Nature's Place

Mystic Nomad

Nomadic by nature, doesn’t mean they have no home. Any place is home to a nomad as long as their need is filled. And in the filling of their need Nature’s need is filled, they are not separate.

One need fits to another the way a tree does to the Earth, as all things fit to some thing at some time.

There is an out-of-the-way place where these little beauties go to sleep at night. I am the only one I know of that goes there and I can’t see that changing. It’s a small clearing in the middle of a field at the edge of a forest and off the beaten track. It is a special place for these beautiful creatures.


Towards the end of their day they fly in and circle their favoured roosting site, a dried out grass stem in this case. They land at the top of the stem, as far from the ground as possible and grip it in their jaws as they settle in for the night, face to the ground – usually, but there’s always the odd one.

Face down, probably because that is the direction danger would most likely come from while they sleep, it’s a defensible position and can easily be abandoned if necessary. It just makes sense to have your array of detection senses, antennae, eyes, mouth and feet facing any danger.


I often watch them at dusk as they jostle for position on the twig, seeming to prefer to join up from above, makes sense as they fly in from above. When one does there is a pushing and shoving with legs and jaws, from the front and back, but no violence, as positions are adjusted to fit the newcomer.

At times dislodging one or another so it flies off the twig and comes in from behind again and the process begins over until there’s not enough light and they have settled positions for the duration of the dark hours, it takes a little time to get to sleep time.


It looks comical and sweet at the same time, innocent, and makes me smile, what a wonderful nature we have.
They are not unlike children in their innocence, and how they might sleepily jostle for space in a bed they share.

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It’s a popular place for the little creatures, with native bees and wasps of different kinds making a home of it, a safe harbour to rest at night. Care must be taken not to blunder into a wasp nest or disturb the roosting bees, don’t want to get stung or intrude. I approach the bees slowly, careful not to strike their perch or loom threateningly over them.

It’s not a hunt, it’s a prayer.

There are times when it seems my presence at a metre or so is enough to disturb them, and times when they seem fast asleep while the sun is still up and I can shoot away to my hearts content.


They live their little lives noticed by few but their own sweet selves, but are well accounted for in the tapestry of nature. Little weavers of life that they are.

Their big green eyes and long white furry manes, specks of pollen showing where they’ve been. A tale yet to be told.

Without them we would surely be less.

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

Macro Day Four

At the peak of the Brisbane river floods, safe in the S.E. corner, we went for a walk in the nature and found a few creatures to photograph.

Just myself and Andy, a few couldn’t make it due to the floods. Weren’t we lucky, when so much of Queensland went under water and some died we were virtually unaffected.

And a pleasure it was to have Andy along. I enjoyed it.

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Andy did well judging by his thread on the Macro Meditation Day.

Today’s lesson? Always be prepared, so you won’t be taken by surprise by the details. RTFM. ((:

Well done Andy.

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If anyone is interested in coming along for hands on experience of what and how I do what I do check these links : Macro Meditation Day, Macro Illustrated and Meditate, and email me at contact (at) beingmark (dot) com so you are on the list.

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After relaxing and a short meditation to slow down inside we went to the local bush. Here’s a few of mine from the day. And maybe a few more later.

Crab Spider with Cricket prey.

Burp!

What next?

Sandpaper Fig Beetles mating.

Clown Spider.

Potato/Ladybug


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

Dangerous Liaison

It’s a jungle after all. One hungry creature attacks another and someone comes off the worse, usually dead, but maimed is probably common too – having seen so many of our tiny creatures missing limbs or bearing wounds.

You might think; ‘Oh! Poor Sweet Little Bee. Beastly Assassin Bug.’ I might. And bees are sweet things – maybe something to do with their pollinating and honey making, especially the Australian native bees – since this is where I am.

But Assassins aren’t beastly, just designed differently to fit a particular niche in the living pattern of things, or the pattern of living things. Truly, each piece of the pattern is a wonder unto itself.

The fact is that’s Nature, everything that is has its place in it. It can’t be denied. And to take sides is absurd, or is it?

