Nature's Place

That Time of Year (Life?) …

… when it could as easily rain as shine. Not good news for the market business, but then there is no good news for the market business except it is actually covering costs, though not technically. Chandler is not the right market for my product but it’s the wrong time of year for making enquiries of the right market, everyone’s busy, too busy. Early new year I’ll try get on the Riverside market where people sell my kind of stuff, original works, prints and paintings, etc.

Maybe. The other point is there is not a lot of money about, or being spent. There is a world recession on after all, a lack of confidence in the future – who can blame them.

Then again it might just be time to pack it in. Can’t tell what’s next from where I am.

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The red fly is from the rainforest, a particular spot where there were a few more of his kind. The red Hibiscus Harlequin Bug on the underside of a flower, also from the rainforest. The Squash? Bug chipping away at some hardened white bird droppings along with a posse of ants, must be the nourishment, also in the rainforest nearby. A Lady bug of some kind, hard to keep from blowing highlights with these fellows. Another bug I caught as it ran along a nearby branch, just one shot. And a humble fly, magnificent creatures.

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

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Hot Spot

P1470363P1470343P1460861P1460749P1470405P1460446P1460839P1460776The Hibiscus tree sustains many forms of life, it’s amazing how many. And their life cycles fit each other, as the tree is coming round to a new generation of flower buds the little Harlequins are ready for them, juicy morsels. Just as the assassin bugs came along when the little Harlequins were about to appear. And the small reddish brown bugs live on through it all. Everything fits in.

When I went looking at the plants around the hibiscus I found it was just the same, abundant in different forms of life, at different stages of development. There are hot spots in the forest for insect life and this tree and its surrounds is one. You can go to other trees and plants and not see a living thing, until you get up close.

And then if you go there regularly you will find the kinds of creatures come and go with no apparent reason but you can sense the perfect rhythm of it all. But none is more populated than this one Hibiscus tree.

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

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Wild Hibiscus Tree – Harlequin and Friends

P1460091_filteredP1420783_filteredP1420496_filteredP1460397P1460677_filteredP1460722P1400296_filteredP1420873_filteredP1460154_filteredP1470311P1470318P1460667I’ve been observing the activity and tracking the residents for a while now, down in the forest, on the wild Hibiscus tree. The tree has white flowers with a dark red heart, beautiful clean colour when new. And a contrast that reaches deep inside, in sense.

The leaves have been mostly eaten for a while now, since the tree is also home to a few other creatures besides the Harlequin bug. There are small reddish brown beetles that roam all over the place, including all over the harlequins, who seem to mind quite a bit, getting very agitated when one climbs on their back.

The flower houses a host of squat dark flies that only seem to leave that dark heart when I disturb them, by moving the flower. Lately there has been a burgeoning of other bugs, such as the black and yellow assassins pictured, who seem to transform to the red and yellow beauty by climbing out of their old jacket.

Nothing like a new set of clothes to set you free.

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The Harlequin is definitely the star of this show though. At first I thought I was lucky to get a few shots of an individual. Then I got a few shots of a few more individuals. That’s when I realised the hibiscus tree is home to these beautiful creatures, they didn’t go away.

Over time I visited the tree and observed the Harlequin bug in the various stages of its development. I watched it mature, eat, commune, grow wings, mate, lay eggs and guard and incubate them. Saw the young hatch and then herd themselves around the tree with the adult looking on for a short while.

It has been an eventful time, Hibiscus Harlequin time.

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A privilege really, to witness the life of these beautifully coloured creatures. And here you have it in the comfort of your home, no need to go down the bug infested forest, with mozzies and little black biting midges chasing you.

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

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Gi’s A Break!

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Blue and red, green iridescence. Long legged wonder. Meandering about on Hibiscus, looking for his lost love? I bet.

He’s a man after all, why else all the colour but to attract his long lost love back to him.

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Stopping here and there for a drink, a feed. And what comes along but a bloody photographer.

Messing with my space, just ignore him, he’ll go away. I hope.

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Aaghhh! He won’t go away, I’ll have to perform now, bloody men.

Ok. Pose, this way and that. Stick my long tongue out at him, maybe he’ll get the message.

Aaghhh! He doesn’t get it. Just leave me alone, why don’t ya.

I know, I’ll show him my behind. He’s got to get that?

*

Not on your life. Might as well play along.

Better clean up, brush the dust off my back, the debris off my eyes. Brush those antennae shiny.

Better look my best, give him my best. Then he’ll go away and leave me alone to get on with my hunt for my long lost love.

Did I say that? Putting thoughts into my mind he is. Dangerous man.

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Hey you! Gis a break why don’t ya.

What? Now he’s putting things in my way, trying to slow me down. I’ll show him.

Oops! That hurt, all the way from his eye to his foot.

Me wings aren’t straight yet. Under the leaves then.

Aaghhh! Here he is again, won’t he ever leave me alone? Aaaaghhh!

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Ok, ok. I give up. I’ll just sit here ‘til you’re done.

Ho hum!

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And what’s this? A little lake of honey?

Wow, cheers mate. Come again any time why don’t ya.

Hmmmm! Ol’ pal.

*

Do insects really have such personalities?

Is it possible? Could the planet survive it?

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

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Life Cycles …

… Beautifully.

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When I first came back to Brisbane I found in the local remnant rainforest a thorny leafed plant that had flowers much like a Hibiscus. Big showy white flowers with a big dark red heart and tall stamen reaching for the sky that attracted many small flies and beetles so that you could say this is where life starts for these little creatures.

There was also one, just one, big red and blue beetle on that plant. It was beautiful, and it was shy, running away every chance it got.

I was in this forest yesterday and saw the same plant was flowering again with those big white flowers and stopped to look into the dark red heart of it. There were all the little flies and bugs milling around and soon enough I found the big red and blue fella, not far away.

Wonderful nature, what a blast, of sense.

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

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Rain!

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That’s all it seems to be doing, rain. But it only seems so because the body of past, memory, is shallow and what is recent is all there is. Rain!

And then the rain stopped and the sun came out. Well, you just never know, do you? Sun, rain, sun. That’s just the way it is until I stop counting the raindrops and the sunbeams. And you always know, day follows night, sun the rain.

Then I went exploring in the local bush and, rummaging in the grass trees, I found a bug. A few actually, but only one for here. A shield bug.

I picked it up and as I watched it sitting on my finger it shit, as all flying creatures do just before they fly off, then flew off, as anticipated.

I found another and put it on a fallen log and there it sat for a few minutes and I got a few decent shots. Not bad, I think. Lovely colour, and magnificent architecture.

Someone said they tire of seeing bugs up close but that’s just the loss of ability to see anew the wonder of nature. Tired of wonder, beauty, mystery, is tiresome, my self in the ascendant.

You’ve got to wake to the vital. By an act of will when the tiresome is upon.

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

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