Nature's Place

Wake Up Call

It was early morning – my month is half and half, early and not so. About 6.00am, it had been an open sky during the night so it was coldish, relatively so. I went looking for any creatures that were visible, maybe late to rest in the afternoon and so ‘on top’ of things rather than hidden as so many are.

I went out the back yard and saw this tiny bee, or wasp, it’s so difficult to know at times, and thought it must be cool enough not to take much notice of me. But as soon as I got close she was away. Away about two feet to the flowers on the Crown of Thorns, the name given to a plant that grows out back.

It seemed frisky enough but I approached again where it was on the flower and it didn’t fly away this time but moved around the flower to get away from me, perhaps having exhausted it’s early supply of flight supporting energy. I took the opportunity to put a small drop of honey on a flower and as the bee wasn’t flying away I used my finger to nudge it in the direction of the honey.

When it got to the honey there was no distracting it. It was totally absorbed in the sweetness and surge of sensation it must have been to it. Heaven I’d say, to a bee on a cool morning in the shade. It drank a while and moved a little now and then and when it finally had enough it preened itself for a while, as they do, then flew away well prepared for an active day.

And not a word of complaint about the missing half of one antennae.


Then a little while later a Golden Spiny Ant came along, about twice as long as the bee – you can see from the size relative to the drop of honey, it’s the same drop. And it was enraptured, wouldn’t you be? Honey, the rarest of foods for free at the most opportune time, breakfast, heaven indeed.

The ant made the most of it. And when it had enough it too went on its way. Not a thought from either to hoard or take more than was needed in the moment. Trusting nature will provide, instinctively, out in the wild yonder of the natural metropolis.

Wild little beauties both.

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


67 Responses

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  1. Mark said, on 26/04/2012 at 3:05 pm

    Thanks all. If I missed you out it wasn’t deliberate. :)

  2. riddletounfold said, on 26/04/2012 at 2:09 am

    “Not a thought from either to hoard or take more than was needed in the moment.” Oh, if only the whole word were like that. . .Alas.

    • Mark said, on 26/04/2012 at 3:44 am

      It’s easy to think ‘If Only’. A little more difficult to see the functioning of intelligence in the self reflection that causes the fear of the future. The fear is eventually intolerable to the intelligence and something must be done. That’s usually when something appears in the life that points the way, for ‘something’ to be done. It’s easy to ignore it because negation is the way and it is not easy, but it is simple.

      • riddletounfold said, on 26/04/2012 at 5:24 am

        Of course it is easy to think, even if it is impossible to visualize. We have imaginations for a reason, it does not mean we are duped into believing the imaginary will ever be the reality. Negation is the way, you say–negation of the fear of the future? Agreed. Fearing the future is a useless exercise, but it is helpful to try and picture it before stepping into it. Either we can do something about the thing we fear, or we cannot. Knowing what is within our capability and what is beyond allows us to stop wasting energy fearing that which we cannot avoid, and allows us to invest our energy, instead, into a sustainable planet for all. No hoarding required–but that is not our planet right now.

        • Mark said, on 26/04/2012 at 6:02 am

          You do enjoy argument. The planet is already sustainable, it’s Man’s common ways that are not, including habitual thinking and emotion – the cause of untellable suffering. And it’s not about a better future, it’s about a peaceful now, and that is realised inside without the need to search for anything, when you are done searching and not before.

          But you do what you have to do to come to the end of the need to do it any more, that’s just the way it is. It doesn’t matter if you can’t imagine such a time. As I said, you can’t, imagination is a lower form of intelligence than stillness of mind. Anybody can imagine anything imaginable. But who can realise stillness of mind now, a few perhaps.

          Stillness is the absence of unnecessary thought, possessing emotion and imagination without practical purpose – stuff anybody can do any time. The challenge now is to be still.

  3. nonoymanga said, on 23/04/2012 at 7:09 pm

    Man you master this art. So clean, so clear, so good. Good day Nonoy Manga

    • Mark said, on 26/04/2012 at 3:08 pm

      Thanks NM, just doing my best … :)

  4. Mobile Personal Trainer Perth said, on 23/04/2012 at 11:39 am

    Classic Shots!! Really amazing. Which Camera you used to click these Close ups??

