Nature's Place

Leap Of …

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maybe, maybe not.

Who knows what’s in a spiders mind.

Not personalised thinking, that’s for sure …

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



Assassin …

What’s this coming up the branch, a new kind of bug, a mutant … or is it an assassin bug holding on to dinner.

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She sees me and does an about-turn. But then she can’t see me past her package and I no longer exist in her small world. Until …

… I get around the other side. But she soon settles down, me being no apparent threat. Unwilling to relinquish her catch.

Up close you can just see how she uses her lance/proboscis/stabber to pierce and hold onto her prey.

And later that day, after her meal, she’s wandering a flower spike in the garden and positioning herself for the next days hunting. … But… what’s that in the background? It looks like a face but it’s a spider sitting in its web.

If there’s anything can discourage an assassin bug it’s this spider, an orb weaver. But they never meet this dark night. Who knows what may be the next …

all grown up, what the Assassin Baby eventually develops into.

It has been an unusual year in many respects but the point here is there has been very few small creatures in the garden.

I can think of a number of reasons – combinations of rain, sun, birds, etc – but at summer’s end the ‘last man standing’ is the assassin bug.

So, I present to you the winner of this years trophy … well, thank god – whatever that is – insects don’t have personalities.

And every body dies eventually.

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



Assassin Baby …

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On the flowers, he knows where to go for a bite to eat.

At one point he was eager to get on my finger … didn’t fancy testing his deadly kiss.

Though the pain, as sensation, could be used to separate from the mind that would attach to it.

Sensation is distinct from thought and emotion.

And thinking is stopped before it begins …

where it arises, from the self.

In the belly, not in the head.

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



Bugs … Bugs … Bugs

Young Assassin Bug, prowling the Straw-Flowers at night. Perhaps too hungry to give it my finger to climb on.

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Found on a tree in the local bush, this long legged and long tongue fly. Amazing flyer … or my eyes just got old.

Fire-tail Bee, rescued from the water I leave out for the small creatures. Sitting on a drying lemon staked in the garden.

Beetle on the butterfly bush, Wedge or Monk – take your pick. They do wake up some time …

Female Lynx spider on the butterfly bush, waiting for her dinner to arrive. Everybody’s got to eat, and she eats for the many.

Got these seeds that turned into huge sunflowers but nothing visited them, maybe it is a poisonous variety, if there is such a thing. Then I saw this Weevil, but it was dead. Hmmm …

Spider under the sunflower. They seem to do a lot of waiting. Lucky they don’t think or they might get impatient.

Moth, around two and a half inches long. Huge … Didn’t want to perform for the camera, I let it be …

Robber Fly at rest, assassins of another kind, they usually capture mid air and strike behind the head. Efficient aerial killer.

Not much to say this week … Focussing inside …

Starting with sensation, while letting pass what forms …

… eventually resolves to a sense of space or good inside – no form.

It can be difficult at times, the pull of mind to express and identify …

But there is no more worthy endeavour, with a value beyond what can be reasoned.


Being no thing, not even the negation of things.

No longer letting go what appears in inner space …

but letting go the idea there is anything to let go.

More or less, perfectly.


And today, contrary to popular opinion, no-thing really matters.

Or, no-thing is more real before it matters. Hmm …


Nothing needs realising. The one and the many melt into the other …

… and stillness is the way. Now, there’s peace of mind.

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



Wanted …

to rent. House/shack/granny flat/caravan – just somewhere to hang my hat at first. Nothing fancy required but space and greenery is appreciated, enjoyed and tended.

It has dawned on me recently that I have become familiar with where I am and that it is a soporific to me. Familiarity is a form of diffusion to the intelligence, a psychic web that absorbs some energy to sustain itself. Energy that would be better employed in a more important endeavour, to be more intelligent, to love more.

So, right or wrong, I have it in me to leave where I have been living for years with a dear old friend, and no real idea of where to go or what I will do. A venture into the unknown you could say, or just casting for now. Thought I’d put it out there and see what comes back, why not, life comes in every form. And if nothing comes back that’s life too. Any offers or suggestion appreciated … by comment below or email …

A house or … whatever … need only be habitable, with a garden or some space to grow a few plants. Old and overgrown is good. Internet connection is desirable. Can’t really ask life for anything in particular, and can’t rule anything out.

