Nature's Place


Sealing the entrance - When all else is done.

Sealing the entrance – When all else is done.

A little pollen might help - Sure won't harm.

A little pollen might help – Sure won’t harm.

Feasting Bee - Unseen injury.

Feasting Bee – Unseen injury.

Wasp - Robbing the life of a bee - What they do.

Wasp – Robbing the life of a bee – What they do.

Young one - The new born often turn to see whence they come - Reflection?

Young one – The new born often turn to see whence they come – Reflection?

A case of mistaken identity? She seemed to think so.

A case of mistaken identity? She seemed to think so.

Alone at last.

Alone at last.

When all else is done, sleep and die at home on a leaf.

When all else is done, sleep and die at home on a leaf.

Let go, let go ... I saw it first.

Let go, let go … I saw it first.

Under the veranda at front of the house is where I keep some tools and do much of my preparations for the garden. It’s also where I hang the few bee hotels, wooden posts about 8″ diameter x a few feet long drilled to accommodate any creature so inclined to nest – not just bees. So I am around the comings and goings of the dominant native bee, the Orange Tail Resin Bee, as she makes her nests, is born again, mates and dies.

I have noticed in the last bee-busy week a few weakened bees on the floor – or in a tray I have placed to catch any fallen ones. These bees are unable to fly it seems, so I gather them up and give them every chance to get things together. I present them with water, pollen (in a picked flower), put them in sun or shade and let them climb as high as they can to launch from. I usually end up putting them in one of the plant pots they can explore on the way to being a bee. They may never fly but they don’t die hungry in the dust on hard concrete.

Some are small enough to be new born and others are big enough to be mature. I suspect the young ones may be damaged by something while in the nest, maybe the parasitising Ichneumon Wasp, or other such wasps that can be seen visiting these hotels. The bigger ones are probably females worn out by the constant work of breeding and nest making and all the preparations that go into it. It’s a lot she has to do when the male only has to ambush her – not known as charming man, but driven.

I saw this slow flying mass wandering above the garden the other day and thought it one of those big cumbersome beetles. When it landed and I got close I could see it was two bees mating, or he was trying to mate and ‘she’ scratching at him – didn’t look too successful to me. Eventually he gave up and the other, she I presume, took a good grip of a leaf and rested a while – which was a boon to me.

While back at the nests she was busy filling and sealing the entrance, then off she went again.

Until the next cycle … of birth and death, and everything in between.

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


New Born – Again

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My little Fire Tail Resin Bees – entertainment for the day.


Just before I started putting mesh net over the buckets of water in the garden, to keep drinking insects/bees from drowning, I found this new-born Orange Tailed Resin Bee floundering. So I picked it up and brought it back to where it had recently emerged, to rest and recover out of harms way, on the bee hotel hanging under the veranda.

It was a bit stunned to begin with, shocked and recovered from near death, but soon took to exploring the wood and holes drilled in it for nesting bees. You know it’s a new born by its relative size. I do.


Born Again. Looking at the term, from King James bible, by the man Jesus apparently, speaking of what it is to be born again; “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” Clearly there is no past or future, thinking and imagination, trying or hoping, no deceit, cunning or self delusion – all born of the past or reaching for a future – of any sort, in Spirit. And Spirit begins in sense.

Not an easy job for man or woman, to get back to sense, the work still needing to be done – the negation of self to the realisation of the one real moment Spirit is, now.

Nature has no such impediment, born anew every moment at source, free of the reflective element that gives rise to the need to master self.

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


Meditation …

P2220213 - Mark Berkery-001Above is a native Australian Leafcutter Bee, I believe, getting ready to sleep in a local field of grass. They have a sting but never used it on me, really gentle creatures.


Rarely do I write a post directly on this subject, meditation, but today I begin teaching once more, having taught a number of times before in different places. There has been a good response to the only ad I put out, a free one in the community column of my local weekly paper The Bayside Bulletin, which covers a large area of the SE of Brisbane.

