Nature's Place

I Spy

As I was passing the Blue Banded Bee hotel I saw this on the wooden base below. A dead fly with no ants in attendance. And knew from experience what it signified.

*Click on the pictures for a proper look … and click again

Means there was nothing of it left to eat, or the ants surely would … A jumping spider I saw the day before had already extracted any nourishment, here with a new meal.

Change the approach angle slightly, keeping spider eyes the centre of attention, to get more of the scene in focus. You never know what you’ve got until it’s done.

Another angle, another opportunity to investigate spider eating fly. The small hole, about 4mm diameter, probably home to something else.

After the spider was done s/he was energetic enough to go in search of new pastures, probably looking for a mate. As all things do in time, separate and apart. … Such is life, or living.

I keep an eye on the Blue Banded Bee hotels in case of invasion by undesirables, like the fly.

But who’s to say the fly is not good for the ecology of the BBB’s nest site. Not me …

So I largely leave them be, or chase them off if I think they are too many for comfort.

They harass the BBB’s as they approach the nest and I’m not sure what they are up to.

Parasitising the BBB, or playing tag, or who knows … I sometimes intervene.

The fly is subject to a higher authority.

Aren’t we all …

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

*

*

Sleepy Wasp

Just a little smudge of black on the wood at first sight.

*Click on the pictures for a proper look … and click again

It occurred to me to stop and look, just in case it was something to shoot.

Because often you don’t know until you get up close what it is.

And it was. She started to move soon after but not enough to fly away.

Yet … But it’s inevitable, every flying creature takes to the wing soon enough.

Gotta work fast sometimes …

Little black wasp found sleeping on a Blue Banded Bee hotel one morning.

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

*

*

Odd Fellows

Bug on a seedpod in the local bush, always found on this same plant, protected by design.

*Click on the pictures for a proper look … and click again

Hopper of a kind. Fell from a tree in the wild garden onto my arm, a forest of another kind.

I leave butterfly’s to lay in the garden, even growing greenery just for them. And some days the place is full of new ones.

The witchitty grubs are getting at the roots of the butterfly bush plants, but still enough flowering for these tiny midges.

Another bug caught at a meal of pollen. Messy table manners, but also a way to carry a little food for later.

Another little hopper from the garden. They all have their season, coming and going according to conditions only they know.

Called a soldier fly I think, resting on the fridge outdoors downstairs. It’s interesting the creatures that come and go.

A wasp I believe, though haven’t seen it before this summer. Hanging around the orange tail resin bee hotel – lovely blue eyes.

The one blue banded bee, it slept in the same spot for two months then disappeared one night. Such is life, and death …

It has been unusually dry this summer and even the bees, who have protected hives, aren’t coming out this year in any numbers. A few showed up earlier in the season but the hives have been quiet since.

Maybe after a little rain things will change, we’ll see. It seems to have arrived in the last couple days but will take some time to have its effect on most of the smaller life forms.

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

*

*

Blue Banded Bee …

A Blue Banded Bee from the same bee hotel as the Neon Cuckoo Bee lays. How they roost outside the nest.

*Click on the pictures for a proper look … and click again

She’s asleep at night which allows me to set the background, somewhat. For the contrast necessary to appreciate it.

There are always limitations, to anything, of what’s at hand for the job. And variables can be employed.

Such as angles and lighting and background – sometimes, and you never know what you’ve got ’til you see it big.

So I look to see what may be, what looks good inside, guided by experience and intuition, and shoot away outside.

Within constraints, of available space in surrounds, close to the ground, under the stairway … pain in the knee …

And then there’s the variables of the medium, composition, saturation, sharpness, etc … that add up to a …

It all goes to making a picture, or image, attractive or not. There are universals to that, I think. What ‘eye’ enjoy.

But the biggest attraction is the creature – from created – itself. No accident of numbers is this little beauty. Though its numbers can be calculated, sort of …

on a flower, a print of a flower, for background while she sleeps.