If something ‘sings out’ or ‘shines’ to me I’ll go with that. Otherwise I’ll go with the biggest ‘yes’. Right now I just don’t know what may be.

Maybe I’ll just take off in a van and see where I end up. Could blog via public wifi along the way, Mc D’s is good for that I am told.

A van … a very practical machine in Australia. I am looking at buying a ford transit van but the right one hasn’t presented yet.

A van to carry my/stuff to and fro and for away time outback and beyond – no firm plans there either. Come what may …


And then she came, the entertainment.

Daughter of life, life as mother of the garden. A mother always calm, listening, present. Is that a smile I see? Well, maybe inside, in a psyche that knows no fear.

While watering the garden at close of day she appeared without a care in the world, dripping from the careless spray. Every little thing has its time.

Does she, at least once, see the stars from the cold blackness of a desert night at the new moon.

Wearing water as a helmet, must affect her vision, she wasn’t too disturbed, from under the petals.

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Out on the petal she takes a pose, casting in the dark for what may be there, ready for fight or flight.

I probably bumped her home, she turned to safety but came out again. A tiny version of her mother.

Straddling the petals, facing down the strange appearance of flash and glass, she was unperturbed.

As close as I could get to this tiny creature, and then I left her alone, don’t want to intrude.

There is nothing more hurting than not enough love. It’s the cause of all the pain of human suffering on earth. But what to do about it …

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



Intelligence …

What is it? People talk about what they think is intelligence, and what is not, don’t they? But what is it really, as far as being free of unhappiness is concerned? Because surely that is the first intelligence that matters in a world beset with human violence and misery? Perhaps it’s the only intelligence that really matters.

Let’s start with nature. There is obviously intelligence in and behind nature, obvious to me. Just look at it. Nature is the seed that becomes the mighty tree that houses a myriad creatures and lives in a forest that is watered by passing clouds that appear in the all encompassing sky of a planet that exists in a complex system of planets and orbiting moons governed by the sun that is one star in a galaxy of star systems, as can be seen in the night sky. And everything happens in concert. Nobody can tell me there isn’t intelligence in this amazing nature.

But let’s stay here and now. The unique characteristic of natural intelligence is there is no problem in it, no unhappiness. This can be observed in the nature around you – except where domestic or ‘industrial’ animals are mistreated, the plants and animals are free of unhappiness. Because theirs is a purely instinctive intelligence, they don’t think or get emotional, naturally.

Not so with people. Like all of nature we too are instinctively intelligent first, but then we also have the capacity for self reflection. We can think and be emotional about our nature, which we do, and it’s entertaining for a while. But by indulging in it we become attached and add to ourselves a past, a reservoir of psychic pressure that builds up as the sub-conscious. And there’s the rub, we can’t stop it any more, if we ever could.

By our continued indulgence we keep building on the living past inside, the pressure in the psyche is getting worse and we are not in control of our own minds. In other words we are not responsible. And that’s the only problem on earth.

Check it out for yourself though. When you are down or depressed or ‘insert your own problem here’ isn’t it emotion and thinking that brings it on first and then sustains it, without your volition? Against your will …

So, the problem is identified. Thinking and emotion is in control and making a mess of life on earth, your life. So it seems.

Or am I mad? Everybody thinks and gets emotional, nothing could be more normal. But is it intelligent? When you see thinking and emotion are causing your problems is it intelligent to continue with it?

Not in my experience. So I did something about it … and I am not special. I live an ordinary life, work at the computer, pay my bills, do the gardening, de-flea the house, feed the cat, do the shopping and so on – the ordinary stuff.

But I also did something unusual – not normal, but still ordinary – meaning anybody can do it. After many years doing what caused me pain I had enough and met a spiritual teacher, Barry Long – dead now, who showed me how to negate my self made pain, through meditation first. And that was the beginning of the end to my own unhappiness, the beginning of me being responsible for my life.

So I have to say … looking around me now, I don’t see intelligent people. I see normal thinking emotional people who don’t seem to know what to do about their recurring unhappiness, even if they see it as a problem to be solved.

