Nature's Place

Wolf …

You can just see a glistening under those huge mouth parts where this one is sucking on crushed breakfast.

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That’s probably why she didn’t run when I opened the door, he was enjoying the days first meal.

And what you’ve eaten needs to be digested, and it takes time and attention, to the sensation of things.

It’s instinctive, they don’t think about it, just feeling the physical need to sit and digest, as long as there’s no danger.

Cause some disturbance in proximity to a digesting spider and she will respond, if only with a raising of the forearms.

More often with a relocation, always ready to take flight. A rapid departure is signature, but depends on conditions.

As with all things, context is important. Express no kind of threat and spider will sit content to be spider sitting.

Demonstrate some form of aggression and you risk the same in return. Or she’ll just disappear in the blink of an eye, literally.

Spider … of another kind.
I opened the door to the garden and there it was, just outside the threshold looking in.
I don’t think the wolf spider is particularly dangerous to people but I can understand why people fear them, and fear spiders in general.
Having seen so many of their kind in action, hunting is primarily what spiders are known for, so fast and deadly, their prey usually end in a massive toxic shock.
Not this time however, there was no prey in sight, I was not it. Though it did appear to be waiting to come in the house, and raised its front legs in defense when I sought to move it from danger.
It was that close to the door and being crushed by it closing. Out of the way on the upturned sole of a shoe was another matter. He, or she, sat a while as I sought a few angles to do the subject visual justice.
Nature, in all its forms, inside and out, is not always an easy encounter for us who are so removed from it by our civilized ways of being.
But as with most things, a little practice of being in the sense of things helps with the difficulty of being in the mind of things.
The sense of a thing, it’s actual characteristics, has no psychological component.
Unless we then attribute such by thinking about it.
Thought and sense, different modes of being.
And then there is another sense …
… of something simply good.
© Mark Berkery ……. Click on those pictures for a closer look
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Spider …

Huntsman, mother of them all. Whiling away the winter under a sheet of plastic by the house, damp enough to attract other forms, perhaps to eat, next to some straw bales.

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Come spring there will be nests found in such places, when hundreds of little ones will be cared for by mum. You wouldn’t expect some mothers to care so well as she does.

Golden Orb weaver in Eprapah, with a honey bee for dinner. They are everywhere to be found, waiting in their webs, being simple spider life. The EU honey bees never stop here in Brisbane.

To my eye it looked at first like an ant, the little golden spot on the rear perhaps, and appeared more elongated than it does here – like an ant. Ran into view with dinner held firm, husk soon discarded.

A jumping spider, male maybe, spent some time dodging the tiny ants running up and down the tree trunk, where there are also golden bum ants patrolling. Tree trunks can be busy places.

Another Jumper, female I think, in another place at Eprapah. Lots of these guys about, big eyes, always inquisitive, needing to visually know their surroundings.

They won’t sit still for long, so I take what is offered. And observe the uncomplicated life at work and play. I believe they do both in their way.

A more business-like fellow, or lady. As soon as I touched my stick to the tree trunk she was out of her tunnel web and ready to strike. See how she holds the threads taut, ready for action.  Couldn’t get a better shot without risk, of flight or bite.

I didn’t dare offer my finger, just to see … you know. Smaller spiders have left uncomfortable wounds enough, and this one had a certain aura – ‘Feeling Lucky Punk?’

A playful jumper, male again, I think. This one more concerned with his footing than the others. See the strands of silk he maintains a touch of, and anchored from his spinnerets.

Little blue eyes, have seen them signal another with those white socked front feet, waving in the air like flags. Over here, let’s be mates a while … Pretty little thing.

This way and that he turned, I couldn’t keep up. There will be more I think … nature doesn’t give up, though it can be left …

out and about and on the move.

Passing emergent form, as real as yesterday, hold no sway.

Beyond what is believed, or is simply unavoidable.

Past the odd collision, debris trails fade, let go.

Nothing is as it seems, way down.

Beyond (spider) form.

Naturally …

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

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The Golden Road …

The Golden Orb spider is a frequent sight in the garden. So called for its golden thread, so sticky nothing is likely to escape it.

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Anything caught in its web is surely done, dead. But a meal to another. And so it is in nature, or anywhere, form changes.

is everyone’s ordinary life. And when you’ve had enough of it you get serious, to find ‘what’s it all about’.

At that point what it’s about begins to resolve into some form of discipline, an inner work to shed the ignorance – what it’s no longer about.

And so you may find yourself directed to look into inner space, into sensation, to see through … To before the beginning of body … how deep is the well.

The well of sensation, like any well, starts at the bottom but we’re at the top. And it’s a long way down, clearing space as we go.

With intimations, even realisations, of the silence, the stillness … the black, along the way.

The way back to the beginning. Let’s see … Do whatever is true, and what’s true changes.

Let go whatever appears, and that way allow nothing to be.

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

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Born Again … Again

I came upon this Orb Weaver one night, molting. Hanging upside-down from a few strands of silk.

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Gravity helps him exit the old body, too small now. And helps his new body stretch to its full extent.

Swaying and turning in the night breeze, it took a while to get free of the old. No doubt some effort is involved.

Stretching out to aid the new, exposed to every danger … but not a predator in sight. Safe on a silken thread.

A crop, to show his eating gear. Fangs above the palps, and above that a couple rows of black cutters.

After a while hanging down he curled up, clenching his new body. A little natural spider yoga preps it for action.

Not yet ready to start his new life. Exercises need repetition, duration and timing for optimal effect.

Brand new spider body … functioning perfectly … almost ready for life on the wire … how many more to go, bodies.

It’s a theatre, a play, a part, then shuffle off the stage … to a new body, and newer still, until the last and then no more …

… to be born, or die, into a world of light and beauty. But who’s to tell, unless you see …

Free? Not yet, old shell gone now but still some living to do. Hanging in there … for what may be.

And once he’s done here, upside down, he turns around and back he goes from whence he came, into the black night.

It takes a spider a long time to be born again. And then there’s no guarantee …

But guarantee would be a form of death … to any self-respecting spider.

Then again, life’s one guarantee to every form is death.

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

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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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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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