Nature's Place

Ant Queen …

… Warrior of her kind.

With such a world of beautiful earthly creatures at our feet it’s hard to see why we got caught up in the world of mind, except it is a seductive world of emotional excitation and identification with form. Thinking is habit forming, is addictive.

That’s the way it is. And only appropriate experience is going to change it for real – for real being for enough so it doesn’t have to be any more.

When you tend the garden for long enough you see the most extraordinary things – nothing to get excited about, because I don’t get excited. Lately I have noticed little heaps of light brown clay building up on the dark brown clay around the garden, only a couple inches high and the same wide with a hole in the middle.

They are made by these tiny ants that I hadn’t seen before in the garden and I wondered what they were about, why the excavations, it being so cold and wet. Then these few winged creatures started appearing on the passion fruit leaves.

When I got up close it became apparent they were ants, queen ants. Only the queen has wings, as far as I know, to get to another place to start another colony of ants. So they can get on with the business of looking after the land, what ants do in Oz.

They are tiny, about 12mm long and difficult to get enough in focus but one good one is enough. The digital age has given me the option of throwing away what doesn’t work, not that I throw anything away anyway but I don’t have to spend money I don’t have finding the good ones – is the point.

Photography was once the preserve of the well off, who could afford the money and time. How times change. Times change in such ways that what was once difficult is now easy, or easier for many more than once was. The same goes for everything, not least the art of knowing my self.

It’s not that this has become easier but that more can do it now. I suppose that means it is easier for many but there are still the few who break the ceiling, tear the envelope, crack the code, for those who follow.

Does it look like anything has really changed? Is human nature more compassionate or intelligent today than a thousand years ago? I don’t think so.

What has changed is the appearance of things in the world, material things; we have progressed from the spear to the bomb, from the hole in the ground to the fridge. And the flip side, the inside, is a paradoxical increase in real intelligence.

Not the intelligence of remembering and composing the bits, but the intelligence required to be still. Test it, you are intelligent – can do all sorts of things that are recognised to require intelligence.

Can you still the mind, stop thinking, long enough to see past it, long enough to know peace of mind? Or is that just not one of the actions of intelligence recognised?

I had a dream, now I think I’m going to have to write the book. :)

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture to enlarge in a new tab


The End …

“… Is nigh! Repent your sins! Or else!” Read the sea of gently waving placards.

Or is it already too late and we are doomed to repeat what can’t be repeated, the unrepeatable?

* All Snapshots of this vicious beastie by our own fearless reporter, Mark Berkery, at great risk to life and limb. (Archives)

“Giant Snail sighted tearing up the New York Business district, and more are expected in the very near future. Scientists are saying this is a last ditch attempt by the Snail elite to reclaim territory lost in the last great Snail wars.” Intoned the newsreader in his ‘business as usual’ manner.

A spokesnail said in interview; “All we want is a little more lettuce and a bit less salt, is that too much to ask?”

“Bugger off, back to where you came from!” Retorted the spokesperson for the first global civilisation with a snigger, hand over mouth, and due lack of consideration for what s/he actually meant – or so it appeared.

And so negotiations broke down and hostilities broke out.

* Yum!

Anyway, I was going to write something on the end of our civilisation but I don’t think it necessary with all the well placed ‘doom and gloom’ being reported today, with some very astute – even esoteric – perceptions being articulated by a few. Most notably BL, who is also dead – to the hostilities.

And so I write about my world, which has little to no hostilities in it save that which arises of familiarity – the unwillingness, or reduced speed of consciousness unable to be present, be now – and misunderstanding or presumption, hearing what is not said – that beset the human psyche, which is only momentary to practiced negation.

Some insist that is another way of saying ‘stupid’, but that is a judgment and symptomatic of that reduced speed itself – not the truth, but it can’t be told.

Or, all is well as can be. And who could ask for more? Snails it seems, whingers and whiners all.

No, not true at all, mostly. It’s just my disposition to be contrary but I finally have to come out on the side of sanity. Sanity? What’s that?

Snails are gentle creatures, so slow and gracefully they move, never a harm for anything – even the lettuce loves Snails and Snail loves Death, fulfilling their lifelong purpose – to be returned to the Earth in ethereal form, to repeat or evolve according to the Will.

And so it is for every living thing, fundamentally – meaning some don’t realise it. But that’s ok, the sun shines, the rain falls, and all things turn in time – and return to the timeless that makes it all possible.

I have often seen it asked; “Would you change anything if you could go back?” And the usual answer is in the negative. And it is so. But I would also change everything, or more precisely; Negate the lot – with a capital N.

