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.
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.
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