Nature's Place

Variety

A fly rests through the night, unless disturbed.

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Interesting colours and design. Lost an antennae in the maelstrom …

Little jewel shining in the sun. A horseshoe beetle I think.

From the other end. Active little things, living to be done.

Where there’s water, and greenery … a snail will come.

Longhorn beetle … they come in a variety of forms.

Spider of course. Waiting as they do … for the inevitable.

Fly in the garden at night. They like flowers too.

Lynx spider, prowling the butterfly bush.

Drone fly, not many this year. Few presenting for the lens.

The huntsman of the lower skies. Consummate killer …

Click Beetle, carrying a load …

There seems no end to it … variety, activity.

And it all appears in the encompassing space.

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Which am I, what I see, or the space I see it in …

Or something else, nothing maybe … nothing to see.

Through the sense of it, sensation.

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

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Assassin Baby 2

Some flash colouring on this little killer. Stabber at the ready.

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Looks built able to take on bigger than itself. Way to survive.

Our military get their best armour designs from nature, our nature.

Sat in one place for over 24 hours, serious discipline – if it was self-conscious.

Another kind of assassin showed up in the garden. Faster than the usual lumbering kind. Built for action it seems.

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

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Wanderer

At first I found her in the SW corner of the garden, then the middle, and then she was to be found in the NE corner. She’s been making her way around.

Seeking, or rather feeling, her way around in the performance of her function. Filling a niche in the natural landscape, doing what spider does.

The last morning I saw her she was plainly visible, bright yellow on strong pink, and then a young butcherbird came and landed by my shoulder.

So I hid her in the flowers, and she went on apparently uncaring of the danger throughout the day. And disappeared that night.

There are a number of these crab spiders, of all sizes and shades yellow to white, some with distinctive black tattoos.

And there’s enough big blue flies to feed them all, coming from my neighbours dogs run.

Flies will be flies too … dogs will be dogs.

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

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Oddfellows + The Garden

Not much animation in the garden this week, that I saw anyway. So first today, a few creatures from recent times. Then the garden.

The flightless wasp, female, came in various forms. Probably falling from the trees nearby. This one remarkably vigorous and alert.

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Another kind of hopper. Never ceases to amaze, the variety of form and colour living creatures take. Always alert to movement this one, but not unapproachable.

These beetles have a season or two in the garden, depends on the flowering. They like the native ‘crocus’ and various flowering herbs. Here a straw-flower, with a resident spider.

Springtails. They always come out after the rains, especially on the water’s surface in the saucers for pot plants. You can see them jumping around, having a ball of life. Dancing and partying, why not … :-)

A sluggish fellow – ho, ho, ho – not fast around the garden, it doesn’t have wings on its back there. Maybe it doesn’t taste too good, for it to live and grow so big. A hazardous life in any case.

A garden orb weaver, keeping her line taut, the better to feel what’s going on where it can’t be seen. Weavers of death to many in the garden, and a face full of web is not pleasant.

Can’t remember their name, doing what all creatures do, engaging in the process of reproduction. Sex, in other words. The essence of nature … to live and die, and live again.

Every day for a week, same time, same place, just after sundown this spider took up her position to wait for the nights bounty. And it always came … until it was no more.

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With all the growth and decay the garden is promising … of possibility. Here’s a few quick shots from this morning.

Butterfly bush, the witchety grub likes the roots so, from experience, for healthy growth it’s best not to cut back too much at end of year. Everything has to be able to eat to live.

One corner of the growth in the garden, always putting seeds where they might take, and leaving plants to grow to see what eventuates. No rules but what works, for them, me and the bugs.

No names either, don’t recall … this yellow flower has been moving around the garden for years, with a lot of help as it needs to be rooted every once in a while. Dead-heading keeps it flowering.

What I call native crocus, the native stingless bees love them. I have these bulbs all around the garden, they are so sensitive to position and condition they will flower all year round with a little help.

One mightily heavy bug house, or bee hotel, by one pawpaw tree and other residents. I found the clay in the local bush and mixed and poured to polystyrene to dry, then drilled the holes. What happens here is up to nature, creatures come and go.

