Nature's Place

Road – Kill – Heaven

P1080117-001 - Mark Berkery

P1080087 - Mark Berkery

P1080119 - Mark Berkery

P1080061-001 - Mark Berkery

P1080147-001 - Mark Berkery

P1080049 - Mark Berkery

For a green head ant it is, heaven. Fresh meat delivered to the door and nature embraces the bounty, heedless something died for it. And heedless of the observer, absolutely un-self-conscious except with reference to the instinctive need to survive, these little beauties process the red meat into pieces small enough to carry back to the nest, to live. Heaven is relative here.

An honest ant, you always know where you stand with a green head ant, they bite and sting, what ants do. You could say the ant is the same no matter what it is doing, and that is true, ant is always ant, never a pretense at being anything but what it instinctively is.

That’s what makes its state of being heaven to this observer, no mind to confuse or conflict, no mind but ant mind. Human mind is something else, potentially full of conflict, with itself reflecting off self in the hall of mirrors the mind is.

Human being is something else, being what being is beyond human, or ant.


Then, later when I went to see how things were, the meat was gone and there were paw prints in the earth around the area. Something, maybe a feral cat, had come and eaten the meat, ants and all.

So much death in one day, any day now – ‘heaven’ comes to us all in time.

We are lucky that way …

© Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab …


31 Responses

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  1. paranoiasnfm said, on 22/03/2014 at 1:05 am


  2. marycheshier said, on 16/03/2014 at 4:54 am

    Amazing photography! Fantastic write-up

  3. Fossillady said, on 11/03/2014 at 8:28 am


  4. Redterrain said, on 09/03/2014 at 8:02 pm

    I often look at the highways they create from the nest to the corpse and am in awe of their perseverance and the distance… Truly hardy creatures.

    • Mark said, on 09/03/2014 at 8:57 pm

      They are indeed, given what we throw at them in the name of progress. Thankfully the earth is still bigger than human ambition, for now.

      • Redterrain said, on 09/03/2014 at 9:11 pm

        Sometimes it doesn’t feel like we’re smaller than nature… We’ve ruined so much!

        • Mark said, on 09/03/2014 at 9:25 pm

          Life, behind and upholding the earth, is causal while the distortion of human nature and its consequences mere effects. I know, a difficult perception to maintain in the face of incessant ‘bad news’ posing as important. But have you noticed ‘bad news’ is just a habit of the excitable gossips we refer to as ‘The Media’. I don’t listen (too much) to the ‘bad news’ mongers, and still throw my little weight into the fray, without expectation of change – the tide always rising and falling while I swim on without looking back or forward – as much as possible.

  5. SarahBallYoga said, on 07/03/2014 at 11:04 pm

    I would not have expected to be stirred by this sort of topic. Your words are just as beautiful as these incredible photographs.

  6. Tammie said, on 07/03/2014 at 12:45 pm

    thank you for capturing their beauty and sharing with us! amazing!
    I really should study how you achieve such wonderful detail!

    • Mark said, on 07/03/2014 at 3:05 pm

      Thanks Tammie. To capture the detail a high effective shutter speed is necessary, more so if the camera’s sensor is small. Flash, properly delivered – there are rules to keep, is the effective SS here – possibly around 1/10,000 – 15,000sec. The actual SS of 1/160 would leave me with blur. I go into it here – – a long page.

  7. LauraZeitlos said, on 07/03/2014 at 7:07 am

    Beautiful shots!

  8. Lunar Euphoria said, on 06/03/2014 at 10:40 am

    Are their bodies really that iridescent or is it a computerized tweak?

    • Mark said, on 06/03/2014 at 6:43 pm

      Colours are that, more or less. JPG’s from the camera optimised for contrast and saturation.

  9. Godfried said, on 06/03/2014 at 4:31 am

    The third picture is a beauty Mark.

    • Mark said, on 06/03/2014 at 4:54 am

      Thanks Godfried … they are a set really.

  10. standingoutinmyfield said, on 06/03/2014 at 1:23 am

    A beautiful ant she is…look at how rough her cuticle is! Bees are not usually that sculptured

    • Mark said, on 06/03/2014 at 4:54 am

      Yes, somehow she looks like a she … and she is beautiful.

  11. afrenchgarden said, on 05/03/2014 at 5:50 pm

    Great photographs. I think watching bees being bees helps me escape from the hall of mirrors.

    • Mark said, on 05/03/2014 at 6:41 pm

      Thanks Amelia. A very practical occupation, being in sense – watching nature especially.

  12. treesshrubs said, on 05/03/2014 at 2:31 pm

    Wow!! That is something else…makes me smile I don’t know why : ) Trees ps. ants are amazing tenacious little blighters!

    • Mark said, on 05/03/2014 at 6:39 pm

      Maybe because it is a matter of sense and not mind … Ants are the keepers of the soil here.

  13. said, on 05/03/2014 at 2:12 pm

    Fresh meat delivered to my door would be heaven too ! I think I need to go out for a nice steak : )

    • Mark said, on 05/03/2014 at 6:37 pm

      Ha, a died in the wool red meat eater – a body’s gotta do …

  14. woodlandgnome said, on 05/03/2014 at 12:18 pm

    Photos so beautifully composed, to frame a message so clear…

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