Nature's Place

Preyer On Blue

Preying Mantis, on the blue flowered butterfly bush. Doing what preyers do … sitting, waiting, attacking at opportunity. Preying …

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She doesn’t move much, unnecessarily. But when she does, towards prey, she is very fast. And often, her prey is faster than she is. Such is life …

Inspecting her reflection in the lens a few inches away? Maybe, maybe not, but she is certainly aware I (whatever presents in her perception or sense as ‘I’) am present.

She got used to me quick enough, was able to photograph her from a few inches and pick her up with ease.

Hello beauty, time to bow out of this conversation. Preyer on blue, and the observer unseen.

And on to the next event, the next necessity. … What we do. Us preyers, and prayers.

On the blue butterfly bush, where she sits and waits for what sustains her in her instinctive purpose, to live and live again.

She is one of the first to appear in the garden, so when the flowers are spent on one butterfly bush I give her a lift to the next.

What else visits the flowers takes its chances, and she is fast when she needs to be. Spiked arms flicking out to catch what comes.

But everything at that size is fast, when it comes to survival. So there’s no guarantee, of any kind, to anything.

Only death is certain, eventually. And death is just the end of the struggle to survive.

For a preyer …

© Mark BerkeryClick on those pictures for a closer lookand click again.



Life In The Garden

This is how I picked her up, on the end of my stick. … Dead as a door nail. Or a last gasp strategy to survive a watery grave, lying on its back with as much out of water as possible.

And there she goes, against the odds still able to move and signalling life is present still. Amazing little bee …

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A nudge this way and that and before long she is back up and about, more or less. Taking to my finger for its warmth and simplicity of form.

Exploring and inspecting her new location now as she holds on tight. Perhaps some residual awareness in her body of a recent near death experience. But it won’t colour her for long.

Still a ways to go before she can take to the wing again. Those wings stuck together by the surface tension of water, I think. Will drain away as she wriggles and wicks.

Where there’s life … There’s potential for change, advancement, progress, or just plain recovery from the past, actual and otherwise. Unburdened by the weight of experience remembered.

“Do I look like a spider to you.” Looking very stable, legs all splayed out and around. Not falling into anything wet again. No need to do again what nearly killed her, bees are so practical.

“Ooh, this is nice.” A place among the flowers. Time and comfort to groom, first the limbs.

Maybe a little food to speed up recovery. I’m sure she senses it. Nectar and pollen just below in those colourful pots.

“Yes, yes, give me more …” Where to from here, who knows. Energised by her vital instinct to revive and away, where else.

Her changing demeanor observed to signify an inner cause. She is getting back to herself, being a no problem bee, ready to set off once more.

And so it was. Before long, before sundown, she was gone from the butterfly bush. Never to be seen again, except maybe as another bee …

I can’t help it, when I am walking around the pool and see something struggling to live I give it a hand.

Then it gives me a hand, providing me some sense of pleasure photographing it as it revives or dies.

Such is life, that sees the struggling of the forms of life without sentimentalising it.

No need for a bee to be anything but …

© Mark BerkeryClick on those pictures for a closer lookand click again.



Assassin – Born Again

Raised up on the trusty stick with many uses. Soaked to the eyeballs but eager to rise again. A little unsteady at first.

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Time for a few shots before s/he gets going again. Nudged in a dryer direction, on life support. Me and my stick …

Renewed enough to start grooming, after being delivered to the flowering butterfly bush. Gently …

There’s little to do but wait to dry out a bit. The wind helped. And gather ones focus, on being a fly …

An Assassin Fly. King or queen of its kind. Master of the air and all below it in the hierarchy of form.

After a while the orange, staked for another form, served to display the Assassins form.

An aerial shot, as the Assassin would see its prey perhaps. Plenty to hold onto, should another Assassin attack from above.

The way they do … Getting into its exercises now, bringing life back to limb and wing.

Manipulated somewhat for the flower in the background. Context is everything. Well, it’s important to the best appearance of form and things.

And a little prayer for the very good luck that saved its neck, this time. Life moves on, death follows …

One is the other, really. Inseparable, one from the other. Where to draw the line … This one dry and ready to fly again. Not yet dead.

At days end the wind was blowing mightily. A good time to check the water’s surface for fallen creatures.

Thought I was just removing debris fallen from the surrounding trees but this little one jumped out.

An Assassin or Robber fly, so called for their capture and kill skills on the wing. Superb control.

With strong flight control, the legs are spiked to form the catcher basket in air.

The proboscis delivers the ‘coup de gras’, usually to the back of the head.

This one was lucky to survive, to live and kill another day.

Such is life …

© Mark BerkeryClick on those pictures for a closer lookand click again.



A Journey …

… in the local bush.

Climbing out of the water of Karingal lake, by the rotting boardwalk. Herald of things to come …

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The ubiquitous black jumping spider, prowls the byways looking to ambush an unwary ant. Usually still enough for a shot when focused on eating, or other primal action.

Long legged bug, congregating on the long sticky grass. Probably feasting on the spring juice rising. Or just congregating, for who knows what – the pleasure of it maybe, or the mating prospects.

Little skink, lizard of a kind, has its home on a man-made structure along with others of its kind. It took a while but in time they accepted my presence as background – short memories, and no immediate threat.

Others of its kind, very social creatures. Took me for a member of the family eventually. In the end there was a lot (10 – 15) of them sitting and moving along the painted post, taking little notice of me as they inspected my hand and climbed around.

Fruit fly, patiently waiting for the prickly pear to grow – probably not. Little oasis that it is, the pear cactus. And those prickles – don’t brush against them – will cause serious discomfort in defense of the realm, the bounty of water it soaks up and retains.

Female Lynx spider, sitting nearby the prickly pear, just being a spider. No problem, a male in hailing distance but in no rush to engage. Spring time is for mating and babies, and eating, in the insect world.

Tiny by comparison, the male Lynx spider sits at a distance to the female. They are often eaten after mating, to feed the progeny. It’s only fair. :-) … Well, no its not, but it’s the way it is.

Tiny flowers abound after the rains, with more rain to come. Often overlooked by the naked eye, as we gloss over so much of nature, they are their own little beauties up close.

A rare find these days, leaf-cutter bees, with habitat disappearing and conditions hostile. These little beauties were a welcome sight towards journeys end. … Resting on dried out grass stems overhanging the dusty disused trail that leads back to water.

Another lover of the prickly pear, a gnat of some kind. Looked like a mozzie, but didn’t act like one. Just as well, for me and the gnat. … The prickly pear is full of water in a parched landscape, no surprise to see so many creatures nearby.

One more flowering beauty. You gotta work for the angle, even though they don’t move around, except in the wind. Something to do with eyesight … failing. :-)

A little acknowledgement helps keep it going. Here, and there.

Nature, the sense of it. The magnificent intelligence behind. Or human nature, intelligence personalised.

© Mark BerkeryClick on those pictures for a closer lookand click again.