Nature's Place

Royal Fishers

Kingfishers …

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It’s the middle of Autumn here in Australia and the pace is slowing down for some. The insect life or activity has reduced but the birds weren’t built for the sudden falloff.

Birds don’t store energy as fat like wingless creatures do. They wouldn’t be able to fly otherwise, at least not efficiently and survivably – my own new word.

So I’m helping them out for a while, see what happens. And what happens is they show up en masse. The raucous Mynas and Lorrikeets, and the quieter ones too.

But the king and queen of them all has to be the Kookaburras. A pair that come to oversee the melee below, as kings and queens should do.

It allows for perspective, not to attend the fray.

Nor to think about what is beneath.

© Mark BerkeryClick on those pictures for a closer lookand click again.



Residents …

A striped marsh frog I think. Very fast to escape attention, as soon as you take your eye of him he’s gone. A regular caller at evenings, already father to a pool of tadpoles.

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Hunter wasp, tracks down the Huntsman spiders and lays an egg on them after paralysing it. Here gathering some mud to seal the nest entrance with.

Kookaburra, always about to observe where other birds play and feed. In case something in the grass is disturbed to movement. Then she’s on it in a flash.

A shy female wallaby, usually settles down to take a little food at the end of the day. We bump into each other at night too, as I go for a walk under the stars.

Grasshopper on zinnia. They’ll eat everything if let. But they are prey to many other creatures in the garden so not much for me to do there.

Yellow zinnia, one of many colours in the garden right now. With more on the way. It’s a simple pleasure to tend the garden.

On the stick by the birdbath, a native noisy mynah shaking off the excess water. On the lookout for any playful, or otherwise, attack.

Another coloured zinnia. There’s many more flowers about but too much for this post.

The young stone curlew. Mum and dad are away, maybe left this one to find it’s own feet. Like we all need to do eventually.

I’ve had the place to myself for a while now, more or less. So I’ve been wandering about the acre or so, tending the flowers and bumping into some of the more obvious visitors and a few permanent residents.

It’s the way it is, if nature is given the space some creature will take up residence. What nature does.

For best effect all I’ve got to do is not think, too much …

© Mark BerkeryClick on those pictures for a closer lookand click again.



Old Friend Visiting …

She’s a little beauty. And though small, she does command respect – fear doesn’t help. It would be a different world with more respect about.

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She’s only as thick as a thumb, or a clothes peg. As she investigated under my plant potting table.

Left to her self, with respect, she just went about her business and went on her way. Only when we disrespect, inject our ill nature, does nature reflect it and react adversely.

This is what respect looks like, of a fledgling for a wizened old snake. :-) … Still finding its presence but still enough respect.

As I stepped out through the fly-screen door I instinctively rebounded at the sense of something not quite registered yet, something moved on the ground near my feet. Just as it reacted to my appearance, as form and movement, and presence – the mostly invisible radiance we all have.

A snake, a whip snake I thought … We both maintained composure, remembering presence – all things have it – and carried on. I with my cup of coffee and she in her search for food, shelter, nest site, carried on investigating the various nooks and crannies of the veranda.

The remembering applies to me more than the snake, snakes do it instinctively but we have to re-realise it, presence. Having come into existence with it, to invariably lose it to identity – as a body afraid to die or the fear of death, for instance. Only to find it again, because there’s no other way, in the end.

Anyway, as she moved then so did I, wondering what she was up to, and in a way introducing myself. But she was already introduced, all she cared about really was my presence. That told her there was no danger from me, where we stood. Because I didn’t fear her and so react to her cold confident ways in my space.

Though her presence does instill a certain respect, she is unforgiving of disrespect. No need for fear, in her nature or of her nature. My nature. Not unlike we people, in that respect. For without respect, for situations, people and things, we all wouldn’t last long at all. Nothing tolerates disrespect for long, and respect requires presence.

It’s a long winding road we tread, each to their own, to presence and respect. And everybody’s on it, to one degree or another, to one radiance or vibration or another. It’s the vibe that matters, isn’t it.

Everything has a fundamental presence or vibration. And all we have to do to read it is get back down to our own vibe, or presence.

There it is, in the sensation where no thought or emotion goes.

Read it … as it is, here and now.

No other place or time matters.

Here and now.

© Mark BerkeryClick on those pictures for a closer lookand click again.



What Next?

