Nature's Place

Night Fly

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Not much to report from the wilds, in fact the garden has the feel of stasis due to the recent cold. But there’s never really nothing, is there … So I do the rounds of the various nooks and crannies and what do I find but one of the great survivors, the garden fly.

This one, and a couple others, was making his bed in the flowers, literally. At sundown I would find it down on the flower’s centre while the petals would close up around it, to keep the cold and wind off. Not an unintelligent action at all.

In fact it isn’t hard to see the intelligence in any part of nature, the power animating and giving function to the form so that all the parts fit together to make the whole, of nature. It only requires the surrender of prejudice, thought.

Nature, what we are in existence, is represented by the planet and all its parts, the night sky full of stars too, and looks like it never ends, ‘out there’.

Intelligence, what we are before nature, ‘inside’, that gives rise to the appearance things are, can only be a mystery, to a fly resting on a flower.

Being, the silence upon which it is all drawn, endless and endlessly.

What is endless upon which nothing is written?

I’ll have the endless please …

© Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab …

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Come Fly with Me …

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Couriers of the gods, picking up and delivering packages around our nature, settling down or waking up, and sometimes being sidetracked from their path in spider webs and swatters of other kinds.

They love a good flower as much as the next, a natural appreciation for food, who would guess, an integral part of the complex we are in the existential order.

And of course, there must be truth to the fact, droplets of intelligence, wondrous creations, magnificent life.

Jewelled droplets in the eye of this beholder.

Not a sufferer in sight …

1-P1080681 - Mark BerkeryWho, me?

Mark Berkery ……. Don’t forget to CLICK on any picture to enlarge it in a new tab – best in FireFox – for me

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Fly Time

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Autumn has turned to winter here in Brisbane, which only means a variation not an actual season change – this is Australia after all.

Apart from the temperature, which is more comfortable than the summers, different plants and animals have their turn – that is how our seasons churn.

Though there are still a few bees to be found in the garden I have been attending to the flies that are often ignored or are just too fast and flighty – I approach them gently. They like Daisies too.

They are also beautiful creatures and have their place and do their job, filling a need of the earth to keep on turning – even in the face of man’s ignorance by our use of insecticides and idealised gardening practises – I actually feed them.

But you can’t keep the nature down, where there is a crack up it wells, where there is a need there will be a taker for the job. And if we should succeed in killing enough we will only kill ourselves, and wouldn’t that be justice – in our almost total neglect of the earth.

You can see it coming, the train wreck of present day capitalism’s (man’s) barely regulated greed and man’s unbelievable arrogance that is ruining the earth in endless war and ideology out of the desire for power over others and the fear for the future, which begets its own form regardless.

The future we fear is coming, by it’s fearing – that’s karma, but nature will always push up through the cracks because man as he is is not so powerful or important as he thinks – there is a greater power behind that requires no belief when we look to see, and it has no face. Beautiful, wonderful, magnificent nature that only requires acknowledgment to be, a fly.

And the flies had a ball. :)

Mark Berkery ……. Don’t forget to CLICK on any picture to enlarge it in a new tab – best in FireFox – for me

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Daisy – Oh Dai-i-aisy!

I never before realised how abundantly the common, and not so common, daisy caters to the need for pollen and nectar of the many small flying creatures in the garden. Not until I got a few and took the time to see.

Now I have four different kinds in the garden, one really finding its feet after transplanting a little while ago spreads and hangs over the sides of the pot, another pops up around the garden at will – its,The Will, and two more recent residents – one just doesn’t stop flowering in a ball of colour and nourishment, the other just starting out has two budding threads reaching for the light, one just opened today.

It’s nearly time to find a spot in the ground for the ball of flowers; it needs a secure home that isn’t dependent on my daily attention. And the one reaching will need moving to a bigger pot, for now.

I do enjoy these simple pleasures.

The Bees and Flies, and other visitors, are never far from the flowers and with the sun shining more now I expect more visitors in the relative heat of the day. As long as it isn’t too cold at night.

The garden ebbs and flows, ripples and eddies as much as the tides, but you need to be in daily attendance to notice.

