Nature's Place

Dragon Salad


Mmmm, greens …

*Click the pictures to fill the screen with one, will look so much better.


Didn’t have the gear for a full body shot, about 50cm long, tip to tail.


Full head shot, including the ear on left, and armour behind it.


Eye spy, from 2 inches away. She didn’t mind, though I was ready to withdraw my hand the camera was first in line.


The other eye, left side, down where the turkeys went.


Ear armour, not to be taken lightly by a would-be attacker – dogs for instance, or turkeys.


Belly armour, from the side.


Belly armour from above.


Hind leg, she is well protected.


Manicure madam? Where we get our sci-fi creatures from …


Tip of the tail, modular structure, dispensable.

My eye was on the two bush turkeys running ahead, disturbed by my approaching form. So I nearly missed the dragon sitting motionless at my feet.

The afternoon sun was hot at my back and the area sheltered by trees from any wind, great spot for a cold blooded animal to warm up.

She sat on the dry track, still and unmoved – not a flicker of recognition I was there – with a little greenery hanging out her mouth.

We are just moving into late spring/early summer proper and the cold creatures are waking up to a new year.

The season is picking up a pace, though still cool enough from winter’s recess to enjoy the contrast.

One of the simple pleasures of being alive in nature, the sense of it, in the space of it.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click on those pictures for a closer look

Pollinators Past


More than a pollinator of flowers or crops.

*Click the pictures for a better view.


See the colour, the form, and wonder …


… are they just elements to be killed or harnessed?


Or is it clear these magnificent beauties are representative of something purer, unseen …


… of our own wonderful mystical nature that defies reducing.


They frolic in the flower heads … pollen dripping from their mouths.


Sit out the rain on a big yellow pillow.


Climb around the butterfly bush looking for the tastiest morsel.


Flit from flower to flower, playing in the garden.


The colours, this neon fiddler beetle.


Where better than on a crucifix orchid to pray in the dark of the night.


She traversed the garden, flower to flower, looking for the best spot to hatch her young. Pollinating as she went.

I’ve been asked to link to a calendar event about pollinators.

It’s not really what I’m about here but everybody needs to do something and any acknowledgement of nature is better than a lot else, closer to the earth.

So I’ll add my small piece to the picture. To call them pollinators is to reduce them to a function they perform in nature. It’s rational, scientific, but they are much more than that, to me.

To me the primary value of nature (insect pollinators in this case) is as a reminder of something else, through sense. Because when you’re under the hammer of mind as rampant thinking or the dreadful emotions it usually ends up stirring it is sense that helps you out for good – no undesirable (side) effects.

Sense as I see it, outside the world of mind-made problems, is a spiritual element of being in that, properly acknowledged, it can help resolve the problem of mind by nothing more than focus of attention, and right action, that may lead to realisation of something greater.

Any endeavour that omits the spiritual element and value, of sense and the realisable power or space within which a thought or planet occur – not religion, please – is doomed to be repeated.

Enjoy the pollinators for what they are … wonderful little earth creatures, faeries down the bottom of the garden … while they are.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click on those pictures for a closer look

Dark Jewels

p1020975_filtered-mark-berkery*Click the pictures for a better view.






One jewel from last year and one from this, so far.

The rain has begun and it looks like we will get our normal wet weather season this year, monsoon.

It’s already showing in the phenomenal growth in the garden, everything is just reaching for the sky and it’s a pleasure to see and be in it.

Lovely weather too, cool breeze in the warm morning sunshine. Refreshing rain at intervals, not too far apart or too much at once.

Nice and steady … as steady can be in an ever moving world.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click on those pictures for a closer look


Emergence …

p1100782_mark-berkery_filtered-ni_2*Click on pictures for a better view.







Then it quickly found it’s legs and ran up the tree towards the light, away from the shadow of my lens, born again again.

Walking the edge of the water treatment plant, that borders the local wilds, I saw a strange – even to these experienced eyes – thing.

I couldn’t make it out at first, it looked so oddly shaped, but after a few shots – so I could see closer – it became apparent it was a form of Shield-bug, in the midst of a rarely observed transition.

They outgrow their shell, exoskeleton actually, and periodically have to moult – usually there is a split along the back through which the new form pushes out. A very dangerous time for them, being immobile for the duration and soft, vulnerable – to some degree held back by the tight fit of the old skin.

Springtime is here again and small creatures are emerging everywhere. At first in smaller size, visible by their increasing numbers. With spiders hatching in the hundreds, a feasting of expendable form, everything is living off something else.

A cascade of life and death begins, by which another emergence takes place, those relative few that live to maturity, who make up the cast of earthy characters.

… and I’ll probably get a few pictures of this burgeoning operatic show.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click on those pictures for a closer look


Morning Queen

P1170531_Mark Berkery_filtered NI_2*Click pictures for better view …

P1170608_Mark Berkery_filtered NI_2

P1170545_Mark Berkery_filtered NI_2

P1170549_Mark Berkery_filtered NI_2

P1170622_Mark Berkery_filtered NI_2

P1170641_Mark Berkery_filtered NI_2

P1170645_Mark Berkery_filtered NI_2

First light of the day is a good time to catch the wildlife unawares. They haven’t quite woken up yet, aren’t so active as when it warms up.

And first thing today there was an ant. A queen of her kind, Green Head kind. She must have taken flight at first light, I’d guess.

Her wings took her to an old lemon on a stake, where I couldn’t get a shot, so I helped her to the butterfly bush.

I thought she might slow down there and even take some nourishment from the little yellow cups.

And so she did, before some preening, then wandering off round the nearest leaves.

So I present to you, a queen of the morning …

© Mark Berkery ……. Click on those pictures for a closer look