Nature's Place

The Fly

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Hail, rain or shine there are flies about. It’s easier to capture (the image) some times more than others. For instance when it rains – who mentioned rain? – they slow down considerably. Not wanting to bump into raindrops in flight I reckon, could be quite an impact to a fly.

The flies come in all sizes and colours and are no less beautiful or amazing for being a fly. Flies are not just those ‘dirty things’ you see flying around the garbage bin. They are magnificent creations, incredible architecture, busy little fellows.
It’s not easy to sneak up on a fly. But it does depend, on the fly, the kind of fly, and the various conditions under which they are found. In fact I’d say the only constant of flies is they fly, a lot. :)

They are too fast to see flying but at rest it can easily be seen the restless character, busy creatures. Maybe something to do with having a short life though they never think of such nonsense.

Flies fly. And look their beautiful selves regardless of what may be thought of them.

Fly!

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

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Changes

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The small Aussie wasps out back of the house have moved home, on to some dead leaves that give some break to any wind, and into the sunshine. They are making the most of the day’s heat as it is getting colder at night. Vitally motivated to survive, the primary motivation of all forms of life.

It really is getting cold and the insects are fast disappearing, until the next wave of heat. Even so there are some still about and because it is cold they are a bit easier to shoot, though you can’t bank on it.

Can’t bank on anything since everything is subject to change in one way or another. That’s living.

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

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Possum

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I went out the back door last night and as I closed it a Possum came out of the roof along the beam and stopped dead and looked me in the eye. She looked a little lost with those big eyes fixed on me. I said hello and she didn’t seem to be afraid so I put a bit of homemade biscuit in front of her. She was about to examine it when a bigger Possum came up behind her and made a nuisance of himself, chasing her off along the beams of the veranda roof. He looked a little lost too when he realised I was there, maybe a little alarmed to see me so close, two feet, no more. And when he went off after her he didn’t sense the biscuit under his nose. I have often heard something falling from the roof to the ground through the thick palm trees around the house. I believe it is a Possum losing its footing or being chased off by the other bigger one. That must hurt.

I’ve been getting some good Dragon pix lately. Good as in sharp and in focus with soft warm afternoon sunlight. Opportunities for natural light captures where there is something to brace against, and flash assisted ones to stop the action in the wind. I was shooting a mature red Dragon at one of my favourite spots and it was so attuned to my presence after a few minutes I was able to touch a wing with my finger. That was nice and it was acknowledged. Sweet thing. Who ever calls a Dragonfly sweet thing? Ha!

While I was shooting the Dragon was frequently chasing down what passed by on the wind, coming and going from its perch. Once she almost landed on my ear with a loud flapping of her gossamer wings, another time I heard and felt her stop on my hat for a few seconds before she returned to the stick. One time she landed on the diffuser of the camera’s flash and almost immediately slipped off the smooth hard material. I think she was playing with me, why not.

And the moon is rising, big in the afternoon sky, sinking in the west soon enough after dark. A cold wind blows tonight. Maybe it’s time for trousers.

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

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Double Summer

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Rain came with the cooling of summer and the autumn has turned to a mild spring, as far as some creatures and flowers are concerned. And the sunshine at this time is lovely, bright and warm. Beautiful, in a word, though the word can’t hold it.

It seems some of the forms of life here can’t stand the heat of summer and hold off blossoming and mating until it ends. Walking in the nearby fields for a couple of days it became clear a new season had begun, not autumn or summer. Dragonflies are back in another wave, along with some bugs and many butterflies. Some flowers are lighting up the woods with bright yellow, a lovely sense of yellow, purple too. And small delicate white signs along the forest and fields floor.

I looked down the track for a distance and I could see all the signs of spring. Butterflies chasing each other in the warm afternoon sunlight, fluttering this way and that. Caterpillars climbing about the leaves, demolishing them as they go. Dragons darting about, taking rest in the last of the days sunlight. Ladybirds and ants climbing about the branches. Spiders, running and hunting.

So many little creatures, characters of the Earth’s intelligence. And flowers, aspects of the Earths beauty. Seeding silk grasses blowing wildly in the wind suggesting a new dawn.