I am grateful for that service as it allows me to gauge the local need for meditation without a significant, to me, cash outlay. Part of the arrangement is that I don’t charge for the meditation instruction, which suits me fine as I prefer to keep money out of the process as much as possible and my costs are reduced to a few phone calls and a bit of ink and paper.


The key to the meditation I teach is to ‘recognise the need to slow down and relax the mind from the stress of negative thinking and emotion.’ It is the only prerequisite to learning this form of meditation really. Without it there is no ‘real’ need and it would be too simple and so boring to the mind that’s looking for another form of excitement or entertainment.

This is the very practical work of stilling the mind so living can be enjoyed in its simplest form, the senses. It is practical because it works. It works by the practise of some simple exercises that enable the transit from mental emotion living, or being, to being in sense – as the sensation inside where it is always a pleasure, and the senses that reveal the wonder of the earth. Anybody who is willing can do this.

Sensation is best described as grains of sand in space, inner space, seperate and immersed. It’s the actual feeling and not the image the mind would make. There is space between each grain and space in and behind. Look into it until there is nothing else but that.

Or it could be dots of light in the darkness inside, appearing and disappearing in inner space. A pressure, a pulsing, whatever it is for you is what you focus on – the actuality. The mental image is not the actuality.

Space, inside and ‘out’ – everything occurs in space, see it, sense it, allow it to be. Everything else passes.


There is a distinction between the earth and the world. Earth is magnificent, where we can see the wonder of the stars at night and the beauty and magnificence of the flowers and insects of the garden by day, the clouds as they pass on by and the rain or sun on our skin, all forms of sense. Sense is simple, there’s no problem in it, it’s a pleasure that everyone experiences at some time, especially when young. The simple pleasure of sense only becomes eclipsed in time by the emotion generated by experience when the truth of the matter is not known or understood. This emotion, and the thinking it generates, which begets more emotion, accumulates until it is enough of a problem to do something about it.

Mind is where all problems originate, mind as rampant or unbidden thinking and emotion. Mind as seemingly endless associative thinking that stirs emotion which generates more thinking in an ever worsening spiral of negativity until it just can’t be tolerated any more. That’s when a solution ‘must’ be found and the realisation may occur; my mind is the problem, it’s not ‘out there’ at all – and nobody else can fix it but the one realising it.


When this meditation is practised properly for long enough the transit from the occupation with complicated mind to the simplicity of sense is effected and living, what was once a pain, becomes a pleasure, or a love – and what other purpose is there to it ‘all’ …

That’s the beauty of it, once the solution is known nobody can take it away. It also eventually dawns; ‘I’ am responsible for my life – I do it or I don’t do it.

The way of stillness or ‘no-thing’ is difficult at times, and invariably rewarding.

© Mark Berkery … CLICK a link for more – MeditationThe IdeaNature’s Place


Storm Crew

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The long dry spring come summer ended with a massive thunderstorm, fittingly – the dry spell to, well, dry out, and the rain to impel the life-forms to rise up anew.

I was outside in the field when I saw the storm coming, darkening the sky until I was in between the afternoon light on my right and night-time dark on my left where all the street and car lights had come on of necessity – a thin line.

The sky was black grey and it started to rain as I got home, pouring down soon enough. The lightning would flash and the thunder did follow, the time it took between them indicating the distance to the centre. In a short time the lightning flash was followed immediately by a thundering clap of the air – attention.

Right outside my window, the surrounding storm electrifying; it’s coming an exclamation, it’s passing a sign of the new to come. And as it passed I stood out in the rain, the pleasure of the clean cold water washing away the dusty days. In the few days since there has been cloud and rain and damp so some bees, and others, have come into sense once more, heralds of the new year – angels of a kind.

Magical brew … and just as I finished the necessary work in the garden.

Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab, they do look better bigger – FireFox – for me


A Dark Knight on Blue …

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… has to be the opposite of a white knight, no? A white knight is the one who kills the dragon, saves the damsel, fights for the justice of the people, and battles the evil from beneath the dark mountain. So a dark knight is a powerful force opposite to that – so it would seem.

