Nature's Place

Treasure Ant








And a little treasure they are, caretakers of the dead, diggers of the soil. Indispensable pieces in the great Earth machine.


It’s that time of season the only creatures around are ants, or so it seems. The passion fruit vine, with its highways and byways and the wonderful smell of exotic flowers is home to many kinds of ants, all patrolling for a bite to eat, a little nourishment. The only way to get a shot is to stop one and food does the trick.

I’ve watched an ant eat until it looked like bursting, its abdomen swelling to accommodate the liquid gold. A little honey stops an ant in its tracks, some feed until it can take no more, and off back to the nest it goes – I suspect – to share the treasure. Sometimes with an initial stagger from the unaccustomed weight and balance.

We do it too, with all the momentary treasures of a single lifetime, absorb and distil the essence to eventually radiate as our light or wisdom – after many years climbing around on the vine of experience, you may have noticed.

Whether the treasure is real or illusory, when it’s gone we move on, ever in search of the next de-light. Until the endlessness of the search is seen to be the grand delusion.

Then now is all there is, no loss or need to search, no ignorance nor despair. No need to experience any more, no need, no need.

Still, inside, there is the nourishment of the simple good, no thing, no form, no problem.

And the reality of the moment grows in focussed attention.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click the pix for a closer look


18 Responses

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  1. stevenbbarrett said, on 04/02/2015 at 6:17 am

    Great shots! I love being able to see the anatomical details.

    • Mark said, on 04/02/2015 at 11:49 am

      Thanks Steven. It is amazing how every creature’s design fits its environment and function.

  2. pronghornwildlife2 said, on 02/02/2015 at 11:55 am

    Superb macros!

  3. Emily Scott said, on 30/01/2015 at 4:29 pm

    Good to know the ants enjoy honey. Makes sense as of course they are cultivators of honeydew, the sticky sugary excretions of aphids. Your pictures make me feel warmer towards ants.

    • Mark said, on 30/01/2015 at 5:37 pm

      Almost everything that comes across it enjoys honey, to the point they are oblivious of me taking photos of them.

      Even though they sting and bite they are still only doing what comes natural. Not to be judged harshly for it, as is the tendency of conditioning.

  4. David said, on 30/01/2015 at 6:20 am

    I like them all but favor the close-up of the head (2nd to last) with its detail. I also very much like your roses on the focused attention link. The dark red rose with the subtle highlight is especially nice.

    • Mark said, on 30/01/2015 at 10:22 am

      Thanks David. The closer, the more intriguing. Yes, the roses, and the space between …

  5. bena said, on 30/01/2015 at 5:13 am

    Excellent macro photography. I’ve subscribed and I’m looking forward to seeing more. Keep up the amazing work. :)

  6. Victor Rakmil said, on 29/01/2015 at 9:10 pm

    Great photographs of a difficult subject.

    • Mark said, on 30/01/2015 at 12:53 am

      Thanks Victor. An easy enough subject when slowed down.

      • Victor Rakmil said, on 30/01/2015 at 12:54 am

        I was thinking about some outdoor shots I took and I could not believe how fast these animals can move.

        • Mark said, on 30/01/2015 at 1:44 am

          Yes, their speed is especially noticeable when trying to get a close up. I have tried without baiting them but with little success. The difficulty I find is in getting good focus at the right angle, the keeper rate is low because even when eating they are still moving.

  7. macmsue said, on 29/01/2015 at 7:58 pm

    Great shots. I guess the only time ants have time to actually enjoy life is when they’re eating. :-)

    • Mark said, on 30/01/2015 at 12:54 am

      Thanks Mac. I think ants are always enjoying life, because they have no problem, no mental or emotional reflection. But honey would certainly be a highlight.

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