There is a way though, to become intelligent enough to negate the cause of unhappiness. And it begins with meditation. I have done it as much as need be for now, and go on … by grace.

I have gotten down to my original instinctive intelligence and it tells me not to do what hurts any more, naturally. That is being intelligent, being responsible for the quality of my life, being free of unhappiness.

I don’t ask myself any more ‘what’s it all about?’, ‘why am I here?’, ‘where’s it all going?’. I know what I am doing with my life, I know what’s happening with life on earth.

And I know because I love life, god, love or truth enough to put it first in my life. Is there really any other way to be?

I don’t think so. And it is realised, by right action.

*As always, your comments and questions are welcome and I will respond.

And where would we be without a little entertainment from our instinctive cousins …

Step into the light. An expressive little creature wanders the tree without a sign of fear, instinctively.

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The genius … in a jumping spiders big eyes to see, her spiky legs to catch, clawed feet to grip with …

She dances in front of the lens, staccato gait, and jumps onto the glass for a quick look around.

Elegant and sure-footed on her pad of silk she calls home, for now. From where she patrols to feed.

She looks like she might have babies on the way. But not a thought for the future or past, just being here now.

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


Sawfly …

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A female I think. On a favourite eucalyptus tree, where other sawfly and larva have been found.

Don’t know about joyous, but there’s a certain pleasure in perception of the being of this creature.

She’s a beauty, isn’t she. Big blue eyes, short antennae and curved pointy mandibles. Sweet little thing …

A slight evolutionary refinement perhaps, on the one that has been before. Reproduction is not replication.

A successful sawfly is one that is, warts ‘n’ all. That’s life …

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




A Few Pictures More …

Hooded monk – looks like – beetle, on the butterfly bush against the red nasturtium. What big eyes, to see in the dark.

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Long tongued fly, for reaching into those deep flowers. Looking a little aged after a long day harvesting sunflower pollen.

Caught out in the rain, this little shovel headed beetle, I raised him up. In my hand will dig into the shadows, strong as a dray horse.

A wasp, I think, only found twice after the rain and wind forced her to land for the duration. Lovely blue in the black.

My old favourite, orange tail resin bee. She’s finishing off her nest and the cycle begins once more. They are doing well this year.

Drone fly, came and went, as is the way of nature. Nothing stays the same for long. Keep up by unloading the expectations.

Wasp, taking a break after being rescued from the watering can. She recovered quick enough and was away on the breeze.

Have you ever seen a cockroach die a natural death? On their back, legs still ‘running’, they are unable to right themselves again. To all appearances done for, but they never give up. That’s nature, instinctively.

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



Assassin …

The most recent, from a few days ago in the hot sun. A few shots before she flew away, a rare occurrence that, assassins flying.

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A younger version, from a winter’s night, others could be found nearby. At some point they must become a danger to each other.

Found throughout the garden, only requirement being others may live and eat there. This plant good for caterpillars at one time.

You can see it’s a youngster by the wing buds – not developed much at all. Nice to get the blue car in the background.

The kill … the only consideration being hunger, instinctively. Slip that lance between the armour and pretty quick the beetle is a meal.

It doesn’t lend itself to many angles for portrait. Here on a dried out banana skin, taking advantage of the others feeding there.

Too small to make a meal, that fruit fly on an old banana. But others, bigger, do come and die while dining on the fermenting pulp.

Is there such a thing as a pretty assassin bug? Not really, but they can be appreciated for being what they are, unselfconsciously so.

On her way to somewhere else, no food here today, buds not yet open to feed the other flying things. Though some eat early.

though nothing ‘common or garden’ about these creatures. One of the many exotic creatures that pass the seasons here.

The eggs were laid last year and through the winter the little ones proved themselves in the rough and tumble of survival in the layers of green.

They often ambush their prey, waiting motionless for the unwary passer-by, but they are also very active in pursuit of a meal when need be –

a couple of older shots – click.

I have seen small ‘herds’ of these as tiny hatchlings that wander the formations for a while, but not many actually survive to maturity and develop wings.

Winged, a world of difference to realising their potential. What a privilege that is, earned.

We, people, must learn to soar otherwise.

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