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

*

*

Neon Signs …

She waits by the entrance to one Blue Banded Bee nest site …

*Click on the pictures for a proper look … and click again

… where she will be buzzed until she takes some action.

Sometimes she flys off and around the place …

… only to return to another place she can fulfil her nature.

You can’t blame a bee for being a bee …

… whatever kind of bee she is, opportunistic in this case.

… stealing the efforts of the Blue Banded Bees nature.

But a bee doesn’t steal, knowingly taking from another.

She just sees an opportunity and takes it, by her nature.

No point complaining about what can’t be changed.

Best to let it be, be a bee – ho ho …

Then we might be able to let everything else be.

What a world that would bee.

Signs of life … the Neon Cuckoo Bee has taken to the Blue Banded Bee hotel with a gusto.

At first, early summer, one showed up and the BBB’s were agitated by her presence.

Now there are three or four around the house, two I know of to the BBB hotel.

And the BBB’s do chase them but as a reflex, not unduly concerned.

The ever shifting cohort of flies also seem to have their place.

And though there appears to be the usual struggles of living …

amongst the small creatures, they don’t get unhappy.

Cause there’s no problem in beeing.

As long as I don’t think.

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

*

*

Night Hawk

In the shadows beneath the house, nose on top of a bees nest entrance, a Hawk Moth waiting for night.

*Click on the pictures for a proper look … and click again

It looked like it might be feeding, it has a long proboscis for the purpose, strong enough to pierce.

Unmoved by my presence, I was within a couple of inches, to see the detail of her eye. A gentle little thing.

A feathery coat keeps her cool and dry, probably helps with flight too. Nature is no slouch when it comes to design.

The garden has been drying out with the recent summer heat, in spite of the daily watering.

I was not surprised to see this creature in the afternoon, clinging to the side of the bee hotel.

At first I thought it might be using its proboscis to extract nourishment from a nest it was on.

But no, it was just waiting out the bright of the day in the cool shadows, being nocturnal.

I suspect the garden is a beacon to the small life in range of sensing it.

When so few water theirs it must be positively inviting.

A little green oasis is a blessing.

Of nature, and the life behind.

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

*

*

Oddfellows + The Garden

Not much animation in the garden this week, that I saw anyway. So first today, a few creatures from recent times. Then the garden.

The flightless wasp, female, came in various forms. Probably falling from the trees nearby. This one remarkably vigorous and alert.

*Click on the pictures for a proper look … and click again

Another kind of hopper. Never ceases to amaze, the variety of form and colour living creatures take. Always alert to movement this one, but not unapproachable.

These beetles have a season or two in the garden, depends on the flowering. They like the native ‘crocus’ and various flowering herbs. Here a straw-flower, with a resident spider.

Springtails. They always come out after the rains, especially on the water’s surface in the saucers for pot plants. You can see them jumping around, having a ball of life. Dancing and partying, why not … :-)

A sluggish fellow – ho, ho, ho – not fast around the garden, it doesn’t have wings on its back there. Maybe it doesn’t taste too good, for it to live and grow so big. A hazardous life in any case.

A garden orb weaver, keeping her line taut, the better to feel what’s going on where it can’t be seen. Weavers of death to many in the garden, and a face full of web is not pleasant.

Can’t remember their name, doing what all creatures do, engaging in the process of reproduction. Sex, in other words. The essence of nature … to live and die, and live again.

Every day for a week, same time, same place, just after sundown this spider took up her position to wait for the nights bounty. And it always came … until it was no more.

***

With all the growth and decay the garden is promising … of possibility. Here’s a few quick shots from this morning.

Butterfly bush, the witchety grub likes the roots so, from experience, for healthy growth it’s best not to cut back too much at end of year. Everything has to be able to eat to live.

