010 at 6:26 am

    hmmm now this is what i call nature

  14. Heather CJ Atkins said, on 25/10/2010 at 4:15 am

    beautiful photo’s!

  15. sophiaharcourt said, on 25/10/2010 at 3:26 am

    Had to stop in and say hi to congratulate you on being Freshly Pressed. I recognized your work right away when I saw it. I had the same thing happen to me a few weeks back and it was completely shocking to find my inbox with a flurry of comment emails from my blog.

    • Mark said, on 10/11/2010 at 12:15 am

      Thanks Sophia. It is a lot to contend with but some do appreciate it.

  16. willie said, on 25/10/2010 at 2:45 am

    As everyone else says, Those are amazing pictures … such beauty!!!

  17. christinesakariasen said, on 25/10/2010 at 1:49 am

    Beautiful pictures!

  18. Imaginarium of Pau said, on 24/10/2010 at 11:13 pm

    Cool photos! I love the details. Nice one. :)

  19. musicmissionary said, on 24/10/2010 at 10:43 pm

    Great photography! I always thought those things were neat looking.

  20. Cool photos. Reminds me of the ‘survival of the fittest’ situation amidst all the incredible biodiversity of nature.

    • Mark said, on 10/11/2010 at 12:21 am

      In nature only the fittest survive. Or is that so …

  21. Sajid said, on 24/10/2010 at 9:25 pm

    Loved it.

  22. Bill said, on 24/10/2010 at 9:14 pm

    Some of the most amazing photographs I have ever seen, on the internet or otherwise. You have an amazing talent. Thank you!

  23. element119 said, on 24/10/2010 at 7:50 pm

    Wow that is amazing! No wonder this blog is on the front page of WordPress!

  24. Stephen Ronee Lau said, on 24/10/2010 at 1:32 pm

    Hi Mark, fantastic how you have expressed the whole episode! Thanks for the sharing.

  25. overthehillguitar said, on 24/10/2010 at 11:15 am

    The intensity of the photos are stunning. Just another day in the wild’s struggle of life and death.

  26. Danny said, on 24/10/2010 at 5:29 am

    Those are some sweet photos! I loved them. And then there’s the writing. Beautifully said, it flows very nicely.

  27. writeplease said, on 24/10/2010 at 4:44 am

    You write as beautifully and you photograph. Very sensitive. Makes one think about what we lose in the rush of things.

  28. direktendonentop said, on 23/10/2010 at 11:06 pm

    So great!

  29. parwatisingari said, on 23/10/2010 at 11:02 pm


  30. spidergirl1313 said, on 23/10/2010 at 9:13 pm

    That. Is EPIC. xD

  31. nil said, on 23/10/2010 at 8:16 pm

    Wow! Amazingggggggggg!!!!!!!! I Like Insects…

  32. photodreamr said, on 23/10/2010 at 7:28 pm

    Oh my, your pictures are magnificent!

  33. bhallakanwal said, on 23/10/2010 at 7:28 pm


  34. Mitch Devine said, on 23/10/2010 at 5:37 pm

    Terrific pictures and dramatic, descriptive prose!

  35. masbadar said, on 23/10/2010 at 4:51 pm

    What amazing pictures! Great works..

  36. perfectperfectionist said, on 23/10/2010 at 4:38 pm

    Your combine your photos and writing style so well here – explaining in an interesting manner, without anthropomorphising. Congrats on getting pressed, you deserve it.

  37. mespidee said, on 23/10/2010 at 4:13 pm

    I love it… the first real interesting blog I’ve read yet….

  38. Etiquette From the Trenches said, on 23/10/2010 at 3:05 pm

    My sister is an entomologist — can’t wait to share this with her. Amazing photography.


  39. Steve B said, on 23/10/2010 at 2:57 pm

    Nice… I like the, “It pays to be present…”

    Nice piece! appreciate the perspective.

  40. Evie Garone said, on 23/10/2010 at 2:51 pm

    Interesting! Thanks for sharing. Great pictures.

  41. Wordywoman said, on 23/10/2010 at 2:12 pm

    Amazing pics!

  42. Thomas Stazyk said, on 23/10/2010 at 1:51 pm

    Amazing pictures–thanks and best of luck with your work!

  43. educlaytion said, on 23/10/2010 at 1:00 pm

    Really amazing pics. Congrats!

  44. aanjeli said, on 23/10/2010 at 12:50 pm

    You’ve beautifully captured the preying sequela! It definitely wouldn’t have been easy, especially since it is a moment from the miniature-world that functions at a higher speed than our eyes can handle. :)

  45. JsQuare said, on 23/10/2010 at 12:47 pm

    I like your pictures.

  46. fotovita said, on 23/10/2010 at 12:12 pm

    Amazing macro shots…the details are very clear and I love the DOF!

  47. yanarenajo said, on 23/10/2010 at 11:49 am

    how i love to be able to capture such images, too!

    • Mark said, on 10/11/2010 at 12:31 am

      Thanks, it just takes practise, lots of it.

  48. jvgray907 said, on 23/10/2010 at 11:32 am

    This is the first blog that has held my eye from start to finish.

  49. sonal chopra said, on 23/10/2010 at 9:58 am

    great pictures! loved the portrayal of the robber fly and the crane fly :)

  50. Joan said, on 23/10/2010 at 9:08 am

    A brilliant series Mark. At least in this it had a Cranefly but so often I see them eating one of their own kind.

    • Mark said, on 10/11/2010 at 12:33 am

      They will eat anything that moves, no prejudice.

  51. lifeintheboomerlane said, on 23/10/2010 at 6:37 am

    Stunning photography, great description.

  52. Ava Aston's Muckery said, on 23/10/2010 at 6:01 am

    Keep up the good work.

  53. wickeddarkphotography said, on 23/10/2010 at 5:07 am

    Terrific photo essay.

  54. EternalForms said, on 23/10/2010 at 5:06 am

    exceptional detail! great captures

  55. cindylouwho123 said, on 23/10/2010 at 4:40 am

    wow, nice shots

  56. wandering lass said, on 23/10/2010 at 4:27 am

    amazing photos!

  57. Sulfonix said, on 23/10/2010 at 3:51 am

    Amazing how nature is, there’s always new to discover.

  58. She.Is.Just.A.Rat said, on 23/10/2010 at 3:25 am

    These images are stunning…and the narrative is lovely as well. Thanks …

  59. Sunflowerdiva said, on 23/10/2010 at 2:02 am

    Wow, these pictures are absolutely amazing! I can’t stand bugs, but these pictures are so detailed and–*gasp!*–beautiful. But these pictures are amazing, and made me realize how beautiful even the critters I …. can be.

    • Mark said, on 27/10/2010 at 3:33 pm

      Yes, beauty, ‘even’ in the world of insects.

  60. Mr. Mojo Risin said, on 23/10/2010 at 1:57 am

    Great pictures and description.

  61. CrystalSpins said, on 23/10/2010 at 1:40 am

    What can I say…amazing.

  62. Great photos, even for the …. little creatures.

  63. Jenn said, on 22/10/2010 at 10:19 am

    Awesome, awesome captures Mark! And an insightful correlation as I am drained by rampant thoughts and memories at times if I don’t keep vigilant.

    • Mark said, on 27/10/2010 at 3:31 pm

      Thanks Jenn. Thinking, without an aim, is a narrowing of the intelligence isn’t it.

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