Nature's Place

Flowers Above

It’s just past mid winter here and I didn’t expect to see this half inch crab spider on the lavender buds.

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She takes up position on the flowering tip and stretches out her ‘arms’ waiting for a visitor to come.

Her vision may not be great, she opens her arms wide to the touch of my lens on the stem beneath her.

And begins waving her arms, perhaps as a warning or a way of appearing bigger than she really is.

It’s a common enough strategy, even amongst people who have taken it past the physically desirable.

To the emotionally or notionally deluded. But of course spiders don’t build psychic constructs of want.

They act purely instinctively in preservation of the organism. No self reflection or intellectualizing here. No thinking self.

Probably not the same crab or flower spider as last year, but she sure looks like a close relative.

Flower spider because they hang around blooming flowers to see what they can catch to eat.

No sign of her prey this time, there’ll probably be others this year, dropping into the garden.

Since she is almost fully grown she probably lived up in the nearby flowering trees.

Then sensed aromatic colour in the garden and dropped in for a look-see.

Now she’s gone … to pastures new, or tidbit to a passing bird.

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A spider’s lot. To live and die a spider. How simple that is.

Free to be everything spider is, no complications.

Of mind, minding things that don’t matter.

To a spider being …

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

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Bee

Rescued from the water, still a little wet. Breathing fine, antennae intact, tongue working. Where there’s life form functions.

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Grooming and preening, the better to do its ordinary job … of entertaining the people of earth.

A bit of a climb at times, a zigzag incline – where life reflects on self. 1 2 3, 1 2 3 …

Two steps forward. one step back … nature’s waltz, 1 2 3, 1 2 3 …

Getting on with its ordinary life, of being a bee.

Mostly gathering goodness for the hive, with an occasional hiccup.

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

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Signs …

Tiny spider surviving the winter hunting on the long lasting strawflower.

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No doubt he will migrate if food becomes scarce and hunger grips.

It just makes sense … surveying his tiny domain.

An even smaller wasp becomes food for the tiny spider.

Enough sustenance to keep body together for a while.

Such is life in form on planet earth.

of life.

One creature from the garden, after nothing much for months.

Giving a sense of the coming spring.

Thank you spider … and wasp.

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

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Watersun

Ladybug. Biding its time on a leaf in the sun.

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Stingless bee, about 12mm long. Investigating a bit of banana left for the birds.

Green shield bug, enjoying the sap of the plant the little wasps eat at.

The little wasp, feeding on the few remaining flowers of the valley.

Not afraid to investigate the new terrain.

Is it a bee, is it a wasp … It’s a beauty.

We’ve had plenty of both, sun and water, but not many visitors to the garden this warm winter.

It could be related to what’s been reported around the world, the disappearing insect populations.

Or it could be local, the use of indiscriminate insecticides on mozzie breeding grounds not far away.

Though the mozzies didn’t die out this year, a sign of something else perhaps.

They just love it here? :-)

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

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Bee Draggled

On my finger. Looking strong and healthy after her swim. She pays particular attention to the condition of her tongue.

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Drying, preening and cleaning can take quite a while. The minutes pass as I sit watching while she resumes full fitness.

A nice warm stone to dry out on in the sun. Placed for the shooting angle with blue sky as background, helps …

She looks fierce, but only to the eye expecting ‘something else’. Imagination. Nature is supremely practical.

They’ll always climb to higher ground if they are well enough. All the better to take off from, when the time comes.

It has been said yoga, a practise of physical exercises with a spiritual dimension (attention to sensation) was developed by observing nature’s creatures about their business.

They have an exercise for every occasion, every body part gets its turn, no exceptions.

A number of honey bees were rescued from the cold water recently. Too many to show them all, or even a representative sample of images.

If I get to them early enough they recover quickly and seem to suffer no ill effects. They just take the time to recover, given the space for preening and cleaning, then take to the air, do a short circuit above and find a direction to fly in.

Home, I suspect. Back from whence they come. To rejoin the hive they serve. One body’s life having little more significance than that, except it is itself unique and integral to the whole.

Not insignificant …

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

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Walks On Water

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At the recent housesit in Calvert there was a pool, functional and clean enough. It was the source of many a creature that fell in and struggled for its life on the water’s surface, with no hope of getting out without help. And many were, helped.

During the night it was the same, only fewer were to be found, naturally. One such was this Huntsman spider, or Huntswoman more like, and she was literally walking on water.

