Nature's Place

Snake in the Grass

I was out walking through the tall dry grass one recent sunny day and was about to put my foot down when I caught a sense of something out of place – made me stop dead.

A shape that only one creature I know makes, a long and perfect double S. It was obviously a snake from the go but the oddest thing is it didn’t move when I nearly trod on it.

I stopped mid-stride and pulled back slowly and tested with my stick, an indispensable tool. When I was satisfied it wasn’t going to strike I got closer for a rare look at a snake in the wild.

It still didn’t move and I saw its eye was glazing over, a little milky, a sign of death long over. Inspecting it closely from head to ‘foot’ I could see what happened, why it died on this spot.

Its tail was wrapped in a dried out stalk of the long grass that grows here. The grass and tail were intertwined the way you see snakes mating on tv, sometimes, and it looked like the snake was trying to pull away.

But instead of untwining as snakes can, this one tried to pull straight off the grass and the grass cut into its tail, down to the bone, tighter and tighter the more the snake struggled.

And that’s how it died, struggling to live. Held firmly to the spot by a thread of grass wound tight around its tail.

Strange that the snake would have been caught so easily but that’s nature, you can’t take nature for granted.

It was a perfect death anyway. And a perfect life.

Who’s to say otherwise?

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge

Kooki Kool

Recently a family of Kookaburra’s moved into the neighbourhood, maybe driven by the extraordinary weather and lack of food in their usual habitat. There have been so few insects in the local wild places, as I noted in other posts.

At first they were laughing a lot, as Kooki’s do, and hanging out for a feed. Wherever I went in the garden there they would be, looking at me, sometimes laughing, sometimes ‘asking’ for food – in their way. One day all three came to the balcony and sat for a few pictures, a pleasure for me.

Fresh meat is their thing and with no insects it was mince from my dear and generous neighbour’s fridge, of course I paid my share. Then, after a while, they settled into the area and didn’t ask for food so much. I think they must have found someone nearby to feed them regularly, good for them.

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There is something magical about birds. In the fact of things, wherever you go there you will find a bird. They are everywhere and they see everything, at least more than anything else on the planet. I believe they are known in various cultures as the messengers of the Gods and I can see why, amongst all the creatures they so obviously fly. Magical indeed.

It’s not just in the fact of things that they are respected and even revered, for their form and function, colour and song, their beauty. But in the truth of things, what is behind the fact, they are the ‘messages’ of the Gods. Their forms – of fact – the bringers of that message.

When it happens to you, you will know what the message is, because it is already in you. The sound and sight of a bird will point to it. The thing is not to ignore it since it is from the ‘gods’ and serves the greater purpose of life on earth.

To wake up, to the being of a sunbeam, from the dream of past and future that is the human mind today.

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Walking in the woods the last few days I have been touched by many of our little friends, some yellow backs flashing as they passed swiftly by, some crimson heads bobbing around the bush in front, the royal blue of the long tailed tit, and such high pitched songs that were often bordering on the range of hearing, and all the usual characters heard and sighted in the shadows of the green, coming and going, to me and away.

All in concert, a single song, of the love of where I come from.

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge

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A Princely Fellow

Gis’ a kiss?

© Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge

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Hello Doli

There are a few wells in my area that most never get to see, they are all out of the way of normal traffic. I like to look into these wells, the pull of the mystery I suppose, a little exploration to see what’s there. Some are shallow and are choked with sticks and fallen leaves. Others are deeper but still choked up. So I can’t do what I want to do and toss a pebble in to hear what sound it makes when it hits bottom, there’d be no point.

There is another well but it has long been behind locked gates and I don’t climb like I used to, so I threw a stone over but there was no sound or echo came back.  And I’m not so driven any more, focused – you could say, to risk breaking in to what is clearly closed to me.

But I never say never, so you never know … And there might be a well I haven’t found yet.

We have just passed the shortest day here in the southern hemisphere, winter. Not much in the field or garden, especially after such a wet year and cold month. Still, something shows up on an almost daily basis, as long as I look. A Doli fly, 5mm long and skittish.

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge

Rescue! Rescue!

I am going to tell you a dream that many little boys have. Of floods, endless rain, everything drowning, and a friend comes to help. A reminder of another time.

He can’t remember being a child. And then he remembers being a child and looking into a mirror and seeing his mum in need of rescue, and he spent the rest of his life rescuing his mum – in some woman, a self perpetuating mechanism, it’s classic I’m sure.

‘This is the boy’s love of mother distorted in the pain of a child that couldn’t help his mum when he saw she needed it. And the boy lived a sad life, to say the least.’ Because he always found what he expected to find, he couldn’t help it – the imprint on the film in the projector frames the light.

And then she, some ‘woman’ from outside the projection, came one night and loved the pain out of the boy in a dream turning to a nightmare. It was the opposite or negation of a nightmare, to have love enter so. What a wonder that is. And when he was falling back into the nightmare she came again and called out Rescue!; a gentle call, and rescued him again.

This is what love does, it stops the pain, the nightmare, by invoking love – the willingness to give up the nightmarish projection. ‘So just love her man, it wasn’t her fault you couldn’t rescue her. Just love her. Whoever ‘she’ is.’

And only ‘she’ can stop it. And who is she? Only you know, and she is the one you’re with. And she is the one to come, to the rescue. ((:

Love is the rescue, the rescuer and the rescued.

And this little Potter Wasp lady warmed up on my finger and took a little honey to start the day with and flew away. ((:

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge

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Potter Wasp – the Nomad’s Neighbour

In the field of bees there are a few wasps that sleep at nights. Called Potters, because they make wonderful nest structures from mud. They usually roost in solitude in the long grass but occasionally can be found in twos or threes, and rarely next to a Nomad.

Like most creatures they are easily intruded upon but I have also found them to be gentle by nature, disinclined to aggression. Content to climb on a warm finger on a cold and wet morning.

They are also beautiful to look at with their wonderful colouring and strangely elegant form.

One of nature’s pleasures, to me. Living art.

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge

A Little Purple

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In all the rain and cloud of late a little colour calls in the forest. It only lives in one place, about three plants in all. I have no idea what it is called but it is a beauty and this day gave itself up nicely, I think.

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge

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Sunrise on Dew Laden Nomad and Friends …

… in the Wildness.

Cold nights and humid air with warm sunshine in the morning means something to drink and life goes on, if you’re lucky and survive the day, if luck it be. All the creatures are making the most of the light and warmth at sunrise. I would too if I was sleeping on a leaf, though I think I might hang under it and brave the spiders rather then carry all that cold water on my back.

Well, I was this side of the camera so I don’t have those considerations today. ((:

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge

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The Texture and Colour of Life …

… in …

… the sweet peace of the black.

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge