Nature's Place

My Beautiful Babes …

… Are nearly all gone for this season. And for one reason or another I didn’t get out to them as much as I wanted, with the old body breaking down with this ‘n’ that but also mitigated by the help of a good ole doc.

In the field and forest of late I only found a few at sundown, my pretty gals, huddled against the coming night’s cold and condensation under a clear dark sky. It got very cold suddenly, noticeably, recently, from one night to the next. The same day the Mother Huntsman disappeared from her nest of spiderlings. And just as sudden, the wildlife all but disappeared from my usual haunts.

There might be a boy amongst them but bees just ‘feel’ female to me, the native Oz ones anyway. And that’s good enough for me, the ‘feel’ of it, in the absence of ‘fact’ which is often obtained by killing the little ones. Not a practise I agree with or see the need for, except we are always interfering, can’t keep our noses out of things. Busy, busy, busy, just like the bees except they aren’t trying to change the world or leave their mark. Not like us people anyway.

But everybody is doing their best according to their knowledge and capacity. The ‘spiritual’ life is not easy. The simplicity of it is just too much ‘absence – a void’ for most people who are used to excited, even feverish, activity – no less the religionists.

I don’t mean to separate the spiritual from the so-called mundane but there is a point at which living can be said to become spiritual though not as any religion would have us believe – as can be seen from daily recorded worldwide events, religion is no measure of spirituality.

Belief being the childish or immature abrogation of ones authority as opposed to the child-like, the innocence of a child’s unburdened intelligence necessary to be free of belief in order to question freely.

That point could be said to be realised when one has had enough of being busy, or sticking their nose in, when the greater need is seen to be for peace of mind than any exercise of it. And it’s a long time coming, as anyone who has had it come to them can tell.

I am not suggesting anyone give anything up. I am just saying it as it is for me, because by the means of publishing this it has a life of its own beyond anything I could design. So I just do my best to say what I have to say without fear or favour, or consideration of self, and let my work speak for itself – I’m sure it speaks to some one, somehow.

These Bees are my great little beauties, for now. It is correct to say I love them, as I do every creature I come in contact with, in a way – they have no artifice. But the Bees are a particular attraction for me. And when I’m with them I treat them with great care and respect for their body and being. That is what is meant by ‘dominion over’, love and not exploitation rights.

It could be said I am exploiting their being and that is true in a way, but my obvious practise and intent demonstrates otherwise, I work ‘with’ them.

Though if you see otherwise I’d like to hear it, really. So I might make myself clearer, or understand better.

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


46 Responses

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  1. Morrison said, on 13/06/2012 at 10:18 am

    Fantastic shots man, I’m hooked!

    • Mark said, on 13/06/2012 at 3:05 pm

      Ha! :) They are beauties, aren’t they.

  2. Anna Ulmestrand said, on 31/05/2012 at 11:51 pm

    Wow – Amazing photos!
    very inspiring to see such clarity and brilliance of your photos – really nice
    Thank you for sharing! :)

  3. Finn Holding said, on 29/05/2012 at 6:27 am

    Magnificent images Mark. As ever. And cool thoughts too, particularly your comment about ‘exploiting’ the bees. It is exploitation, but it is not exploitative in a damaging way to the bees. More a symbiosis – and that’s fair.

    Also, as you say ‘religion is no measure of sprituality’ – they are not mutually exclusive but equally they are not intrinsically linked.

    • Mark said, on 29/05/2012 at 8:30 am

      Thanks Finn. Yes, nothing wrong with using what is already there. A mutually supportive relationship amongst the creatures of the earth is as natural as sunshine. It’s just that we humans often forget the ‘mutual’ bit, or just plain get it wrong – especially given our system of ‘exchange’ involves (requires) the extraction of a value over and above what is invested.

      In as much as religion requires one to believe it is exclusive of the only spirituality that I know that requires individual responsibility based on the truth in ones own experience. Being responsible instead of the ‘but, but, but I was told …’ The point is that religion sets itself up as something special when the only special thing about it is it is based on the supposed words of an originating spiritual master, which may or may not be and he is surely no longer around to say what he means so like any other field of human endeavour is subject to the usual selfish abuse, or exploitation. Nothing special at all.

      The only other way I would say religion is ‘spiritual’ is in that it exists. Nothing is seperate from the whole and everything plays its ‘natural’, or un-natural, part.

  4. katiepede said, on 29/05/2012 at 2:52 am

    Have you got any photographs of slugs? I am intrigued to see how they would seem up close….

    • Mark said, on 29/05/2012 at 8:33 am

      I’m sure I have, somewhere. Though there won’t be much since they are only out in the rain. I’ll have a look and post one if I find any.

      • katiepede said, on 30/05/2012 at 2:17 am

        You need an up turned hollowed melon…. they love them!