Where is this dark knight? Is it an ephemeral entity that can only be seen by the shadow it throws across the land? Or can a finger be put on it, to start to stay its power? Is there a way to recognise it, understand it and diminish it?

Everything we think or do must have its origin somewhere, and if I look ‘outside’ I always come to the same wall – ‘I’ appear before any sign of a knight of either hue. ‘I’ am the seer before the seen. What moves first moves inside and casts the first shadow.

‘I’ am not what moves while I see it. I am not the dark one, though I must be it to pass through it while seeing to separate. And I am not the one of light, not at least until I have passed through the dark. And who knows when this journey ends – the only real journey.

Who am I then, at the beginning and end of time, upon which the dark and the light play?

Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab, they do look better bigger – FireFox – for me


A Little Sunshine

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No matter how dark the clouds or hard it rains the sun always comes out, in time …

This little bee made it to the next act in the play of its life, to fly and eat and do what bees do untroubled in my garden.

Mark Berkery … CLICK any picture to enlarge in a new tab, they do look better bigger – FireFox – for me


Bee Odyssey

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It has been a tough season for the bees, with all the rain, constant and stuttering through the year and the apparent dearth of flowering plants – at least in the fields where I first found hundreds of them, now so few. Other, unnatural reasons too.

There have been more in my garden than I found in the wild, well enough I planned for it and kept something flowering, and something still – even though winter is upon us and the nights can be so cold, with a clear open star filled sky aswirl.

An occasional visitor now, so few to be seen, found atop the blue Salvia in search of nourishment, a resting place where the sun might strike come morning. I gave it a little honey and adjusted position for the light and warmth of the day, a warning.

We need our bees, not just for what they can do for us but for what they are and do of themselves in the order of things. We are the ones out of order, messing with what should be left alone, then messing again to correct our misguided interference – ad infinitum.

That’s just the way we are, until we are not. But what is it that wakes us? The pain of loss?

Oh well, then roll on … little beauty.

We’ll see …

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


Surprise, Surprise …

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… as I was picking at the Passion vine a couple nights ago – checking for resting or sleeping creatures, clearing dead leaves from the tangle and pocketing the ready fruit, I noticed a curious thing.

One of the leaves I picked was long dead and brown, dried out and curled up, but as it plunged to the ground where it would join in the mulch a bunch of tiny bees fell out and spilled around, almost unnoticed.

I didn’t know they were bees until I took a few shots, being only 12 to 15mm long – my eyes not that good anymore, if ever they were. Then I put what I could find at the base of the vine’s stem and threw on a few more leaves for cover on the cold night, to increase their chance of survival, having disturbed it myself.

The next day I had a look around the spot and there they were, back on the vine, gathered on two adjoining leaves, exposed to the warmth of the sun and the coming night sky – it’s been getting cold here in Brisbane, believe it or not. Clearly they were attracted to congregate but I couldn’t tell anything of where they began their little lives, maybe in some of the hollow stems I put in the vine to encourage the smaller creatures to nest, those that do.

I have not seen the like before, apparently social bees without a home, living on the wing as a ‘swarm’ of around twenty individuals – actually they are a communal bee, males in waiting for a female who nest ‘communally’ nearby, not ‘socially’. That’s what happens when in the garden, the forest or field, aware I am not alone, delightful things appear. The truth of fairies and elves living at the bottom of the garden, in fact they are everywhere but are not what is imagined from the storybooks of old. The magical is still here to be seen, awake to the possibility, restrained from thinking too much – necessities for presence.

Presence, that’s the difference between the rapacious and the sustainable. The former born of wanton indulgence of the machinations of mind, the latter born of knowing enough its consequences. The one follows the other, unfortunate it would seem but misfortune is an unsustainable condition of mind so we move on regardless …

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


Are We There Yet? – In the Rain

I found her at night lying on a rain-soaked flower in the garden, some kind of Daisy, gripping by her feet and jaws. It had been raining and windy for two days and she was in danger of drowning or starving, even hypothermia since the rain went on for another few days – we have had floods again in Brisbane. So I fed her the smallest amount of honey, a tiny drop on the tip of the thinnest firm twig placed to her face and near her mouth. She wasn’t alarmed, in fact she gestured the cleaning of her face with her front legs, down towards her mouth, and showed more sign of life – a little unexpected movement.