It is music to the senses. Take the time to listen, even play along. Move that one to the sun, a little water there, repot, replant, nourish and tend them as if they were children – as they are …

It’s a different kind of prayer.

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture to enlarge in a new tab

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The Fly …

… no, no, not The Fly

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Once upon a time … Like now … :)

There was a Fly that carried a raindrop around on his back just to see how far he could carry it before exhaustion and eventual death took him – not really. He didn’t notice that to the observer he was a beautiful creature in a beautiful setting, when seen without reference to the stuff of mind, thought and emotion. This is what makes the race of men appear to be mad, the stuff of mind we believe in, until we don’t.

The Fly knows nothing of that though, thank god. Can you imagine the whole of nature emotionalised through self reflection? What a nightmare that would be.  :)

No, the Fly is a Fly and the flower is a flower. The raindrop is something else though, let’s not get too serious now.

And light makes it all possible. The light of intelligence perhaps?

There are all sorts of things you can find out about nature just by observing what is at your feet. Most creatures have instincts that are a variation on a theme, that being survival. Flies are no different; they just have different characteristics and therefore behave accordingly.

People are much the same. The very same in terms of instinct, it being the basis for existence, but not so much alike when it comes to personality, intelligence and predisposition.

These ‘extra’s’ that seem to set us apart from the rest of nature are really a consequence of our reflection and emotionalisation of that instinctive nature, our nature, and the effect that has in the psyche is both personally and collectively phenomenal.

The psyche is a very real place where what happens here accumulates there when resolution is absent, and there’s a lot of that going around. The trouble is nobody notices the build-up until it’s too late. But that’s just the way it is here.

It is also true that what emotionalisation I do resolve here has the effect of clearing some of than inner space, the invisible psyche.

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How can you master your instinctive nature if you don’t reflect on it? And how can you not do what it takes to get it ‘wrong’, in order to get it right? The point being we don’t change except through pain and experience. When you’ve burnt yourself enough you learn what burns and you don’t let it happen any more.

It’s that simple, you can’t change it either. Though you can become cognizant of the process and enable the necessary change.

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It’s the same with any other kind of experience. Only when you’ve had enough of something, anything, can you really give it up, stop doing it. Because we realise there is a ‘better’ way to be.

That’s the fact in my experience. And this is what existence is for, to get it right so we don’t ‘have’ to get it right, or ‘wrong’, anymore.

Then we can truly enjoy the simple life and beauty of our instinctive nature mastered. The nobility of being, as opposed to the difficulty of living emotionally.

Make sense to anyone?

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture to enlarge in a new tab

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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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Macro Day One

Ok, my first Macro Day (check link for forum) done and I enjoyed it. And well done to the participants – who I trust enjoyed it too.

Biggest lesson for me? You can’t do it all in one day. Just as learning photography is an evolution of perception and effort so is teaching anything, the more you perceive and correct what is not right for you the less effort you have to make, and the process is refined by experience.

We were going for around four hours and it seemed like work at times as I’m sure it did to others – not a bad thing in itself, and not stressful with the practise of relaxation/meditation. People were introduced to some wonderful creatures and I trust we were all relaxed enough and learned something of value from the experience.

Things for me to remember, make some general purpose diffusers for people to use, and get longer sticks for next time. ((:

FYI, the other Macro Days this year – 11th and 29th Dec are booked and I have a list of people from this and other fora interested for the new year. If you want to be on the list check this page : Macro Meditation Day. Follow/read the links and/or email me at contact@beingmark.com

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I thought 3 or 4 would be a comfortable number and it is so. I’ll keep it at that for now unless anyone who has already been on a Macro Day wants to join a group that hasn’t – I’d consider that an asset.

I trust those who came got a few keepers they will post here for the record. Keeper rates in high mag macro are not high for anyone, whatever ‘they’ say.

Here’s a few of mine from yesterday, more later. Anybody is welcome to comment.

A Beetle in the bush.