        • Mark said, on 31/05/2012 at 9:49 am

          I have a active compost heap but I haven’t seen a snail in the garden since I started tending it two years ago. And I have 150,000 pictures in file but the snail never featured enough to warrant its own folder, maybe … :)

          OK, some snails dug up from the past now have their own folder … and place in the halls of

  5. jamyun said, on 28/05/2012 at 2:49 pm

    wow factor..thumbs up Mark…

  6. standingoutinmyfield said, on 26/05/2012 at 7:04 am


  7. Onibe said, on 25/05/2012 at 8:22 pm

    these photos are sooooo gooooood! ;-)

  8. suzysomething said, on 25/05/2012 at 10:57 am

    Mark, as always your photos are an inspiration. So are your words. I just wanted you to know that I do hear what you are saying and I wholly endorse it…You are an example to all of us who follow your posts. Thank you.

    • Mark said, on 25/05/2012 at 12:44 pm

      Than you Sara. Everybody is a light in their own right, keep shining … :)

  9. Sue McB said, on 25/05/2012 at 8:08 am

    Gorgeous photos as usual, Mark. You are not alone in your love of bees….I used to keep them, but down south in winter where I live there is not much food for them, and the hive needs to be moved to warmer climes. After a couple of years I gave up and did not bring them home. Winter is a sparse time for insects of all sorts, and I long for Spring so I have subjects to photograph again.

    • Mark said, on 25/05/2012 at 12:39 pm

      Thanks Sue. Are you talking about the native Stingless or Sugarback? Winter can be lean,especially now the rains have come and tend to thin the ranks through the summer anyway.

      So far there is one creature that hasn’t gone away, can always be found or baited, the great Aussie Fly. Or flies, we have so many different kinds I doubt many appreciate it, all the colours and different architecture. I often leave something out for them, or anything small, to eat. And often find a fly on a flower in the darkness. A compost heap is a good idea and will be a good resource for early visitors or hibernating hangers-on.

      • Sue McB said, on 27/05/2012 at 10:03 pm

        My bees were not native ones, just the normal honey bees that were introduced and that folk keep for their honey, though there are native bees around here too, but they look different to your photos.

  10. corinthcorners said, on 25/05/2012 at 7:41 am

    Now that is stunning macro! Brilliant and buttery background colors, and of course the sharp detail. Very impressive, thanks for sharing. :)

  11. Laura Conowitch said, on 25/05/2012 at 6:12 am

    Fabulous! You always bring the beauty of nature that I can’t see!

    • Mark said, on 25/05/2012 at 12:19 pm

      Thanks Laura. Then my work is done … so far … :)

  12. Lunar Euphoria said, on 25/05/2012 at 5:01 am


    That first picture! It’s so fluffy, I could die!

    I can’t say that I’ve ever had the desire to hug a bee until today.

    • Mark said, on 25/05/2012 at 5:10 am

      “Hug a Bee.” Ha, ha! That’s funny. She might misinterpret it … :)

  13. Godfried said, on 25/05/2012 at 4:19 am

    Amazing pictures. beautiful macro.

    • Mark said, on 25/05/2012 at 5:09 am

      Thanks Godfried. Beautiful creatures …

  14. michelledevilliersart said, on 25/05/2012 at 2:36 am


  15. A.M said, on 25/05/2012 at 2:15 am

    awesome pictures…the clarity and the colour depth is amazing!!

  16. Gracie said, on 25/05/2012 at 1:19 am

    Wonderful post and a series of amazing macro shots.

  17. okkaren said, on 25/05/2012 at 12:45 am

    Your beautiful little babes are so precious and a delight to gaze upon. Well done Mark! A rare glimpse of the wee ones …

    • Mark said, on 25/05/2012 at 1:59 am

      Thanks Karen. Glad you like them … :)

  18. writingthroughitall said, on 25/05/2012 at 12:01 am

    Mark–yet another lovely post about life in all its glory and unity. I am always humbled by your soft and loving way of seeing the world. Blessings,………Lorri

    • Mark said, on 25/05/2012 at 12:30 am

      Thank You Lorri. Just doing my best to divine the light behind the dust of experience …

      … best. M

  19. Ritz Einne said, on 24/05/2012 at 11:51 pm

    Very beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing! :)

  20. Karen Douglass said, on 24/05/2012 at 11:47 pm

    Lovely, not sure how you got my email, but I certainly enjoyed this post.

    • Mark said, on 25/05/2012 at 12:06 am

      Hello Karen, and thank you. I didn’t get your email. Subscriptions to blogs are through the WordPress system and have nothing to do with me. So it looks like somebody used your email address to subscribe to my site, though that usually requires the subscriber to confirm the sub by clicking a link in an email asking if you did in fact subscribe – AFAIK. Maybe someone you know? I’m sure you can unsubscribe too.

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