    • Mark said, on 23/04/2012 at 6:35 pm

      Thanks Neo? :)

      It’s the light, not the gear – as long as it is comfortable for you, and a few other things. See here for the rundown on what and how, and why …

      Now, was it the Blue pill, or the Red pill … Can’t remember anymore. I think the same stuff was in both – Neo. :)

  5. intergenerational said, on 23/04/2012 at 6:21 am

    so much power in so small world!Great!

    • Mark said, on 23/04/2012 at 9:57 am

      That power behind, the mysterious origins perhaps, that the intellectual would love to be the first to analyse and define but never will …

      • intergenerational said, on 24/04/2012 at 5:09 am

        But still,we can learn a lot from this gorgeous beings……

        • Mark said, on 26/04/2012 at 3:10 pm

          Indeed … It’s all in the sense of it …

  6. berlinickerin said, on 22/04/2012 at 3:34 am

    Wow. I’m almost amazed with macro shots how different these tiny creatures appear when they are – well, not so tiny anymore to the eye. But in the case of your photos I’m completely stunned by all those textures you manage to capture. Suddenly, the chitin is not simply smooth and glossy and a bees pelt (if that is how you call it in English?) is not just fluffy but made up of individual hairs. Really just wow! Also for getting up so early. ;D

    • Mark said, on 22/04/2012 at 3:40 am

      Get up early? I think it was already up late. :)

      And those bee’s hairs also have featherings, fern like. And the colours in the wings. There’s a good reason we have the tools to see such small creatures so close. Time to wake up to the magnificence of our own sweet nature.

      • berlinickerin said, on 22/04/2012 at 3:45 am

        Late? I’m even more impressed as I am more of a night owl myself. :D

        Very true. It’s amazing how different and truly beautiful nature looks even if you take just a close look.

        • Mark said, on 22/04/2012 at 3:53 am

          Same here, always have been. Listening to the Blackbirds singing as the sun came up in Dublin when I was a kid, having waited all night with my uncle who was/is an accomplished sound engineer. I find there are too many distractions during the day, for serious work.

          • berlinickerin said, on 22/04/2012 at 5:09 am

            That sounds lovely. And yes, I’m also working best in the late evening or the morning. Proof? Going back to work now and thank to you with the Beatles’ Blackbird playing in my head.

            • Mark said, on 22/04/2012 at 5:43 pm

              Ha! You have to be up early for the Blackbird’s song.

  7. newfoundimage said, on 21/04/2012 at 10:59 am

    Just wondering what kind of camera and lens are you using? ALSO …I am about to upgrade my camera to the 7D…is there a significant difference between the 7D and 5D Mark II in regards to macro photography…the main think I was thinking about was the 1.6 conversion and how much that effects getting good macro imagery?.?.? Thanks for any insight. PS: Obviously think these photos are AWESOME!

    • Mark said, on 22/04/2012 at 1:25 am

      Hello NFI. It’s all here : – top right under pages. Lighting is the key once a level of technology is at hand. Light is the basis of life and the task is to get it right. :)

      There is no doubt either camera will give you good imagery properly used. The primary difference I know of between a crop factor of 1.6 and full frame is with FF the object will occupy less space in the frame at magnification equal that on the crop sensor. 1X will look closer on 1.6 than on FF. My advice is to start with a 1X lens and graduate. Macro is as much a physical discipline as a tech or artful one and it takes time to develop control of the muscles involved, and of course to master technique. Then you really begin to develop your ‘art’.

  8. Mark said, on 21/04/2012 at 5:37 am

    I will get to responding to your comments asap. Been a bit busy for a while now but will get back.

    Thanks all. Mark

  9. Scott Fillmer said, on 21/04/2012 at 1:29 am

    love the detail in macro photography… i tend to stick with flowers since they don’t move around as much, but bees and wasps make for a great subject

    • Mark said, on 22/04/2012 at 1:27 am

      Me too. I enjoy flower work at times but the greater animation of the tiny creatures gives me a greater reflection of self, or more articulate. Love those bees … :)

  10. starlaschat said, on 21/04/2012 at 12:51 am

    Your Photos are Absolutely Amazing!

  11. P. C. Zick said, on 20/04/2012 at 10:12 pm

    I just discovered your lovely blog in time for Earth Day 2012. I look forward to following you.

    • Mark said, on 22/04/2012 at 1:29 am

      G’day PC. Drop in any time, always welcome.