The blue banded bee loves this flower, on a red leaf succulent that requires much attention throughout to keep it watered and flowering. Worth the work to keep the BBB’s coming.

Another name that escapes me. I have them coming up in various positions in the garden. When the creatures come some will love this flower and it’s children. If they come …

An impression of a wilder part of the garden where you can see some of the already mentioned. Some say I have snakes here, and rats, but I say everything has its place, until it doesn’t any more.

That flower again, and some of its children. It’s all just for show today, and it’s all artful anyway. That’s nature … There are many lizards, some mice, birds, snails, crickets … and something to eat them all.

Parts already seen, from a different angle and framing. There is so much in here, and much that can’t be seen yet. That’s the front stairway up to the house at back, an old Queenslander – first farmhouse here.

The butterfly bush is still going strong in various colours, lost some due to aggressive pruning and grubs eating the roots, they didn’t recover. But I’m working on it, getting some colours back again. I work on the surface, others do the rest.

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

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Wasp Day

Immobile on a flower in the middle of the day, unusual for a hungry wasp. Still there when I got back with camera.

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Then without any notice she took off, I couldn’t follow with old eyes. Just as well we were going to the same place.

Where I work in the garden. The table with pot plants on it, and trays with water in them. So she could drink her fill.

So quiet she was I thought I’d try some background, a leaf from the nearby passion fruit vine, carefully placed.

And she didn’t mind being moved, we had an understanding, no unnecessary activity. But she wasn’t leaving.

Just a few shots for the record, my record. The green allows some detail in the shadows, contrast is necessary …

… a world of difference. After a while I gave her my warm finger and she climbed on without pause, the cool wind.

No sign of her stinger, so relax … She snuggled up, close as she could. What else to do on a cold windy day.

To soak up the warmth of it I suspect, and was very patient with me. She wasn’t interested in the butterfly bush.

She prefers meat, I think. Nectar at another time maybe. First things first tho, warmth for the rest of the body being.

She had adopted me, as a source of life and nourishment, warmth. And wasn’t going to let me go easy, so it seemed.

We are more dangerous to them than they are to us, though people don’t realise it from inside their emotions.

Spring is in and the days fluctuate between warm and cool. There’s little rain and much wind but the garden gets watered anyway. Changeable … It’s a lovely time of year.

She landed on the nasturtium in the middle of the day and I had to wonder, why so still … She was probably born on a warm day, and this one was cool.

Often a small creature takes its energy from the heat of the sun, amongst other things. Looks like this one was caught in the shade a while.

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

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Fly Time 2

On that paperbark tree, where big little creatures can be found in peril for their life. … It looked like a wasp at first, just the colours.

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Maybe it’s something about the other creatures that inhabit the tree, or that parasitise it, that causes some to be born broken.

As with the preying mantis from a week ago, this had something wrong with it. The wings wouldn’t fill out, she couldn’t fly.

With wings undeveloped, not pumped up for flight, she wasn’t going anywhere. And she was having a hard time with the ants.

She fell from the tree, to the ground, evading those ubiquitous ants, so I picked her up. Give her a chance to do some living, why not.

I didn’t leave her this time, taking her home in a jar I keep in the car, where she lived a few days longer than she otherwise would.

I gave her sweet water and left some nature with her, a bit of bark and a few clover flower heads. She liked it on my warm hand.

Pollen on her face … she got used to me quick enough, and lived the life she could, undaunted. No sign of any predators intruding.

She seemed to pick up at times, displaying enough vitality I thought it might just correct her wings. But such magic was not to be.

But still … a proud little thing, little messenger of the nature gods of pollination and marvel. Marvel, who designs these little wonders.

I worked her for a while, then she was gone … passed, as all things do. This is her epitaph … pictures of nature in a world in decline.

Man has gone mad, he just hasn’t realised it yet. Even mad is relative here.

On that paperbark tree again, another live casualty.

And not a sign of self pity. Just living and dying as a matter of fact.

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

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That Time …

Fly time … drone fly.

