Nature's Place


Down on the pebbled concrete at the foot of the stairs, where the recent Curlew stood.

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A male, from the five stripes across its body. He made every effort to take to the air.

After watching him fall again and again I lent a hand. The one he’s standing on above.

A leaf afforded more opportunity for a few shots, within reach and firm enough for his weight.

From the other side and above it is clear the pollen sacks stuck to his back have been torn.

And all the while his tongue is hanging down and unsheathed, not its usual position or condition.

The one mandible visible here and above is clearly ok and in place. But in other images its opposite is clearly out of place, maybe tucked behind the tongue sheath causing it to hang – can’t really tell.

A few items on the table were good for colour, while he stood still. The blue suits him, nice contrast, all the better to appreciate his form. Weird and wonderful little fellow.

Moving and stopping, to and fro, made for an exercise in capturing available backgrounds from varying angles.

And variations thereof … uncluttered imagery. No emotion or thinking to distract from the simple being, or form.

G’day mate …

How’s it going …

I found him on the ground below the flowers. He was far from home but behaved as if new from the nest, struggling to take flight as if just born with some unseen impediment. But perhaps it was acquired in flight on a windy day.

He seemed energetic enough, and whole except for the hanging tongue and the apparently missing mandible, had come from some ways to the flowers. But here couldn’t get into the air for more than a few seconds before falling back to earth.

The yellow on his back reminded me of how orchids will leave a sack of pollen on the backs of visiting insects, bees and wasp and such small flying creatures. What this was I think.

However, I gave him a hand, literally and by an available leaf to climb on. Often a bee having trouble at ground level will be successful from a higher vantage.

But no, was not to be, he just kept falling. So I brought him to the veranda table upstairs and set him up for a few shots before feeding him some sugar water.

He took lengthening breaks but he never gave up, always at the ready. And while I was momentarily distracted he disappeared. Into the wild …

He had done his job for the orchid, though he wasn’t done yet.

Just beyond the shade of knowing.

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



The East …

She took position at the bottom of stairway for the day and wouldn’t be discouraged. … Though she kept a metre distance, vocal warning if I got too close.

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The curlew is used to the area, frequently seen exploring at night. … They find an out of the way place to wait out the day. … A little out of place on the stairway though.

I don’t mind, all are welcome, unless they prove to be intrusive – like the ibis recently eating all the seedlings. … But this one likes fish, so no problem there.

… of Bris, the Bush Stone Curlew came visiting. Walking past the bottom of the front stairway and there she was, just standing still.

They are commonly seen here at night darting about in search of … what things we search for at night, food and friends perhaps.

Never has one taken to the garden for the day before. Unlike most other birds these Curlews are nocturnal, and hide away during daylight.

That’s two night birds visiting the house this last week, and the Frogmouth was on the fence as I passed by, at arms length again, untroubled.

The Curlew did enjoy the cats leftover fish though, and even broke its safety space and came within a few inches while I put more food in the bowl – hungry.

If you can make space, and leave well enough alone – inside is out – they will come. The natural creatures, expressions of the will to live, and more.

Representations of the divine. The simple pleasure of knowing nature’s primary sense, a sense of peace.

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




Alert in her strange environment, feeling vulnerable perhaps, being unused to having a human with a camera so close.

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Highlight removed from the eye, to see which looks best. Still don’t know – on this small lo-res laptop screen.

Carefully maneuvered for a shot with natural background, as she raised her head and opened her beak.

That’s close enough, she said, don’t force me to fly in the daylight. Ok I said, and left with what I had – enough for now.

Early morning, up the stairway of the old queenslander, and there she was. Sitting on the railing, looking a little out of place, keeping a sharp eye on the stranger, me.
I gave her all the room there is at the top of the stairs and through the morning she watched me coming and going through slitted eyes.
I have seen her at night on the fence, stalking the birds daytime feeding ground, where nocturnal creatures would feed on crumbs.
Silent up close as on the wing, you never hear her come and go. But there she was.
© Mark Berkery ……. Click on those pictures for a closer look


No frog ever learned to think.

Folded neat on a leaf in the dark, sitting, seeing and hearing. Sensing.
Not a thought on his mind. No discernible trace of stress.
Separate from the human condition.

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

Wild Fly

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Getting all acrobatic about personal grooming. These tiny creatures are as clean as any human.

Another blast from the past, from the wilds of Wooyung by the beach – gone again before this gets published on schedule, no internet here.

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



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If anything looks different this week it might be because I am using a different computer, having lost access to my usual via lightning strike.

These spider shots are from another time. His, or her, hunting ground was a dried out stem. The fly didn’t stand a chance once in range.

Such is life, you never know what’s coming over the horizon. Careful with that spidey mate.

It pays to be prepared … for whatever may be, that it be right.

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

Neon Beeauty

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There isn’t much insect activity in the garden after a hot and dry summer and recent unseasonal heatwave.

The native bee’s nests are devoid of activity. Because they know, without thinking, it’s not a good time to be born right now.

The heat has seriously stressed the flowering plants the bees need for survival and recovery may be a protracted process. If …

But here are a few that came before, magical little bee of neon blue on black. Little beauty bee.

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



Neon Once More

At first she looked fine, out of the nest and paused, taking stock of her sensible world.

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As all sensible creatures do. Though her sense of things would be limited by her damaged antennae.

Later in the day it was apparent all was not well, still on the mud brick and now covered in dust.

Maybe from her diggings, laying her eggs, or something to do with her damaged appearance.

She was lively enough, for a while, though behaving as if disoriented, wings spread without flight.

And later still she was flagging, unstable flight attempts and always returning to the mud bring nest.

At one point she re-entered a nest hole and ducked from my attentive lens. Then came out again.

One time she failed to take off and hit the floor. Climbing up a skink jumped her and she lay still.

I picked her up and gave her a little water and she was away again. What happened then who knows, turn your back and the world changes. Life moves on …

Nothing has it good all the time. This Neon Cuckoo Bee was having trouble getting its bearings.

Lost one antennae and, it appears, one mandible. Maybe it was in a fight with a BBB.

Maybe it was born that way. Who knows … there are no guarantees in this life.

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



Spider Green

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It’s been a while since I found this little dancing jumping spider. Entertaining to watch as she moves around the foliage, staccato gait.

No doubt there are still some in the garden but the summer heat has driven them into the shadows, for some relief.

Not so easily found right now. But summer is almost over and with a little rain comes the forms of life.

Time to wake up from the lazy heat, kick start the old ticker, and see what may be.

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