Nature's Place

Another Time

Green Head Ant, from recent times. Grooming himself in the warm sun.

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Wasp on a cold afternoon, enjoying the pollen and nectar of late blooming flowers.

Honey bee, recovering from its swim on a cold winter’s day. Resilient little creatures.

When time stands still, and all that’s gone would live again, don’t look back. Life is the other way, and no way – the way of no.

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

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Bee Draggled

On my finger. Looking strong and healthy after her swim. She pays particular attention to the condition of her tongue.

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Drying, preening and cleaning can take quite a while. The minutes pass as I sit watching while she resumes full fitness.

A nice warm stone to dry out on in the sun. Placed for the shooting angle with blue sky as background, helps …

She looks fierce, but only to the eye expecting ‘something else’. Imagination. Nature is supremely practical.

They’ll always climb to higher ground if they are well enough. All the better to take off from, when the time comes.

It has been said yoga, a practise of physical exercises with a spiritual dimension (attention to sensation) was developed by observing nature’s creatures about their business.

They have an exercise for every occasion, every body part gets its turn, no exceptions.

A number of honey bees were rescued from the cold water recently. Too many to show them all, or even a representative sample of images.

If I get to them early enough they recover quickly and seem to suffer no ill effects. They just take the time to recover, given the space for preening and cleaning, then take to the air, do a short circuit above and find a direction to fly in.

Home, I suspect. Back from whence they come. To rejoin the hive they serve. One body’s life having little more significance than that, except it is itself unique and integral to the whole.

Not insignificant …

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

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Walks On Water

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At the recent housesit in Calvert there was a pool, functional and clean enough. It was the source of many a creature that fell in and struggled for its life on the water’s surface, with no hope of getting out without help. And many were, helped.

During the night it was the same, only fewer were to be found, naturally. One such was this Huntsman spider, or Huntswoman more like, and she was literally walking on water.

So I leaned over, stretching my arm out with the camera, careful not to fall in and join her, while I got a few shots of her in situ before raising her out on my ever ready stick.

I’m pretty sure she wasn’t there by her choice or design. Though she was having no trouble staying afloat she was clearly out of her element, with little control over the direction of her travel.

She wasn’t unhappy to be out, no sign of stress or distress, resting a long while after her ordeal. It takes a lot of energy for land creatures to survive on water, especially water this cold.

And so she lived to hunt another day, I suspect, as she was gone in the morning from the safe place I left her to recover.

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I have heard of a man who walked on water. But I think that may have been a metaphor for something else. Even though anything is possible in the psyche, and it all happens in the psyche, I have a different take on water walking.

Long, long ago, in the time of the flood, when the waters (of emotion) were over the head of Man s/he struggled to survive.

But she kept at it and eventually got his head out of the maelstrom.

And so began our water walking efforts.

Or so it seemed …

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

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Bits ‘n’ Bobs

Little wasp having a feed of nectar. Hmmm … delicious.

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Wandering, in search of the greatest bounty. The next pot of nectar.

Insatiable … Well, not really. Enough nectar and they are away to do what else the little wasps do.

Sometimes they aren’t feeding, just standing there as if guarding the treasure while they digest the last meal. Perhaps …

Grandchester is a small village just up the road from Calvert, where I’m staying right now (west of Brisbane, QLD). Looking at google maps I could see a big dam named Railway Dam Reserve. An industrial dam perhaps. I went to have a look because insects and flowers gather at places of water in this dry country.

Turns out it has been out of use and drained for some time, with the dam floor cracked all about. The dam wall is about 10 meters high and any overflow would have come down it, splashing to the old rocks and creating a shaded oasis below and between the wall, the hills and the trees around.

I know the creatures loved it, because I love it. But it’s a ghost of what it was. All the same, where one thing dies another takes its place. Dams evolve … this one is a haven for some different plants and birds now.

I followed the bird, a wagtail, as she danced in the air catching her food, which brought me to one plant that stood out of the mass of green and blue around the protected edge of the dam. I don’t know the names but the small creatures soon became visible as I stood still enough long enough to see.

Small wasps, feeding on the pollen and nectar and oblivious of me as I cast my shadow to shade them from the sunlight and get a few shots with controlled flash.