Standing still in the shadows of the giant fern and on the edge of a leaf is a prospect, a possibility. Take the shot you can get.

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With one in the bag it’s time to move in and risk losing it, for a closer shot, at a better angle. And take the second shot you can get.

Confident he’s not going to fly away now, don’t strike anything sharply, rotate to the left and take the shot you want – a profile of a powerful proud stance, with detail in focus and good (enough) background.

Be bold, go get the hose and turn it to spray and risk it on the fly, indirectly. Taking time and moving slow, then move in for another shot you want – profile, some background, my finger underneath, and a few drops to liven the show.

Moving around again for a slightly different angle, you never know what you’ve got til you see it on the computer. … A sure sign the fly is comfortable, he starts preening. Wipe those hands …

Playing with a drop of water, taken from his face. It was worth the work for that shot, though it couldn’t be planned. … All work done in the wilds of the garden or local bush. Subjects presented by nature.

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

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Better Late …

than never. So the saying goes.

Mantis, preying Mantis. Praying for relief perhaps. From the ants that were harassing it.

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It was just hanging on to the tree trunk, jumping this way and that in response to the irritation of ants.

Ants that would be the death of it, if it stayed still for long enough. And so it was, jittery … to say the least.

Always looking for the informative angle, to display the brilliance, of design and form. We don’t ‘just happen’.

And after a while evading the ubiquitous ant she dropped from the tree, to more dangerous ground.

Why didn’t she fly away? I couldn’t see … I picker her up, for her safety and for a few shots of this little wonder.

Co-operative enough … she still wasn’t happy about her situation, however she perceived it. A lingering impression of ‘ant’ perhaps.

But no PTSD here, that I could discern, just the will to go on, as a Mantis, preying …

Preying still … I moved her to different surfaces for a few shots. I couldn’t just leave her to the ants.

And, little beauty, she posed a while … But why didn’t she fly away, I couldn’t tell. It didn’t make sense.

Often a creature will let me take a few shots and be away on the wing, but not lady Mantis, not this day.

A mystery … a beauty, to the eye that sees. Just wouldn’t want to be her next meal, as if that could be.

And one last from the side, maybe she’ll raise herself up for all to see her wonder … but not to be, this time.

When I got home and had a look I could see … her wings are held together with some kind of webbing that has some dark spots in it. Been parasitised perhaps …

That accounted for her inability to fly, her greatest danger. And so I left her, in what I thought a safe place. But on return the ants had found her, and were many. I rescued her again and took her home to die in peace and quiet … in such a dangerous world.

Between one thing and another this post got put off.

But is there such a thing as ‘late’?

Only if it’s personalised.

And it’s not personal.

It’s just the way it is.

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

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Coloured

They rained down from the leaves above, one stormy night.

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All I had to do was get out and look for them in the shadows of the garden.

A torch helps to find them, then it’s time to employ the gear and technique.

They were all over the place, different situations and varied colouring.

All with a single purpose, to live and reproduce. That’s nature …

In the dark of night they sought out the higher ground, or what presented as such.

Walking a tightrope some, a precarious existence, but never a sign of distress.

Signs of life though, a certain excitation on the end of an crucifix orchid.

Or the end of a stick, nowhere else to go but onward. To inevitability …

Or to a view of the jacaranda flowers that also fell in the wind of the night.

A spent dandelion is a good place to wait out the darkness, until the sun comes up.

Meanwhile, there’s things to do, mates to meet. Purpose to fill …

It’s a small world sensed by a beetle on my finger, vibrations of another form.

Some with the enhancement of colour by the lens of water. Raindrops to wear …

And time for a break …

There’s a tree in the garden where these beetles live their lives, at least for mating purposes – food to eat.

It’s a new tree, only been growing a couple years. And they aren’t found anywhere else around here.

Other plants in the garden have a similar function, only hosting a certain kind of creature.

It makes sense, one kind of creature for one kind of plant for a certain time or season.

Everything has its time and place, given the conditions it needs to initiate.

But space first and last, or nothing can begin or end.

Here am I, there and everywhere.

Keeping the genie in the bottle.

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

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