A lovely coloured Fly nobody else saw. ((:

An Ant, stopped dead in its tracks. I believe it did literally die in its tracks, as it was about to take another step. I got a number of shots of this over a time of nearly two minutes and it had not moved ‘at all’. Someone else may be able to confirm no movement of this creature.

And a few more later.

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

Whether the Weather …

… is good for finding ‘bugs’ to photograph?

It has been cloudy with occasional rain and the odd ray of sunshine, so it’s a natural question.

My experience is as long as it’s not actually raining there is usually something to shoot, 99 times out of 100. I’m sure there would be something to shoot in the rain, or sheltering from it, but I don’t have a waterproof camera.

Shooting refers to a time in our culture when hunting to kill was the preferred way to get close to exotic nature. Probably because all the skills of the hunter are employed in the capture of a ‘good’ image, the need to kill has been civilized. Though a willingness to put yourself in some danger at times, sensibly so, will get the shot others won’t.

The first thing a hunter does in order to spot the prey/subject is be still, inside and out. If he’s not quiet of mind he’s not present to see or otherwise sense the minutia that often represents the presence of prey/subject. And if he’s not quiet and fluid in his body and environment most creatures will take offense and run or hide.

For a hunter/photographer to master the hunt of exotic creatures he must become one with the nature. In appearance, sound, movement, any other sense, and above all attitude.

The ultimate hunter is invisible to the prey/subject. From that the greatest capture rate will flow.

The attitude is ‘I am transparent’, I am nothing!

That’s the strategy, and then there are the tactics, the ‘how to’, which are best shown.

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Another take on it …

Nature is always changing. Nothing stays the same for long. Everything in it is active according to the local conditions.

Beneath the appearance of things there is one life, one psyche, which everything is a form of, and in. Being so every form has a connection to every other form, at some unconscious lever of being.

That means you and I have a connection to everything around us. We are the most impressive form in any natural landscape. Impressive of our condition of mind. We impose our will, be it conscious or not, on our nature. And our nature is impressed by this, for good or ill.

I am not suggesting bugs can be willed to appear, just that there is normally an effect of one being present in nature that can be minimised for the purpose of capturing an image of one of nature’s unusual and often beautiful creatures, and of doing so more creatively.

So, how we are inside makes a difference to the nature around us, because we are connected. That doesn’t mean we have to be absolutely still of mind for anything to appear, obviously. It just means we have to do our best and not impose our mind on the nature around us – the sense of it – by leaving our thoughtful and emotional worldly concerns behind.

Intent matters.

This can’t be proven except in your own experience. It’s the sort of thing, once you know it, unfolds as your experience if you are observant of facts and not given to doubt it. And if you go along with it will result in peace of mind, relatively speaking.

This is the essence of right meditation, no belief, no imagination, no thought or emotion. Just a plain and simple practical exercise of the will to engender a quieter, more relaxed way of being.

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The weather has been unusually cloudy with occasional showers and the odd ray of sunshine for a while now. This being so I was asked if there will be any creatures to photograph on a Macro Meditation Day.

This is my answer, which is also touched on in Macro Illustrated, what is true in my experience. :

There are no guarantees nature will show up in the forms that please the most, or are wanted, and everything has its time. It’s the not knowing that gives rise to the sense of wonder and discovery at the infinite variety of form and colour at our feet, as it presents. The chances of something showing up are increased by our respect for and acknowledgment of the simple wonder and beauty of the nature that does show up – in the little things.

And a little gratitude, to nothing in particular – spoken or not, for the nature that does show up is the best way I know of ensuring it shows up next time – in some form.

The pictures on this page are from the last five or so cloudy days, these are the fruits of my exercise.

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

Him ‘n Her

At first I only saw him, standing on the edge of the leaf waving his front legs in the air, with their bright white extremities. I looked across the chasm between the leaves for what he could possibly be waving to and I saw her, not waving back, much.

After a little waving, mostly by him, they got together and that leg waving stopped but another leg waving started, the pair of legs behind the first – held akimbo.

Anyway, long story short, they mated and parted. Then she went about grooming herself and he started waving those front legs again.

Sound familiar?

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