The birds and insects in this place seemed unusually fearless, allowing me to get closer than has often been the case elsewhere.

A little pleasure to me …

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

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An Other Life …

Waiting in the darkness to come.

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She was in the way of my walking.

So up on my stick she did go.

To find a new home for her stalking.

gardeners of an other kind, the web weaving kind.

Strung across the open spaces in the garden, orb weavers work.

To catch a meal on the wind, best caught out in the open, unencumbered by the green.

Down long tunnels of dark space through which many small creatures pass.

Night time, quiet time, death time. Influence cast afar.

In stillness, in the cold light of the full moon.

The stars stopped twinkling.

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This post was scheduled days in advance so I was ready for a house sit on Thursday prior.

Something that was right, not wanted – a small discipline of self, you could say.

Turns out the old dogs are glad for a walk, as long as we avoid the bindi lawn.

The horses love a bit of fruit from a hand, though not all of the four are friendly.

There’s a gym, of sorts, so I can maintain my recently added exercise form.

And the area is dry and cold, so that fits too, to help keep mind in its place.

There’s also a place where little ones go, an old industrial dam …

Just follow the birds and there be the fruits.

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

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Natural Thing

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The eyes have it.

And the ears.

As I got out of the car I noticed movement in the grass about 20m away. As I looked to see what it was it stopped still and slowly sank to the ground as, I suspect, it registered eyes on it.

Water dragon, much like the last one only smaller, winter time thinner. But just as placid, made no move to run, no suggestion of attack. Up close s/he was positively relaxed.

Male or female, it doesn’t really matter to the sense of things. Only in consideration of other matters that really don’t matter here.

The fact is it is a wild, savage creature. Surviving on the edge of civilization and behaving with instinctive integrity, being.

All creatures have it, the absence of that self-consciousness that signifies ‘trouble’ in people – an emotional cunning.

It’s what attracts us to nature, the innocence, an honest engagement with natural intelligence in uncivilized form.

You always know where you stand with nature, no double think.

No thinking at all.

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

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Wild Garden

Gripping the side of the leaf for safety, lest she fall down into the darkness below.

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It wouldn’t do, to be lost to the earth, this fine late blooming bee. She sensed something … could be male with that headdress.

Could it have been me she sensed, the dark shadow above, or the heat of my hand close by. Sensitive, sensible, little thing.

She took the hand was offered, climbed on and set out exploring. Not too cold at all here, on another warm living thing.

It seems a long time since the small creatures vanished from the garden this year. A sense of things to come perhaps.

In season, but fitting to the news from around the world of the disappearing insects, our disappearing nature.

So busy being clever we forgot to tend to nature with a little love, and our ignorance is coming back to us, inevitably.

Not unlike a boomerang thrown by a novice who somehow gets it right, and turns to an admiring audience to take a bow.

Whack … get it right next time, maybe. But no gloom here, there is function in the self inflicted …

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It was on my mind to patrol the garden, maybe find a bee caught out in the recent cold. If I’m lucky.

And there she was … sitting on a leaf, waiting for the warm sun to shine on her in the shadows.

I lifted her up, and got a few shots along the way. She didn’t mind the heat of my hand.

Heat is life to a bee somehow living in the shadows of our winter.

When warmed enough she took to the wild airways.

Nature undaunted …

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

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White Socks Wasp

A common enough wasp around these parts, just not at this time of year.

These are usually much earlier to the bees nest, to lay their eggs.

Maybe it was just born, a little out of season perhaps. It’s getting too cold now for their outdoor survival.

I’d get back in the nest and wait for spring, if I were her. But that’s not the way of things here, life must be lived.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click on the picture for a closer look

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Dragon’s Delight

Red Dragon perched on a grass stalk by the dark water.

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Not warm enough for flight, much, but it soon absorbed some from my finger.

And took flight, but for a short time before landing again.

It’s a difficult existence for most anything, and everything changes.

Late in the season for this little dragonfly, it’s almost winter in sub tropical Queensland.

But the season is late and it was a protected spot, a small dam ringed by treed hills.

A nice quiet place where animated nature may present, in unique form.

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

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