On the tiles on the veranda, at my feet. A perfectly normal looking female blue banded bee, wings working fine. I thought. It’s not uncommon for new born BBB’s to falter at first flight.

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After I gave her a finger to climb on she wandered about until she tried to fit into the nook between my fingers. It seemed she just wanted to go back to sleep.

But not for long. Soon she was exploring again. This time she thought it a good idea to grip my finger between her mandibles and that way go to sleep – how they do it.

But sleep wasn’t on the agenda, not really. So I introduced her to the zinnia I have growing in the garden, and she took to it like a duck to water. No, no, like a bee to a flower.

After she had her fill of the zinnia I introduced her to the butterfly bush and she couldn’t help herself, wandering all about the wonderful scent, tasting the little pots of nectar as she went.

Yum … doesn’t she look satisfied. Just taking a break from her first born encounter with the beautiful nature of the flowers she feeds on, and that went to nourishing her into existence.

And then she’d had enough, time to sleep at last. But not quite getting the knack of it yet, though instinctively she knew to grip something thin enough she could lock onto for the coming night.

Getting there, almost done … Time to sleep, to rest, to rise again in the morning and go to work in the garden and do what she was designed for, intelligently.

Sun fading now, got a good grip on the edge of the butterfly bush leaf. All the better to wake in the morning, close to breakfast and a new day, a new life. New born BBB.

The first blue banded bee born at my new place, that I know of, landed at my feet late the other day. It didn’t take to the air immediately so I gave it a finger to climb on, thinking it might do better from a height.

It didn’t … BBB’s are solitary creatures, not hive minded like the EU honey bee. The biggest difference it makes to me and you, if we were to pick one up, is EU bee’s instinctive tendency to sting, though it will surely die.

The individual EU honey bee, being just a number in a vast hive of like minded bees, is expendable. Meaning the hive doesn’t mind losing it in apparent defense of the realm, to sting and die.

That’s what a EU honey does after it stings. It dies, because the stinger being barbed gets left behind when the bee is swatted away and a gaping wound is made where the stinger was.

It’s a sacrifice the EU honey bee hive easily makes, it’s not an individual bee’s choice. The BBB on the other hand has no hive to fall back on, he or she is alone in this world.

And being alone requires more responsibility for the natural creatures, instinctively. More intelligently responsive, you could say.

There’s no trouble in nature. The natural creatures just get on with being what they are without the need to reflect on it.

The trouble comes when we emotionalise the instinctive and reflect on it so that it becomes something else.

Intelligently responsive or instinctively defensive. Hmmm …

© Mark BerkeryClick on those pictures for a closer lookand click again.



Gathering …

… at the birdbath.

Nasturtium in the dying light of the day, reflected. As we reflect, on what’s of value perhaps.

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Local wallaby, a frequent visitor to the garden, enjoys a drink of clean water. A little shy still.

Young water dragon at Kate’s place. Included after Kate spotted a younger on here, but I didn’t get a shot.

The zinnia are doing very well lately. Shooting up and presenting many colours and shades for our viewing – sensible – pleasure.

Blue faced honey eater and a noisy myna reflecting on their reflections, or each other, but no animosity, just unassuming self expression.

Drops of water being loosed from her feathers. They dive into the water and often take off very quickly, maybe it’s the vulnerability of being wet through that makes them wary at such times.

All images in this post are taken with a new (for me) camera. Just getting used to it …

Young pied magpie, those great warbling singers of the morning. Mother has been taking them around the place, teaching what she knows.

The birdbath is filled daily with fresh rain water from the tank. I think they know the difference and enjoy that. I know I would.

And the noisy myna, also a mum (or dad) watching over her babies below. Mums all love their babies, you know.

It’s a very popular place at different times of the day. As can be seen by the nature of some of the visitors.

There is often some agitation between the different kinds of birds, but it’s just territorial display, nothing too aggressive.

Nature, different creatures and forms just doing what they do as they go about their daily lives. Birds being birds, bathing.

No ongoing issues, nothing held on to in memory, to be revived for airing another time.

© Mark BerkeryClick on those pictures for a closer lookand click again.




I know, feet not included. :-) … This a Stone Curlew mum and her chick, local inhabitants in the Redlands, near (enough) the water.

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Waking up can be hard to do. A struggle until the art is perfected, by practise. But mum’s about to help as necessary.

