Nature's Place

Are We There Yet? – In the Rain

I found her at night lying on a rain-soaked flower in the garden, some kind of Daisy, gripping by her feet and jaws. It had been raining and windy for two days and she was in danger of drowning or starving, even hypothermia since the rain went on for another few days – we have had floods again in Brisbane. So I fed her the smallest amount of honey, a tiny drop on the tip of the thinnest firm twig placed to her face and near her mouth. She wasn’t alarmed, in fact she gestured the cleaning of her face with her front legs, down towards her mouth, and showed more sign of life – a little unexpected movement.

P1080375 - Mark Berkery

The next day she was still there so I took the flower and placed it in a glass with some water supported by thick dry tissue, to keep her from falling in the water. Then I fed her another tiny amount of honey, and she loved it. Immediately she was full of life and crawling about the new arrangement until she finally settled in the folds of the tissue where the water would be soaked off her body and she might warm up a little. Later I went out to see if I could get another shot and she was gone with the lull in the weather. Today, two days later, a similar bee, looking very healthy, landed on a nearby leaf as I was walking the garden – maybe her. Who is to know such a thing?

P1080298 - Mark Berkery


It’s often considered an amusing expression of ‘teen’ impatience but I’d like to put a different slant on the phrase – Are We There Yet?

P1080347 - Mark Berkery

Where is ‘There’? Surely it is where there is no more impatience? And if you take away impatience you have to take away so much else that is purely emotional, negatively so – as it contributes only to discontent, anxiety, future looking that divides the moment and causes inner (and outer) conflict.

P1080308 - Mark Berkery

So ‘There’ is surely a place of peace, peace of mind – is there another kind, really? And I have to say ‘NO’ – doubtlessly. Just look around you and you will see everybody is discontent about something. I don’t want to turn this into a dissertation on basic human nature so I’ll stick to the big picture.

P1080332 - Mark Berkery

Look into the news of the world, not just what your own local outlets produce, and join the dots. It takes a little time to get it but the picture is one of definite self-interest. Not just ‘do I have enough’, but do I have enough for every conceivable eventuality, as if to prepare for the worst. And most of all ‘Do I have what I want’, beyond what ‘I’ need.

P1080371 - Mark Berkery

To do that requires you to ignore the needs of any who don’t fit your tribe. Yes, we are still tribal. You’ll also see that irrefutably expressed in the big picture, which is only a tapestry made up of all the little pictures. So you don’t really have to look far to see.

P1080306 - Mark Berkery

And having seen it the question is ‘What can be done’? Well, there’s the question every sensitive soul has been asking since time began. The simple answer is you have to do what you are moved to address the injustice you see – or you are not being true to yourself, and that has serious long term consequences – both ways.

P1080341 - Mark Berkery

Or there is the more pointed answer to the question ‘What can be done’? I write about it here all the time and every now and then someone comments that shows they get it – what I am really talking about, and it’s not macro or nature – or it is but not what you think.

P1080274 - Mark Berkery

In fact I can’t write anything without pointing somewhat to the solution. When you have done what you are moved to do you have nothing else to do and you either find the truth of the matter or continue by the momentum of past behaviours – and do your best, if you do.

P1080254 - Mark Berkery

Most don’t realise it but what we have on earth, as the world produced by thinking and emotion, is hell. Heaven is in the other direction, inside, the negation of thought and emotion – which of course is hell to anybody addicted to undisciplined thinking and emotion, but the withdrawals only last a while – hell ends.

P1080265 - Mark Berkery

So if you want hell go on thinking and being emotional. But if you want heaven – and you have to really want it, just like any addict has to want to give up the object of addiction – you have to get serious. Serious is knowing what the problem is, really, and knowing what to do about it – a rarity indeed. And doing it.

P1080238 - Mark Berkery

If you want to know the solution I have already outlined it in the first four pages top right, there is a logic to them. But to truly simplify it here I will tell you; if undisciplined thinking and emotion – which is what most people do and creates the existential world of good and bad – is the door to hell, the door to heaven is the pure and simple sensation inside the body – to which the natural senses are the existential reciprocal. ‘Right’ meditation, in other words.

P1080244 - Mark Berkery

It’s that simple. And only when you have had enough of the one can you begin to really ‘get’ the other. And if that seems complicated that’s because you are thinking about it instead of sensing the truth or falseness of it, and just doing it. Or not doing it and just moving on to what is true for you now.