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Well, Nature gets on fine without our interference so it’s hard to put a case for interfering. In fact where we interfere we invariably make more problems in trying to fix the one we focus on, but that’s probably because the ‘problem’ we try to fix isn’t a problem at all, just an inconvenient – to us – fact. And when you try to change facts that don’t need changing in a world of effects a ripple of predictable consequences is what you get, but unknown outcomes.

The trouble is we personalise Nature and so make of it the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ when there is only the fact, no good or bad at all. This notional existence of good and bad is self-divisive, the high and low of emotional consideration, the ‘I like’ and ‘I don’t like’, the source of much personal misery and ill health, and is ultimately unsustainable.

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How to depersonalize then? When you’ve had enough – ever tried giving up something you love before you’ve had enough, just leave the good and bad out of it and see the fact. And that’s the end of ‘problems’.

It does mean no more judgment of the fact, no more unnecessary thinking.

Simple really, when you’ve had enough … ((:

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

Green Adventurer

Is there such a thing as a lonesome Cricket?

I don’t think so. Where there’s one there’s a lot, usually. And besides, Crickets don’t get lonely, naturally. If one was to be experimented upon it might be ‘discovered’ what is being sought, but we don’t go to such unnecessary and neurotic extremes. Unnecessary to the simple beautiful sense of things.

In this field of long grass and other plants, weeds to some, were all this Crickets relatives, uncles, aunts, cousins, brothers and sisters – maybe even their dads and mums. Big and small, and every size in between. Light and dark and various colour schemes, they were also all very different from each other. Just like us, in a way, the same but not.

Hopping from stem to leaf and ground and back again, it didn’t take much to disturb them in the sunlight or shadows of green. They weren’t used to people at all. A scramble to get out of the way of the big shadowy giant, me. I gave them a little time to see me and know no danger from me and so they did settle down and I could get a few shots.

Doesn’t mean they didn’t still hop around, since hopping, and eating, is what they do. To eat they hop, makes sense, to me. To hop they eat. With each hop a new discovery. I’ve seen they don’t very often know where they are going to land, so each hop is a voyage in the unknown, unknowable being, and unanticipatable circumstances – except that everything is changeable.

They also get to meet each other, and who knows how who meets who, a mystery. Chance? What’s that but inscrutable design, natural attraction of need to its fulfillment and round again. Since two have to meet to mate and make more Crickets for the next season of long grass, a wonder too. A hop and jump needed here, to make a future out of now. Being now it’s what comes, now. A little magic to the brew.

Each Cricket an adventurer, an adventure in living, the possibilities uncontained, except by form and circumstance made of yesterdays. Cricket is Cricket after all.

And one may show an unusual character, a little different in that he’s not showing anything – normal – at all.

See you later Cricket, me ole mate. ((:

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

A Guest in the House

I can’t remember what I was doing now, but I looked up at something moving in the corner of my eye and, sensing me, it stopped dead in its tracks. A little Gecko had come in from the unceasing rainfall and was making his way across my ceiling. Love the way they can walk upside down on the ceiling, with that waggling gait.

A small fellow, about the same size as the one in The Kill. This one had a different outcome though, in the short term anyway, that I know of.

I thought this little fellow would get lost and die in my place, with nothing or very little to eat, so I trapped him. I got a glass mixing bowl from the kitchen and just placed it on the Gecko on the ceiling, careful not to pinch him between the hard glass rim and the flat plasterboard. I then slipped a piece of cardboard between the bowls rim and the ceiling until he jumped down into the glass and I had him.

Then I brought him outside and let him go on a table I use for shots of creatures from around the house that allow me. He dashed this way and that but wasn’t frightened of me when I put a hand out to keep him from running away. And I was delighted he hung around for a little while, with that little encouragement from me.

Of course he was wary of me, a strange giant to his little eye. But after a while he came to sit on my finger once and allowed me to touch him before he darted away.

What a long tongue he’s got. And a lovely golden colour. Little beauty, to me.

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

Macro Day Three …

… nearly didn’t happen. With all the rain and not a bug in sight … The short of it is one made it for the day, it was only decided to go ahead on the morning of the day, and it seemed prudent not to ask anyone else along in case the rain didn’t stop. It stopped, for long enough anyway.

