Nature's Place

Mother and Children …

A few questions have been answered, regarding what mother would do once the children are born, and what she does to eat – she has lost so much weight in the process apparent in her much reduced rear body.

About 50 tiny Huntsman spiders have hatched so far, with some dead already, and the sac is still looking full so I expect more in the coming days. But so far it has been interesting to observe the behaviour of the much maligned spider. In this case a mother, and she has gone hungry over a period of weeks to ensure the best for her babies, staying to protect them – most of the time – and eating whatever was unfortunate enough to wander her way. I am impressed by her maternal instinct, her devotion to the little ones – though instinctive it may be, is it ever any other way.

While I was watching I noticed she was chewing down on something that has come her way – you can see the stick/leg bits hanging out from under, an opportunity for some nourishment that would keep her going a little while longer – good for the babies prospects.

I tried to give a wider view of the situation, but restricted by the proximity of walls and things while doing my best not to disturb her the shots I got are the best I can do for now. Don’t want to frighten her off so she might not come back. It’s really a matter of intruding as little as possible so nature takes its course.

I also changed the lighting I was using, a modified snoot/diffuser that requires further refinement. Something to match the working distance relative to the magnification required for the shots, some of which are cropped slightly. It all works in the end, when you know the principles involved.

I may post another of this series if significant events occur that I am present for.

For those who wanted to know what happened next.

Mother rules Ok!

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


The Idea Behind …

… what I do, on this site and at the Macro Days, is as old as the hills. I came to it through a fundamental need, born of my experience, to know peace of mind. And to know peace of mind requires a willingness to change, first.

The only impediment is my own psychological self, the conditioning of the mind repeating itself, the grip of the past. It is necessary to know and understand how it repeats before the solution can be realised, and it is simple.

But you can’t do anything if you don’t see or have the need for it. Perception is reality in this case, because it’s very easy to think or believe “I can’t do this” with its attendant negative emotions, and so determine your reality, or your unreality.

This idea is mine in as much as I articulate it and live it, the best I can. If you get it, the idea, it is also yours, as much as you live it – this is important, nobody owns an idea, or everybody does.

The idea is not exclusive, any man or woman can do it any time anywhere. It’s just a matter of taking the action.

When the time is right. But don’t wait for another time if you need it now.

The question then is, do you need it now?


What is the ‘Problem?

What, in your own experience – not what you’ve read or been told, is the common factor in any problem you have ever had. What is the common factor in worry, heartache, paranoia, jealousy, misery, depression, or any other form of unhappiness?

It is thinking and/or emotion. Usually a mix of the two since they are inextricably linked. You can’t get emotional without thinking and you can’t have thinking without emotion to generate it, as a problem. Emotion generates thought about what it is you are emotional about, and thinking (about a problem) stirs emotion about the thing thought. One is dependent on the other, as a problem. If it’s not a problem it doesn’t matter.

Now, in your own experience is there any other common factor in any form of unhappiness you know of, besides thought and emotion? There is, your attention or intelligence. The fact you give your attention to your unhappiness is what fuels it, fundamentally. Which is how you can be distracted from your unhappiness, by distracting your attention.

You might say otherwise but the next time you are unhappy you will notice it is the thinking and emotion that sustains it, by you giving your attention to it as if it is the greater reality.

It is, but only because you have believed it, and as long as you still believe it. And that is a mechanical process.

That’s my own experience. What is yours?


Well, clearly, if thinking and emotion are the basis for unhappiness the solution to unhappiness has got to be in the cessation of that emotion and thinking. Or do you think your unhappiness comes from ‘outside’ and you can find the solution ‘there’, somebody or something does it to you, so somebody or some thing can fix it, really?

After all these years people, you and me, have sought the solution to unhappiness ‘out there’ and we haven’t found it yet, out there. Maybe because it isn’t out there at all and it’s time to look elsewhere, and the only where else to look is inside. Or do you know of somewhere else?

