Nature's Place

The Yellow Bucket

13 is a lot of pix for one post but she’s a beauty.


It never really became famous but was mentioned in the last post – A Time For … – as the place I found the bee pictured there, and in light of what has happened since probably deserves a post called after it. Only this time it was the white basin. There’s the yellow bucket I keep filled with water for the recent Frangipani planting, and there’s the white basin, the idea for which came from the yellow bucket. That’s the connection, and now you know why it’s not called the white basin. If it matters to anyone.

There is a palm tree in the garden, like no other palm tree around. But like all palm trees it drops its leaves, or branches, periodically. It also flowers periodically, and this one is flowering now for the first time in three years, that I know of. And it seems to produce nectar first thing in the morning, for only about an hour. For that hour the flowers are royally attended by a host of creatures, the bees I found in the yellow bucket – lots of them, and all sorts of other small creatures that are about and enjoy a little nectar for breakfast.

The upshot is some of these creatures fall into the water in the white basin, haven’t seen a bee in the yellow bucket since I put out the basin, curious that. Anyway, I’m not cruel, just wondering, what eats the nectar and falls from the flowers above the basin that would never otherwise be seen. So in the basin I leave things floating like life rafts that anything that falls in can hang onto until I come along and lift them out. And nothing has drowned yet, always holding on to something.


Well, I have seen one of these Emerald Cuckoo Wasps before. It was asleep, here – Neon Blue Delight – But this one was wide awake and lively after being rescued from the water. I put it on a post of rounded wood and it went about its business of drying out, cleaning off and warming up.

While it did this I went about my business of taking pictures. It can be difficult when the creature is always moving but that gives opportunity for different shots, and I trust I got a few of this rare beauty.

A little beauty fell into my life, though I did arrange the basin for it to fall into. It came nonetheless.

There is no stopping what nature will be. And only a fool would try.

Does that make us a race of fools? Hmmm!


When she was done I gave her a sup of honey, and when she was done with that – which was a long time later – I put her in the sunshine and she launched herself into the air and was gone.

Wonderfully colourful little thing.

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


38 Responses

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  1. standingoutinmyfield said, on 08/05/2012 at 11:13 pm

    Perhaps the white basin and the yellow bucket are functioning like Moericke pan traps. Entomologists that want to collect specimens of bees put out pans of water and Moericke did experiments to see which colours were preferred. He found that some species prefer yellow, some prefer white, and some prefer blue. You could put out a blue basin next if you want to test it. :)

    • Mark said, on 09/05/2012 at 10:55 am

      Maybe, to some degree. Maybe they just go after the water? For the white basin, it was under a broad flowering palm and it wouldn’t surprise what went on up there – bugs drunk on nectar for instance, falling into the water below – or tangling with the wrong ant, I’ve seen two ants hang onto a spider hunting wasp for hours before they were dislodged. One on on a foot and the other gripping a wing so the wasp couldn’t fly and had to climb a blade of grass for the night and fight for its life. And the big yellow bucket would surely attract some attention in the darkest corner of the garden. I also have big bright yellow pansies that have few visitors and the Blue Banded Bee always visits the blue flowers in the garden. I think structure and other senses, smell for instance, or danger, play a big part.

      I suppose the entomologists don’t necessarily want the creatures alive so don’t devise for it, was wondering how best to keep them from drowning. I scooped a bundle of tiny bees from the water the other day, all atangled. Five that had probably just fallen in as they recovered in seconds – no idea what five were doing together.

      • standingoutinmyfield said, on 11/05/2012 at 8:03 am

        There are different hypotheses as to why they go in. Some people think that the bees think it is a giant flower. I’m not so sure…I think you’re probably right about them going for water.
        I guess it depends on your goal. Do you want to prevent them from ever falling in or do you want them to fall in but be able to escape? To prevent them from falling in, you’d probably need some sort of cover. But I like your raft idea. Maybe also a stick propped up against the edge so that they came climb out if they come to it?

        • Mark said, on 12/05/2012 at 12:39 am

          I just don’t want them to dies from falling in so the raft is probably the best so far. I have provided a stick for climbing up on, and out, but they never seem to use is. But who knows what happens when nobody is there to see.

  2. vonarief said, on 05/05/2012 at 6:00 pm

    its so great , wonderful,, I like watch

  3. starlaschat said, on 21/04/2012 at 12:56 am

    WOW The colors and look at those eyes. Thanks for sharing you work with us. :+)

  4. dabawenyo life said, on 14/02/2012 at 3:41 pm

    The word “wow!” came out from my mouth upon looking through your pictures…thank you :)

    • Mark said, on 17/02/2012 at 3:45 pm

      Thanks D, glad you like them. Little beauties, you must have many in Philippines.

  5. gostphareal said, on 04/02/2012 at 6:58 pm

    Gorgeous pictures.

  6. coraxyn said, on 25/01/2012 at 2:29 am

    Thank you for comments. Being Canuckistanian am always polite :) Am now stalking you. Keep them coming!

    • Mark said, on 25/01/2012 at 3:05 pm

      Politeness has a place. Stalking can be dangerous, especially when the prey is more cunning … :)

  7. Lunar Euphoria said, on 23/01/2012 at 4:57 am

    Oh! She is a beauty.

  8. mike585 said, on 22/01/2012 at 8:28 am

    Very nice images, Mark.

  9. Tammie said, on 19/01/2012 at 4:54 am

    enjoyed each and every photograph
    such a little beauty
    enjoyed also your tale of how you came to meet this wee creature
    lovely day and beyond to you ~

    • Mark said, on 22/01/2012 at 1:17 pm

      Hello Tammie. It is, isn’t it … a little beauty. Thanks.

  10. Gurpreet Singh said, on 18/01/2012 at 5:03 pm

    wow… amazing!

  11. mike585 said, on 15/01/2012 at 6:31 pm

    Excellent images.

  12. Kazelle said, on 15/01/2012 at 12:20 pm

    Another beautiful series Mark. Not only am I inspired by your stunning display of nature through your images but I thoroughly enjoy your sensitivity and spirituality you share through the written word… Thankyou!!!

    • Mark said, on 22/01/2012 at 1:22 pm

      Thanks Karen. Glad the words get a look now and again … :) If a thing isn’t acknowledged it tends to die away, IME.

  13. Sue McB said, on 15/01/2012 at 6:36 am

    Fabulous shots! What a good looking Bee – wish we had them down South.

    • Mark said, on 22/01/2012 at 1:24 pm

      Thanks Sue. I’m sure you have your own down there, Neon Cuckoo Wasp BTW. It’s just a matter of finding them and all creatures drink and eat and show up fine against a white material.

  14. Jack said, on 15/01/2012 at 12:46 am

    Stunning colors Mark. Your photography is as inspiring as ever.

    Perhaps the foolishness also includes the seeing of ourselves and our activities as somehow outside of or separate from Nature.

    Best, Jack

    • Mark said, on 22/01/2012 at 1:26 pm

      Thanks Jack. Or the being of ourselves outside ….

  15. bareego said, on 15/01/2012 at 12:22 am

    what a beauty, caught a couple shots of these as well some weeks ago, but not as nice as these.
    What macro attachment do you use ?

    • Mark said, on 22/01/2012 at 1:28 pm

      Thanks James. They are not easy to find and shoot at all, are they. Still using the FZ50 and achromats, stacked for a WD of 2″.

  16. Lemony(Gr)Egghead said, on 14/01/2012 at 10:27 pm

    Absolutely lovely!

  17. xandimusic said, on 14/01/2012 at 9:50 pm

    Wonderful macro shots, thanks for sharing!!! :)

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