In this ancient land the ‘seasons’ are all variations on summer.

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The other night I heard a disturbance played out on the wooden floorboards upstairs, a shouting, the sound of things falling and footsteps I didn’t recognise. I went up to see what was happening and found an alarmed human, a stricken cat that I was told had jumped four feet in the air off the bed – sensing something strange in the darkness of the night, and a possum looking a bit lost. Instead of presence, it seems, everybody took fright.

Until recently the back door upstairs had been left open for the cat to come and go. With the recent cooling and windy weather it had been closed. The possum that lives in the roof got hungry and broke through the flyscreen on the kitchen window but didn’t remember to go out that way and ended up in the bedroom where the cat sleeps.

When I got there and turned on the light the possum was wandering about the kitchen floor looking for a way out so I herded him towards the door and up the veranda post he went to the ceiling, cool as a cucumber. There I got a picture of him and he didn’t seem to mind at all, he only wanted to get away from the trouble and calm down.

So that’s where the cat food had been going. The habit of hunger satisfied drove him in. A habit to be broken.

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

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Beauty – Bugs ‘n’ All!

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All may be as it seems.

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

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Rain … on some colourful characters

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It has rained on and off for weeks now, or so it seems, little sense of time. Everything outside is wet, and everything inside is damp. But it is not cold, to me.

In the bush today at Mt Cotton it was lovely to see the dams were full, lovely water, cool and wet. Muddy tracks too. The wild forms of life are still numerous and enjoying the change of temperature, though some die, as always. Some live too.

On one particular young flowering bottlebrush tree I observed the ant’s perennial search for nourishment force an encounter with an intransigent creature, a tiny Cicada. The ants were all over it but didn’t know how to make any impression on it to react, it was armoured to them, untouched.

Hoverfly came to inspect a purple flower just above the ground, tiny wasp took sustenance from another pink flower, red eyed dragonfly rested in the shadows until I disturbed it – a colourful young beauty indeed, two red and black ladybugs mated on the leaf of a short plant, colourful spider ate a ladybug in the safety of the web, young toad looked me in the eye while I took his photo.

A shaft of sunlight broke through the clouds and lit up a small yellow flower from amongst the shadows, a young tree frog sat on the fence and didn’t move while everything else happened around him, and golden ant prowled the red terrain in search of what ants seek.

Majestic electric blue moth crossed my path. Gecko sat for me on the whitewashed wall behind the window grating, eyeballed me too. And a few more of natures creatures passed on by.

As I was leaving this cool wet place the sun shone warm through the trees and lit up the path.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge (nine below)

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Dragon’s Return – Red Lace Queen

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They didn’t really go away, but they have been showing up more again on my walks recently. One in particular has been sitting still for me, if you could call it that in a swirling and gusting breeze. Down by the water, out in the bush, on an old dead tree branch sticking in the ground, a red beauty has been perching.

The first day it took a few minutes before she was comfortable with me having slowly edged up close and standing there next to her. Two feet away, close enough to get some good shots. It is the habit of the dragonfly to flit from the perch to chase down prey, anything small enough to eat, usually that also flies. She came and went for hours it seemed.

It is also the habit of the dragons to chase each other, and sometimes eat each other, as I have seen on occasion. Every time she came back it was face into the wind, naturally, to land. Then she would reorient herself so she was facing me, the best she could, the wind was strong at times. However the wind was blowing I remained on the sunny side, more or less.

When I moved left or right to get an angle shot, or more of her in the light she would move so she was facing me. So I got a lot of head-on shots. Eventually she gave up this con-frontational behaviour and went about her business as usual, with me now to be accounted for in her terrain, naturally.

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A few days later I went walking there again and saw her perched on the same stick from ten metres down the track and as I approached she turned to me. We said hello, I did anyway. It didn’t take much time at all for her to become accustomed to me this time, a matter of seconds. She recognised me and knew no danger in the event.

Then she was off, chasing this and that on the wind. Returning to perch in front of me and facing into me again. I played this game with her for a while, dodging to the left and right to get the shot, and it worked out.

I met a beautiful creature and she met me, in silence, a rare exchange, and it resonates in me still.

Dark queen, wild red wind.

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

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