So, how to free myself of the mechanics of unhappiness? That’s the only real question I can see since the solution would be the basis for the only real change from the unhappy human condition that prevails. Or is there something more important than to be free of unhappiness?

If there is, I’d like to know what.


And the Solution?

Thinking and emotion persist as unhappiness because we give it our attention at the outset. What if we don’t give it our attention, what then? What if I am fast enough to catch the thought or emotion before it takes me over? How do I speed up my intelligence enough to keep the unhappiness out?

Surely, if I don’t attend to the feeling or thinking that constitutes unhappiness, as if it is the truth, I can’t be unhappy. Surely? I know this looks too absurdly simple to be true but test it in your own experience. If you don’t give your attention to your unhappiness and deal only in the facts of your life as they arise your unhappiness disappears, more or less.

For instance, if you are unhappy (or stressed, or whatever word you use for it) about something in particular you need to do something about it. If you are worried about having no money you need to do something about getting some, or give up worrying, that’s practical, factual. If you are fearful of the boss because he has a terrible temper you need to draw the line and stand your ground, for your own peace of mind, or accept the situation, or leave. Action clears the problem.

Any other practical ‘problem’ also requires practical action to eliminate the emotion.  That leaves the habit of unhappiness, the fact it keeps on recurring uncontrollably, to be dealt with by not focusing on the emotion and so feed it with thinking.


So, there is the unhappy emotion or thinking – as a problem, and there is the attention I give to it. For there to be a solution there has to be something else to give my attention to, and there is.

There is another element in this (mechanical) system of being human that is rarely observed and that is the sensation inside. This is the means of speeding up the intelligence, by slowing down the mind.

What this means is you have something other than thought or emotion to focus on, something that is more real and won’t go away. And by doing so the ‘problem’ is reduced or eliminated.

So the solution, to the ‘problem’, is to take control of what you give your attention to, obviously.


To put it another way.

There is the problem (of emotion and thinking), there is the pure simple sensation – that is the only reliable anchor against the movement of mind, and there is the attention or intelligence that sustains either. Which am I going to give my attention to, the problem or the sensation?

The sensation ‘inside’ the body is the basis for the senses that appear to be of the ‘outside’ but are in fact cognised inside, sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste along with more subtle senses. And the senses are most easily realised in nature.

I start with focus on the pure inner sensation as it is the more substantive, and add the others as progress is made in slowing the mind, as the practise is established. Nature is the ‘outer’ reciprocal of the inner sensation.

This, the inner and outer of sensation and nature is the basis for the changeover from mind to sense, and it occurs gradually.


The way it works is this. What I give my attention to grows. If I give my attention to the ‘problem’ it grows, check next time you are worried what happens if you think about it, you get more worried. And if you can give your attention to the pure sensation what happens? It grows, or the problem (of emotion) recedes.

The ‘good’ Wolf and the ‘bad’ Wolf, of that old Indian proverb. The one that wins is the one you feed the most, or give your attention to.

But to be able to do it in the ‘hard’ times, when the pressure is really on, you have to have practised it in the ‘easy’ times.

Does this make sense? Questions or comments are welcome.

(See Meditate for an introduction to the practise.)

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

The Kill

A lot of Gecko’s live in this old wooden two storey Queenslander. I often see them at the outside light at night and as soon as they see me they run and hide. They will attack and eat anything that flutters on a window or under the light and run and hide from anything bigger than they are – sound survival tactic, usually.

This young Gecko was stationary as I passed and stopped to look. Moments later it was scuttling across the wall towards a corner it could disappear behind. I usually just watch them go but this time I thought I’d see if I could catch one to get a better look.

I was reaching out to cup it in one hand before it disappeared around the corner of the wall when a huge, four inch leg span, Huntsman came around that same corner at lightning speed and snatched the Gecko’s life with a single bite.

The blink of an eye and it was almost over for the Gecko. The Huntsman was taking no chance of losing its catch, holding on tight and then biting closer to the head before silently slinking away with its meal, glistening venom cascading over one of its prey’s eyes.

They had never heard of Christmas. Or …. ?

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