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The next day she was still there so I took the flower and placed it in a glass with some water supported by thick dry tissue, to keep her from falling in the water. Then I fed her another tiny amount of honey, and she loved it. Immediately she was full of life and crawling about the new arrangement until she finally settled in the folds of the tissue where the water would be soaked off her body and she might warm up a little. Later I went out to see if I could get another shot and she was gone with the lull in the weather. Today, two days later, a similar bee, looking very healthy, landed on a nearby leaf as I was walking the garden – maybe her. Who is to know such a thing?

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It’s often considered an amusing expression of ‘teen’ impatience but I’d like to put a different slant on the phrase – Are We There Yet?

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Where is ‘There’? Surely it is where there is no more impatience? And if you take away impatience you have to take away so much else that is purely emotional, negatively so – as it contributes only to discontent, anxiety, future looking that divides the moment and causes inner (and outer) conflict.

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So ‘There’ is surely a place of peace, peace of mind – is there another kind, really? And I have to say ‘NO’ – doubtlessly. Just look around you and you will see everybody is discontent about something. I don’t want to turn this into a dissertation on basic human nature so I’ll stick to the big picture.

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Look into the news of the world, not just what your own local outlets produce, and join the dots. It takes a little time to get it but the picture is one of definite self-interest. Not just ‘do I have enough’, but do I have enough for every conceivable eventuality, as if to prepare for the worst. And most of all ‘Do I have what I want’, beyond what ‘I’ need.

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To do that requires you to ignore the needs of any who don’t fit your tribe. Yes, we are still tribal. You’ll also see that irrefutably expressed in the big picture, which is only a tapestry made up of all the little pictures. So you don’t really have to look far to see.

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And having seen it the question is ‘What can be done’? Well, there’s the question every sensitive soul has been asking since time began. The simple answer is you have to do what you are moved to address the injustice you see – or you are not being true to yourself, and that has serious long term consequences – both ways.

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Or there is the more pointed answer to the question ‘What can be done’? I write about it here all the time and every now and then someone comments that shows they get it – what I am really talking about, and it’s not macro or nature – or it is but not what you think.

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In fact I can’t write anything without pointing somewhat to the solution. When you have done what you are moved to do you have nothing else to do and you either find the truth of the matter or continue by the momentum of past behaviours – and do your best, if you do.

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Most don’t realise it but what we have on earth, as the world produced by thinking and emotion, is hell. Heaven is in the other direction, inside, the negation of thought and emotion – which of course is hell to anybody addicted to undisciplined thinking and emotion, but the withdrawals only last a while – hell ends.

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So if you want hell go on thinking and being emotional. But if you want heaven – and you have to really want it, just like any addict has to want to give up the object of addiction – you have to get serious. Serious is knowing what the problem is, really, and knowing what to do about it – a rarity indeed. And doing it.

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If you want to know the solution I have already outlined it in the first four pages top right, there is a logic to them. But to truly simplify it here I will tell you; if undisciplined thinking and emotion – which is what most people do and creates the existential world of good and bad – is the door to hell, the door to heaven is the pure and simple sensation inside the body – to which the natural senses are the existential reciprocal. ‘Right’ meditation, in other words.

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It’s that simple. And only when you have had enough of the one can you begin to really ‘get’ the other. And if that seems complicated that’s because you are thinking about it instead of sensing the truth or falseness of it, and just doing it. Or not doing it and just moving on to what is true for you now.

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It’s that simple but nothing good comes easy, until it does, but by another will than mine, or yours. And not without the endeavour – relentlessly.

Though the Sun will surely shine, don’t get caught out in the rain.

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