So I leaned over, stretching my arm out with the camera, careful not to fall in and join her, while I got a few shots of her in situ before raising her out on my ever ready stick.

I’m pretty sure she wasn’t there by her choice or design. Though she was having no trouble staying afloat she was clearly out of her element, with little control over the direction of her travel.

She wasn’t unhappy to be out, no sign of stress or distress, resting a long while after her ordeal. It takes a lot of energy for land creatures to survive on water, especially water this cold.

And so she lived to hunt another day, I suspect, as she was gone in the morning from the safe place I left her to recover.

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I have heard of a man who walked on water. But I think that may have been a metaphor for something else. Even though anything is possible in the psyche, and it all happens in the psyche, I have a different take on water walking.

Long, long ago, in the time of the flood, when the waters (of emotion) were over the head of Man s/he struggled to survive.

But she kept at it and eventually got his head out of the maelstrom.

And so began our water walking efforts.

Or so it seemed …

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

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Bits ‘n’ Bobs

Little wasp having a feed of nectar. Hmmm … delicious.

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Wandering, in search of the greatest bounty. The next pot of nectar.

Insatiable … Well, not really. Enough nectar and they are away to do what else the little wasps do.

Sometimes they aren’t feeding, just standing there as if guarding the treasure while they digest the last meal. Perhaps …

Grandchester is a small village just up the road from Calvert, where I’m staying right now (west of Brisbane, QLD). Looking at google maps I could see a big dam named Railway Dam Reserve. An industrial dam perhaps. I went to have a look because insects and flowers gather at places of water in this dry country.

Turns out it has been out of use and drained for some time, with the dam floor cracked all about. The dam wall is about 10 meters high and any overflow would have come down it, splashing to the old rocks and creating a shaded oasis below and between the wall, the hills and the trees around.

I know the creatures loved it, because I love it. But it’s a ghost of what it was. All the same, where one thing dies another takes its place. Dams evolve … this one is a haven for some different plants and birds now.

I followed the bird, a wagtail, as she danced in the air catching her food, which brought me to one plant that stood out of the mass of green and blue around the protected edge of the dam. I don’t know the names but the small creatures soon became visible as I stood still enough long enough to see.

Small wasps, feeding on the pollen and nectar and oblivious of me as I cast my shadow to shade them from the sunlight and get a few shots with controlled flash.

The birds and insects in this place seemed unusually fearless, allowing me to get closer than has often been the case elsewhere.

A little pleasure to me …

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

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An Other Life …

Waiting in the darkness to come.

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She was in the way of my walking.

So up on my stick she did go.

To find a new home for her stalking.

gardeners of an other kind, the web weaving kind.

Strung across the open spaces in the garden, orb weavers work.

To catch a meal on the wind, best caught out in the open, unencumbered by the green.

Down long tunnels of dark space through which many small creatures pass.

Night time, quiet time, death time. Influence cast afar.

In stillness, in the cold light of the full moon.

The stars stopped twinkling.

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This post was scheduled days in advance so I was ready for a house sit on Thursday prior.

Something that was right, not wanted – a small discipline of self, you could say.

Turns out the old dogs are glad for a walk, as long as we avoid the bindi lawn.

The horses love a bit of fruit from a hand, though not all of the four are friendly.

There’s a gym, of sorts, so I can maintain my recently added exercise form.

And the area is dry and cold, so that fits too, to help keep mind in its place.

There’s also a place where little ones go, an old industrial dam …

Just follow the birds and there be the fruits.

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

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Natural Thing

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The eyes have it.

And the ears.

As I got out of the car I noticed movement in the grass about 20m away. As I looked to see what it was it stopped still and slowly sank to the ground as, I suspect, it registered eyes on it.

Water dragon, much like the last one only smaller, winter time thinner. But just as placid, made no move to run, no suggestion of attack. Up close s/he was positively relaxed.

Male or female, it doesn’t really matter to the sense of things. Only in consideration of other matters that really don’t matter here.

The fact is it is a wild, savage creature. Surviving on the edge of civilization and behaving with instinctive integrity, being.

All creatures have it, the absence of that self-consciousness that signifies ‘trouble’ in people – an emotional cunning.

It’s what attracts us to nature, the innocence, an honest engagement with natural intelligence in uncivilized form.

You always know where you stand with nature, no double think.

No thinking at all.

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

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