They are not shy birds, nor are they domesticated. Independent creatures that keep much to themselves, even when living outside the kitchen window.

Getting closer … But always wary of danger to the chick. Raucous in their protest if they perceive their space is intruded upon.

Closer still, or I just zoomed in a bit more … The adult male stands about 2 feet tall. Wouldn’t risk that beak at close quarters. Nor would he, unless he had to.

I know that’s the name of a delicious fruit but it also describes the weather we have been having in SE Brisbane for a while. Mild warm days and cool nights with enough rainfall in the dark hours to keep everything green and growing.

The frogs and cicadas sing out every evening at dusk, especially with a little rain. The flowers are blooming all around. Bees and bugs, butterflies and birds are all frequent visitors to the garden.

It’s a nice time to be free of encumbrances, but who’s to say what is one of those, or what is not. It’s a relative existence.


What is is the way it is, for now. Until it changes, then that’s what is. And it’s always now, here, felt in the body’s space.

A dream of healing. A body, caterpillar-like you could say, turns into something else.

Felt deep down, may come to pass.

© Mark BerkeryClick on those pictures for a closer lookand click again.



Dark Visitors

Mantis, there’s a few around the garden helping in their way to keep the balance so the garden goes on. Preying …

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Walking on water … The mother wolf spider carrying her brood. She couldn’t climb the side of the tray so I helped her along with a handy leaf.

Darkling beetle, a colourful fellow and carrying his own load – a few mites to be seen feeding on him. Such is life at times.

Drunken moth, imbibing at the fermenting orange. Apparently nature likes a drink now and again. Just not too much or you end up flying in circles.

They come and go as they please, creatures of day and night. They do what they do, according to their nature, no analysis necessary.

© Mark BerkeryClick on those pictures for a closer lookand click again.



Luck …

… or not, that’s life.

It takes intelligence to be a flower. Wonderful colour and form, unfolding all its parts perfectly in this world of sense. As fine a creature as ever emerged from the primal earth.

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A beetle of some kind, I used to know the name, enjoying the pollen bounty in what I call the native crocus – another wonderful creature risen from the earth.

Mother in waiting. There’s many of these crab or ambush spiders amongst the flowers right now. Taking advantage of the many and varied creatures visiting daily and again. Every baby has to eat.

This beetle was in the huntsman’s deadly embrace when a second beetle came along, attracted to my torchlight, and blundered into the scene, causing the spider to take fright.

And then came back and grabbed the second beetle and took it to a safer place to subdue, up a bamboo stem, and hung there from two back legs while pumping venom into the prey.

What’s this, a head of some kind, in a kind of embrace. A Dragonfly’s head.

I saw the body first and thought it had been attacked by another dragonfly, they do that. But then found the head, just under the exposed fan blades. Two and two this time = 4.

The garden is coming along fine, with many creatures to be found at different times of the day, and night.

Everything has its place and time, some could be managed better, but overall the garden, the place where nature happens, is doing fine.

© Mark BerkeryClick on those pictures for a closer lookand click again.



The Enchanted Garden

Wasp taking a break from the hectic pace of life on the wing. They do rest when it’s needed.

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Looks like a nosy fellow, ho ho. Trailing a human hair perhaps, uncaring. Pointedly sensing his position.

Just having fun on the red nasturtium, looking for a meal no doubt. Going about her little life.

Darkling climbing about the new begonia leaves. Maybe they are host to something nice to a hungry beetle.

A colourful fly. Sensitive to light you’ve got to be lucky to get a shot using pre-flash – on auto exposure.

Waiting for a meal to come visit. She made a home by folding leaves over her and waited for the buds to flower. Patient lady.

Another kind of creature, another place. No nook or cranny left uninhabited for long. The garden’s gypsy’s, living life on the fly, always doing their best.

Not yet established, more like evolving, the garden is nevertheless home to many creatures after 9 months. Too many to capture or include here.

Every one has its own form and function, in sense as shape, colour and sound. Each has its own center and place in the bigger picture of nature as a whole system.

They all interact in their way, or the way of the garden that grows this and that, this way and that way, in shade and shine. Every variation of the static lending to the mobility and interaction of the animated ones.

It’s a wonder to watch at times, when the wind blows the leaves and flowers, the sun shines while the butterflies and bees and many others imbibe the nectar on offer to sustain the never ending turn of life.

© Mark BerkeryClick on those pictures for a closer lookand click again.