Nature's Place

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.

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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.

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Clementine

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Not Another Frog …

First shot available and taken, including dark ordure. Sometimes life just ain’t pretty, or easy.

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It quickly became apparent this horse fly was for posing, even positioning, gently.

Angles available without too much movement to disturb. A much settled fly.

There happened to be the red nasturtium for background. Nice contrast …

Can’t see what I’ve got til I get it back to the computer. They don’t usually stay for seconds.

In for the detail of the business end of things, what bites, draws blood.

With the warming weather comes a burgeoning of forms from the nearby woods to the long garden.

One in recent days is the horse fly. Usually too busy a fly for me to get any shots of at all.

Then, during one of my frequent visits to the garden, I saw this female at rest.

And went to work … what we do.

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

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Frogged Again …

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Could be the Graceful Tree Frog. It’s 5 or 6 times the size of the other frogs I’ve been posting pix of, the Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog.

Have you noticed the little grey-blue on and around the frog? Springtails love living on the wet wood under the pot plants.

Click on this one and click again and you will see a small army of hitchhikers on the head. Tiny grey-blue springtails. They could be a working part of this one’s ecosystem.

She knew I was watching, and on one jump tried to hide behind a piece of wood. Not very hard though. I think she was curious too, hadn’t seen the likes of me before.

A new frog arrived at a part of my garden the other night, the pot plants around the water tank. S/he came with the rain, what else. They need the water to get around on, the wet aids their travel. Water joins everything up, for the small and large alike. Then it’s high ground and shelter that matters, even to frogs.

There was something about this one though. I saw it at the edge of the tank garden where it would have entered from the long wide lawn and it sat stock still as I watched for a moment. As soon as I looked away it jumped, and it’s jumping and landing was a pleasure to watch, though barely seen. Masterful frog.

It did this a few times while I took what shots I could get. And then, one last time, I looked away and it disappeared into the green, as if on cue.

They know when we’re watching them, and they know we’re not a threat, but they are private creatures all the same, instinctively.

Everything comes and goes in the garden. Best to take it as it comes and hold to nothing, let it go.

That way we’re ready when something else comes, and will come the sooner for it.

And let it go …

That’s life …

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

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Frognapped?

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The thought had crossed my mind. To assume authority and arrange the tenants of the garden to suit my designs – we’re all tenants here after all. But I really don’t like to interfere, so much.

With the frogs scattering throughout the (admittedly) small but wildly welcoming garden, and the amaryllis such a short flowering plant or bulb, why not catch a frog and pose it on a big red flower before they’re (both) gone?

Why not? Well, it begs the question, where does that kind of interference stop. I don’t mind moving some back or foreground element, or even move an entire scene if possible, if it’s also possible to return it to original position.

But hunting down a frog to manhandle it into a place and position it probably wouldn’t settle in and would probably require repeated resettling, in a tight small garden it’s hard to navigate without breaking things. Too much ado all round for my liking.

Then early last night I popped out to have a look, as I often do, and there she (or he) was, a lovely green tree frog sitting on the big dark red amaryllis.

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

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