Nature's Place

Radiant Sunlight

Out the window, between the raindrops and when the clouds have passed, the light turns up. It’s especially noticeable when looking closely at something in shadow. That little turn of the radiance makes all the difference to seeing a thing properly, or not.

It’s the same no matter the subject, the closer I look the easier it is to see the shadow and the light. And it’s the balance that matters here, where everything is relative. The trick is to minimise the relativity, narrow the gap between the light and dark so it’s just right.

Then when you are ready, or the subject is ripe, an opening – or closing – occurs in the relationship and the quietest ‘BAM’, en-light-enment, of the subject. Entry into the state of seeing that is without the extremes of bright and dark. Or enough, in other words.

Enough of the extremes that mark the human condition, the excitement that keeps the world going and is reflected in nature – but not of it. Enough of the experience necessary to attain the right balance or poise of attention. Enough time and space to do what really needs doing here. Just enough, as the earth is in the balance of the solar system.

Our system of light, or love.

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The garden has been doing well indeed. Not so much doing it ‘my’ way as it ‘being’ done nature’s way, which is my way. I just introduce – seed and plants and things – while the garden gets on with living its life, the coming and going of form and relationship as shape, colour and happening.

In short I stay out of it as much as possible while taking responsibility for its primary function, to live, again and again, by tending it. And it never ceases to delight, what create-ures may arise from the process. I always look at the result most apparent to my sense and disposition.

The magnificent creatures at my feet, or hand. And some get out of hand.

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I have mentioned the big yellow Lynx spider in recent posts – just scroll down, she is still queen of the tops and even when knocked from her spot, as I did inadvertently, she makes her way back within minutes.

More recently there have been a few different visitors who sat long enough for me, too many to show them all in fact. But a few most delightful and unusual I will include, for the simple pleasure of seeing what my nature is capable of. It’s your nature too.

There was the most delightful shovel headed beetle with a metallic green shield on its shoulders frolicking in the heart of a yellow straw flower, as symbolic of the sun and its natural children as you’ll ever see. It had been injured somehow and appeared to have lost its front ‘hands’ that it does much work with but I saw no heed of it, but some impeding of its function. It was nevertheless a powerhouse of energy as I picked it up and it sought to dig down into the gap between my fingers with a strength amazing for its size – about a centimetre long, for the relief from all that yellow light perhaps.

Then there was the tiny fly that never stops still, as well with a shiny green shield of a back, also no more than a centimetre long. It sat just long enough for a few shots then off it went, on its busy business of a colourful fly in the garden, too quick and small to see, for me.

A small native paper wasp on a dark green leaf in the cold of the pre dawn light, looking a little tired or sleepy perhaps. Not where they are usually found at all, being of a social kind. There is a nest just above where I found her, about 30 individuals that feed and tend it, and it was apparent to me she had fallen from there. But then I noticed she only had one wing, the near one, the other just a stump undeveloped, and thought she may have been rejected, forcibly. I have seen these wasps express a distinct order of hierarchy and it is not unknown for creatures to shun a damaged or injured member of the group. She seemed healthy enough otherwise but a wasp that can’t fly can’t feed itself. I interfered and allowed her on my warm finger to climb back to the nest where she immediately went about tending the cells of the emergent young. I saw no reaction to her presence and then she was lost to my sight in the melee of activity that the hive already was, and trust all was well with her. She was obviously happy to do what she was born to do.

Then there was another kind of wasp, a mud dauber I think, of a solitary kind, and maybe even a new born from her size and the dried mud on her back. I found her early in the morning still asleep on a passion fruit leaf, something else the garden is growing that provides for many a visitor. The sun, good old Sol, was just rising to the right and behind and I had a time to shoot before it was high and warm enough for the wasp to fly. I sought out the best positions for the nicest backgrounds, a very important part of any picture, and think I found the best of the situation, acceptable anyway. It’s a matter of alertness and perception, the workings of experience within, to get a ‘good’ picture. Or, in other words, I do my best.

A subjective thing indeed, every picture being a good one to someone, some time. Judgment is a burdensome practise.

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture to enlarge in a new tab

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12 Responses

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  1. quueword said, on 16/05/2012 at 12:59 pm

    Wow these are amazing. It’s just so clear and pure! I love it.

  2. nonoymanga said, on 23/04/2012 at 7:11 pm

    As if I can touch it. Thanks for sharing Nonoy Manga

  3. efratadenny said, on 15/04/2012 at 5:14 pm

    Amazing Macro. Like it..

  4. Klaus Kommoss said, on 31/03/2012 at 1:49 pm

    There is a precious quality of quiet mindfulness in your blog. And your amazing macro photography lends itself superbly to this relaxed and yet highly focused attitude. The extreme close-up, the unfamiliar perspective does invite to abandon “views” and question held beliefs and opinions. (I’m following another formidable macro specialist on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnhallmen/)

    • Mark said, on 31/03/2012 at 3:54 pm

      Thank you Klaus. Since focus is key, in all things, it very much determines the life unfolding – whatever the object or objective. Macro does crack the shell a little, or a lot for some, and it’s great activity and entertainment. Bugs are amazing creatures and most of all show no emotion, no sign of self obsession or possession. :)

      I know John – from different fora, an excellent and helpful macro expert.

  5. sweffling said, on 29/03/2012 at 2:20 am

    A lovely post from a very kind man:)

    • Mark said, on 30/03/2012 at 2:19 pm

      Thanks S. Just doing it as it comes … :)

  6. João Pinto said, on 28/03/2012 at 10:45 pm

    Thank you for this post Mark, I believe that this photos can show us how beautiful the world is, we just have to search for it, you’ve done a great work showing us that, this photos are pretty good and beautiful!

    • Mark said, on 30/03/2012 at 1:58 pm

      Thanks Joao. It’s one little window, and like all windows needs to be kept clean … :)


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