P1080312 - Mark Berkery

It’s that simple but nothing good comes easy, until it does, but by another will than mine, or yours. And not without the endeavour – relentlessly.

Though the Sun will surely shine, don’t get caught out in the rain.

Mark Berkery ……. Don’t forget to CLICK on any picture to enlarge it in a new tab – best in FireFox – for me


Our Beautiful Blue Banded Bee

P1070835 - Mark Berkery

Anyone who has been following my posts on this site will know I have worked at making the garden a place for the little ones to visit, maybe even stay and nest. You will know the endeavour has been somewhat successful, weather permitting.

P1070802 - Mark Berkery

The other day I went about clearing away a years fallen palm leaves and on the way got to see places I don’t usually go. At one of those places, coming to dusk, I came upon a band of bees hovering, landing, taking of and doing it over and over – as BBB’s (and others) do.

P1070817 - Mark Berkery

So I sat and watched a while and – it came to pass – the place is a nest of males, where they rest out the night. I had seen females looking for suitable nest sites during the day. I have only so far seen this roosting behaviour in the fields by the rain-forest remnant – and was pleased to see it around the house, indeed.

P1070799 - Mark Berkery

After enough of the dark hours had passed and the bees were well enough asleep I went to see what could be done to get a few pix – which can be a disturbing affair, to the bees, and myself – because it often involves some disturbance of the environment they roost and in the prevailing climate they are warm enough to fly even though they can’t see to well in the dark.

P1070825 - Mark Berkery

And this is what happened. I was in position with various bits and pieces (necessary for night shooting) and had slipped some BG material in place to better show the bees off and one was spooked and flew off, then another. I kept track as much as possible and found one that has settled on some nearby dead banana tree stem – which I leave in place to break-down to form habitat and eventually humus – got a shot or two and left it in place.

P1070846 - Mark Berkery

I lost track of the other that was disturbed and just trusted it didn’t lose itself in the undergrowth and would be ok come morning and go about its little life – I’ll never really know. But when I finished and went back towards the house I heard this buzzing noise I usually only hear when I am close to a bee. And there was the second one, buzzing up to the exposed light-bulb – it had hitched a ride on my clothes.

P1070845 - Mark Berkery

I got a glass and a cap for it; improvised from available material I leave about, and set about capturing the little bee. It wasn’t too difficult, you just have to be careful not to injure it when slipping the cap on and containing it. When that was done I brought it back to the spot I had disturbed it from – a place that gets the early morning sun – and set it up so it would live out the night and even make its way back to it’s roosting mates.

P1070852 - Mark Berkery

And it all seemed to work out fine. The bee climbed out of the containing glass by the thin stick I left jutting out of it and leaning against a taller stem – its preferred roost – and it climbed and went back to sleep. I don’t tag them, obviously, but I trust he lived to work another day and maybe even learned something from the experience – don’t go flying at night, it’s only a photographer when the flash goes off. :)

P1070860 - Mark Berkery

And one I held a leaf behind for the BG.

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


The Wet

P1070683 - Mark Berkery

Well, no sooner than I have said how dry it is here the rain comes. And it poured floods up and down the East coast. Fortunately where I am is protected from the worst of it, barring high winds – falling trees, ravaged gardens, big clean up and the heat/humidity.

P1070628 - Mark Berkery

Some are saying these extremes are here to stay and I am either at home with it or move on from it, remains to be seen – it doesn’t get easier. It was a cyclone that hit the coast a few days ago and the next day there were more bees about than I have ever seen, and of kinds I have never seen before.

P1070395 - Mark Berkery

People and all sorts of creatures were made homeless, and then it all sorted itself out, as it does. I am at least pleased the little ones had food for the duration, and the shelter a wild garden provides as habitat. And pleased for the opportunity to see so much I wouldn’t otherwise have done.

P1070506 - Mark Berkery

I have since noticed there is a gang of male Blue Banded Bees that roost in the back garden, up against the fence, on the dried out stems of Star Jasmine – the same the small native wasps like to hang their nests from. Also, while clearing up I disturbed a Carpenter Bee that had made its home in a dried out stick I used to support plants. When I noticed it flying around the spot the stick used to be I put the stick back, today the Carpenter is also back.

P1070716 - Mark Berkery

It seems such extremes are approaching, in time and event; there will soon be no option but to move on – one way or another. I could do with new pastures anyway, the old being so worn …

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