When it’s not pouring rain there is always an insect around, wherever you are. The trick is to find them without it being a stress or strain. When you stop trying you find what happens, happens with a pleasantly surprising ease.

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If anyone is interested in coming along for hands on experience of what and how I do what I do check these links : Macro Meditation Day, Macro Illustrated and Meditate, and email me at contact (at) beingmark (dot) com so you are on the list.

Email going out soon for January 2011 (and maybe Feb) dates.

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I can’t emphasize too much the importance, in my experience, of methodical relaxation and meditation to the creative state, that state of being in which it is possible to see and do the extraordinary – which is ordinary at the time. It is the basis for my art, it is my art. And it doesn’t have to be separate from the ‘rest’ of life.

Your life is your art, and every one a masterpiece, when nothing is left undone. ((:

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Here are a few of mine from the day, just the Nomadic Leaf Cutter Bees for now. The other participant may post some of his later.

This is also posted at different fora, the most active of which is HERE.

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I thought the one who attended would post a few pix but he must be too busy, never mind.

Here are a few more of mine from the day.

Jumping Spider with prey.

Some kind of young Shield Bug.

A small black Weevil at the honey with Mites attached.

Tiger beetle, the fastest thing on six legs – 1 metre in 1 second, so they say. Lucky he wasn’t running this day.

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

Rainforest Recital

I came across the most incredible sight the other day. As I was carefully making my way through the rainforest, dodging the spider webs and water holes, I heard some strange sounds, like music but none I had ever heard before. It sounded distant but also seemed to be coming from behind a tree to my right, a few metres away.

I stopped dead in my tracks and as quietly as possible came upon the tree and rested my hand on it. I leaned out a bit to see around the tree and there in a clearing of grass, surrounded by fallen wood and other plants, stood an ant, and she was dancing. I know it was a she because she was so graceful. She was dancing a dance unlike any I had seen before. Amazing!


I hadn’t been spotted as I was quite still so had a look around and saw all these little creatures watching the dancing ant, an audience. What’s this then, insect culture? What a wonder to happen upon such a rare sight.

Were these then the little people of the forest that so many stories have referred to? Must be! Who else?

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As I looked around I recognised some in the audience.

A neatly groomed Tufted Leopard Longhorn Beetle had climbed to the end of a stick overlooking the dancing ant and was waving his long horns in time with the music.


A Whiskered Weevil was sitting still on a nearby blade of grass, just listening as his antennae moved slowly in small circles.


A Sleek and Slim Waisted Zebra Wasp stood proud on her high perch and watched and listened intently, antennae twitching as the music rose up from the grass, source unseen.


A Giant Green Grasshopper sat safe on the side of a fallen log, absorbing the pure sense of this unusual rainforest scene.


And another kind of Ant, Golden Back, stuck to the spot, mesmerised by the magical ambience of it all in the fading afternoon light.


My attention wandered between the characters in this fairy like place and I was timelessly listening and seeing all that was there when a loud rasping sound went off in my ear.

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I turned sharply to see what the cause of this sound was and there, looking down on me from the tree, not four inches from my nose, was the Countess Cicada, Matriarch of this little piece of rainforest.


Oooh! What a stern look she gave me. “What’s this, sneaking up on the little ones?” she said. “Why don’t you go about your concrete business and leave us foresters alone.”

“But I’m not a concreter” I said. “I’m a forester too, I’m just big for my size.”

“You don’t look like any forester I’ve seen before, are you sure you are a forester?”

“Well,,, I’d very much like to be”,  I said.

And she tut tutted at me. “You don’t know what you are saying, it’s dangerous being a forester, you could get eaten in seconds and no one would even know” she said in her rasping way. “Or get a broken leg and nobody to fix it.”  “But I can see you have some forester in you, why don’t you go tell the other concreters to be kinder to us little ones, that way you would become more like us too, if that’s what you want.” “You are just too big to be a forester anyway, but you can be more like us.”

“Ok” I said. “That makes sense, I’ll just go and tell the concreters how to be more kind to foresters and we’ll all be more like foresters.” So off I went to tell the good news to all the big concreters, but how?

I Know, I’ll ………… ((:

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But it was all imagining, wasn’t it?

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