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

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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 …

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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

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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

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Mother’s Return …

First sighting was on the butterfly bush. She had tacked a few leaves together to form a shelter from which to survey.

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I am always careful not to disturb these small creatures too much but she wasn’t concerned at all, shifting only slightly.

And then I pushed in for a closer shot. Gotta take what is available, she may not be there for what is wanted. Things change.

At some point she climbed onto the sunflower and pulled a few petals over her, to guard her from the world of birds and things.

Upside-down doesn’t seem to bother her, she is just as agile as long as her feet touch something solid and her web holds.

She has no interest in those tiny creatures, hardly worth the effort to capture it seems. Waiting for the prize, a honeybee perhaps.

But not today, that I saw anyway. No doubt she will catch a meal to suit her needs, or she dies. It’s only a matter of nature.

She came with the rain, probably not the same one as BEFORE.

Out of nowhere she appeared, on a butterfly bush that is two or more weeks from flowering, after a long slow spring.

I noticed her only because of the crumpled looking leaves. How she got there, and so big already, I don’t know. Abseiled in perhaps?

Then, next day, six feet distant, I found her on the sunflowers, where there would be more opportunity to exercise those fine tuned survival instincts.

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

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Robotic, staccato movement of tiny feet across the flowers. Behind her a trail of silk to anchor.

Big eyed beauty sees all in her world, strangers above a certain size reveal themselves at their peril.

Such confidence she has, or lack of self consciousness – unaware of the sharp eyed crow overhead.

Pure instinctive being, untouchable by discursive thought or emotion – as we know it.

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

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Spider Mates

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A delicate operation, he delivering his seed while avoiding becoming a nourishing meal.

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Daring fellow … perhaps instinctively balanced between survival and reproduction imperatives.

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She, being relocated on a stick as too close to the orange tail resin bee hotels.

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He is content in his own web, waiting on an unlucky visitor to the butterfly bush. Gotta keep his strength up.

St Andrews Cross spider they’re called. The big colourful female and the relatively small male.

She sits in her web unmoving, he approaches from the other side, the web a barrier and carrier, wary for his life.

Some spiders eat their suitors after mating, food for potential spiderlings, these are probably one of those. Nature is savagely practical.

They reside in different parts of the garden, within their own webs, sitting without anxiety for what may be. No thought for any past or future.

Some spiders must die of hunger this way, become food for another predator, or travel for food and a mate, as they do, fearlessly though no doubt instinctively cautious.

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

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Anomaly …

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After the feast of butterflies, butterfly scales evident, appetite filled and unmoving for a while.

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Along came a weevil, looking to sup on the butterfly bush nectar, the spider ignored.

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Perhaps oblivious to the nature of the spider, weevil went exploring under her.

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Or could that be a baby spider … I don’t think so. :-)

After the butterflies came and went this spider was seen with evidence of eating them, butterfly scales around its face.

Along came a weevil the spider ignored, perhaps no longer hungry enough to move. Or weevils don’t taste good to a spider.

I don’t think the spider thinks the weevil is its baby, or the weevil thinks the spider is its mother.

Just one of those things that happen in nature, apparent anomaly.

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

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Silk Traveller

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Running to and fro around the dried orange on a stake in the garden. Inspecting for what, who knows.

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Raising his abdomen into the air he casts his sticky thread, adventuring into the unknown …

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Not once into the darkness, but more. What could be his criteria satisfied … does it feel right?

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Then at the other end he rests, how long for who knows … Not long, work still to be done.

There are many ways creatures get around, walking, flying, hopping etc. These spiders use silk.

He climbs to the highest point on his map and casts a thread of silk into the dark night, in his search for food and a mate.

First he thoroughly inspects his platform, running around with no apparent purpose, then raises his abdomen into the air and spins a sticky thread.

Taken on the light breeze, there’s always some movement of air, it lands where it will and off he goes to investigate.

Where he ends up there’s no telling, he leaves and returns along the thread and casts again.

After a while he seems satisfied his destination is reached, for now, and rests a while.

But the threads are still in place, if he needs to return, and to mark where he’s been.

Diligent little thing, never tiring in his purpose.

Way to go …

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

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Gypsy Spider …

She’s back … At the beginning of September this year I went out into the garden to have a look around, it was near enough 1.00am. There hadn’t been much to shoot and it occurred to me to take the camera with me, not unusual that.

And there she was, the first place I looked, sitting in meditative pose atop a small daisy bud. A tiny ghost spider, bright against the dark of the night.

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Since then she has come and gone across the garden, from daisy to butterfly bush to sunflower, chia, coneflower and round again. Through torrential rain, baking sun and howling winds …

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Every time I see her she has grown, and every now and then I come across pockets of young crab spiders, some hers I suspect. Some numbers dead in a tray under one of the bee hotels.

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Currently she is resident on the yellow butterfly bush, one leg missing and bolder than ever – age and experience showing. She lets me get very close now without much sign of alarm or resistance.

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I trust she lives a while longer, fulfilling her purpose of nature’s intelligent instinctive desire, albeit unconsciously, and we will meet again in the garden.

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All the good is in the garden, or the garden is all the good, an other time and place … inside.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click a picture for a closer look
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