  12. Rafiullah Mian said, on 20/04/2012 at 8:37 pm

    amazing …

  13. drawandshoot said, on 20/04/2012 at 1:41 pm

    Wow, these are terrific!
    I love how the bottom one looks gold plated!

    • Mark said, on 22/04/2012 at 1:30 am

      Nature is amazing when you slow down enough to see. And the magnifying lens and recording instrument helps. :)

  14. Nina said, on 20/04/2012 at 12:29 pm

    Love the Macro photography. Wish I was this good.

  15. candacejames said, on 20/04/2012 at 12:07 pm

    I love nature and seeing these photographs so ‘in yer face’ makes my heart smile.
    Thanks for taking them.
    Warm regards,

  16. wongeats said, on 20/04/2012 at 9:39 am

    Great shots! What lens do you use?

  17. Bug Girl said, on 20/04/2012 at 9:38 am

    Wow! How did I not know about your blog until now?? I love your photos!

  18. Suzanne said, on 20/04/2012 at 9:29 am

    Mr. Berkery! Your photos are absolutely beautiful! Would you be willing for me to share a few of them on Pinterest? I think that others should see your work. If you do agree, please provide me a link to use with your images. I really hope you will grant me permission to share the natural beauty you photograph so artfully. Your staging is perfect so we can see the comparative size of the little creatures. Thank you for letting me see them.

  19. isabellkinga said, on 20/04/2012 at 9:25 am

    Absolutely exquisite work. All of it. Breathtakingly beautiful pictures of the fabulous creatures not often seen in all their glory like this. I feel I may become addicted to this blog!

    • Mark said, on 22/04/2012 at 3:10 am

      Hello Isabella. Thanks for comment, and feel free to be addicted. :)

  20. josephine_b said, on 20/04/2012 at 9:09 am

    I just found you through today’s wordpress email – 8 Gorgeous Nature Blogs for Earth Day.

    Gorgeous indeed. I’ve been a fan of insects since I was a child. Thank you for sharing these. And thank you for noting how great they take only what they need.

    • Mark said, on 22/04/2012 at 3:13 am

      Hello Josephene. Nature has always been my refuge, now I use it to illustrate the simple but often hidden beauty and amazing life of it. Wonderful little things, aren’t they.

  21. Jeanette Kongsgaard said, on 20/04/2012 at 9:01 am

    Amazing photos. I love it!

  22. Angel said, on 20/04/2012 at 8:26 am

    Oh, these are amazing!

  23. abrahammx said, on 20/04/2012 at 8:11 am

    Reblogged this on abrahammx.

  24. ako said, on 20/04/2012 at 6:20 am

    beautiful natural photography

  25. livebeeremoval said, on 19/04/2012 at 3:49 am


    I’m wondering if the craze for bee keeping is taking root in Australia as it seems to be here in the United States. The more I read about it, the more I’m fascinated by the younger generation who are taking to beekeeping like bees to honey.

    • Mark said, on 19/04/2012 at 5:22 am

      There seems to be less emphasis on the imported variety and more on the native bee. The trouble is funding is only available if there is a potential profit. Damned again …

  26. amlr said, on 16/04/2012 at 8:57 am

    Oh I love the color background, black on red.
    Mark, I am always amazed ….


    • Mark said, on 19/04/2012 at 5:23 am

      Hello Anna. This one is rather unique, a very rare occurrence for this little one to stop still for more than a second. They live fast lives, and short I suspect.

  27. alessandro ciapanna said, on 15/04/2012 at 7:29 pm

    eye-popping. thanks for posting these :)

  28. Susi said, on 15/04/2012 at 5:43 pm

    Thank you Mark! Your postings and pictures bring me much joy! Warmest greetings from Copenhagen this time, Susi

    • Mark said, on 19/04/2012 at 5:25 am

      Hello Susi. Good to hear you are still looking. Copenhagen must be still a bit cool at this time.

  29. efratadenny said, on 15/04/2012 at 5:13 pm

    Nice series of photos.. Amazing..

    • Mark said, on 19/04/2012 at 5:29 am

      Thanks mate, all in a moments work, after a few years practise …

  30. Color Odyssey said, on 15/04/2012 at 5:00 pm

    Beautiful Macro shots!

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