One corner of the growth in the garden, always putting seeds where they might take, and leaving plants to grow to see what eventuates. No rules but what works, for them, me and the bugs.

No names either, don’t recall … this yellow flower has been moving around the garden for years, with a lot of help as it needs to be rooted every once in a while. Dead-heading keeps it flowering.

What I call native crocus, the native stingless bees love them. I have these bulbs all around the garden, they are so sensitive to position and condition they will flower all year round with a little help.

One mightily heavy bug house, or bee hotel, by one pawpaw tree and other residents. I found the clay in the local bush and mixed and poured to polystyrene to dry, then drilled the holes. What happens here is up to nature, creatures come and go.

The blue banded bee loves this flower, on a red leaf succulent that requires much attention throughout to keep it watered and flowering. Worth the work to keep the BBB’s coming.

Another name that escapes me. I have them coming up in various positions in the garden. When the creatures come some will love this flower and it’s children. If they come …

An impression of a wilder part of the garden where you can see some of the already mentioned. Some say I have snakes here, and rats, but I say everything has its place, until it doesn’t any more.

That flower again, and some of its children. It’s all just for show today, and it’s all artful anyway. That’s nature … There are many lizards, some mice, birds, snails, crickets … and something to eat them all.

Parts already seen, from a different angle and framing. There is so much in here, and much that can’t be seen yet. That’s the front stairway up to the house at back, an old Queenslander – first farmhouse here.

The butterfly bush is still going strong in various colours, lost some due to aggressive pruning and grubs eating the roots, they didn’t recover. But I’m working on it, getting some colours back again. I work on the surface, others do the rest.

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

*

*

Garden Life

Moth, visitor to the pawpaw tree that was an inadvertent gift from a visiting bird last year.

*Click on the pictures for a proper look … and click again

The moth was unmoved. The trees seed was passed on from a birds meal, the way some trees are.

Little beauty … life animating this form in the web of sense and form the garden is.

Weevil out and about. Wandering the ways under the veranda. I followed along …

… for a while. Across the bee hotel and up the twine that holds the rain cap on …

Until he reaches the top, nowhere left to go, and stands there looking out. What we do …

Ant out looking for food, as they do around the outdoor table.

And now and then stops to preen itself. Cleanliness is very important to an ant.

Keeps everything working in top condition, antennae tuned for best reception.

And then there was this little lady beetle. Sat around a while for a few photos.

Dangerous looking barbs on the antennae, serving to deter and receive.

Distinctive colouring, white and black with a touch of red/brown. Striking … danger, to some other thing.

If you or your neighbour aren’t using insecticides chances are there is an abundance of life at your feet.

Forms of life as insects, they are everywhere, all shapes and colours and sizes. They have a secret life.

They live like you and me, doing the things we do, as insects, instinctively. It’s not that hard to see.

What they don’t have is random thinking and emotion, as a compulsion, with a pull to negativity.

The motivation to master the madness, the pain of it, or just the absence of ease.

How else to let go that past arising but recognise it is not true now, or good.

That’s just the way it is, but only if its true … now.

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

*

*

Butcher Bird …

A windy morning she came to look, and fetch what the possum left behind on the ground. A little feeding in winter goes a long way, to spring.

*Click on the pictures for a proper look … and click again

Sitting on the rain cap tied on one of the bee hotels. I have seen them take a bee from mid-air as they dove past.

But no bees now, none before late spring rain and heat, November or December, maybe. It all depends …

Hello little one … wary of dropping to the ground for that morsel. But she does, and poses a while.

Hey hey … G’day mate … Thanks for the food, the help, the nourishment …

so called, for their practise of skewering prey and hanging it up for later.

A youngster, interested in what I’m up to in the undergrowth.

After a bit of food dropped by last night’s possum perhaps.

A little pleasure, to have animated nature visit so.

And then she’s gone, that’s wild life, in sense.

No judgement, allows the next event to be.

Without prejudice …

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

*

*