Do it all again? What for? No, do ‘it all’ anew. That’s the challenge.

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture to enlarge in a new tab


My Beautiful Babes …

… Are nearly all gone for this season. And for one reason or another I didn’t get out to them as much as I wanted, with the old body breaking down with this ‘n’ that but also mitigated by the help of a good ole doc.

In the field and forest of late I only found a few at sundown, my pretty gals, huddled against the coming night’s cold and condensation under a clear dark sky. It got very cold suddenly, noticeably, recently, from one night to the next. The same day the Mother Huntsman disappeared from her nest of spiderlings. And just as sudden, the wildlife all but disappeared from my usual haunts.

There might be a boy amongst them but bees just ‘feel’ female to me, the native Oz ones anyway. And that’s good enough for me, the ‘feel’ of it, in the absence of ‘fact’ which is often obtained by killing the little ones. Not a practise I agree with or see the need for, except we are always interfering, can’t keep our noses out of things. Busy, busy, busy, just like the bees except they aren’t trying to change the world or leave their mark. Not like us people anyway.

But everybody is doing their best according to their knowledge and capacity. The ‘spiritual’ life is not easy. The simplicity of it is just too much ‘absence – a void’ for most people who are used to excited, even feverish, activity – no less the religionists.

I don’t mean to separate the spiritual from the so-called mundane but there is a point at which living can be said to become spiritual though not as any religion would have us believe – as can be seen from daily recorded worldwide events, religion is no measure of spirituality.

Belief being the childish or immature abrogation of ones authority as opposed to the child-like, the innocence of a child’s unburdened intelligence necessary to be free of belief in order to question freely.

That point could be said to be realised when one has had enough of being busy, or sticking their nose in, when the greater need is seen to be for peace of mind than any exercise of it. And it’s a long time coming, as anyone who has had it come to them can tell.

I am not suggesting anyone give anything up. I am just saying it as it is for me, because by the means of publishing this it has a life of its own beyond anything I could design. So I just do my best to say what I have to say without fear or favour, or consideration of self, and let my work speak for itself – I’m sure it speaks to some one, somehow.

These Bees are my great little beauties, for now. It is correct to say I love them, as I do every creature I come in contact with, in a way – they have no artifice. But the Bees are a particular attraction for me. And when I’m with them I treat them with great care and respect for their body and being. That is what is meant by ‘dominion over’, love and not exploitation rights.

It could be said I am exploiting their being and that is true in a way, but my obvious practise and intent demonstrates otherwise, I work ‘with’ them.

Though if you see otherwise I’d like to hear it, really. So I might make myself clearer, or understand better.

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture to enlarge in a new tab


In The Green …

It’s a colour that can’t be avoided. It’s everywhere, even if it looks like no nature could live here – if here were a hole in a wall – there it is, green – if only a speck to start with. Nature’s primary colour.

And between the Sun and Earth, with some influence of the Moon and planets, all the other colours arise, each having its own place of being – like leaves on a Sunflower stalk.

And it is all done inside, deep in the psyche that is the inner of deep outer space. It’s where colour is made, first. Then it happens ‘out’ here. In other words it is created in the act of seeing.

You don’t have to believe anything to know if this is true. You only have to look when the mind is still. Or look ‘past’ or through the mind to the other side of it, inside, as you would dirt on a window pane, and you will see what is there now.

The best way to do this is just ignore what arises from the mind as thought, and as an aid focus on the simple tingling sensation anywhere in the body – one and the other.

Eyes closed helps, in the darkness is good, comfortable. But it can be done anywhere, any time, by anybody who is so inclined.

Look past the things of mind and see what you see. It could be anything, but it is surely right for you, as sure as night follows day. It is surely true, and may not be so tomorrow.

Look into the depths of deep inner space, past the forms that have been gathered in this life, and on the way in you will see all that you were on the way out.

Only now you don’t have to hold on to any of it, let go. Or hold to the simple sensation, the tingling, anywhere you find it. Or the sense of wellbeing, being well – it has little to do with physical health.

Everybody who’s searching is looking for origins, the why and where from, or solution outside when all that is needed is to look inside to where it all comes from.

What is it that is behind the forms of mind, and in the forms of nature, that is not man made?

When stillness descends. What is it?

Or after some work in the garden, or a walk in the field, sit down and close your eyes. It’s possible the pure psychic impression of the nature you have just been in and acknowledging will be resonating in your mind. Let it be, relax.

Let it ring inside as the bell rings out here, hold to nothing. The re-sounding of your sweet nature.

And be at peace, because nothing else really matters.


Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture to enlarge in a new tab


Mother and Children …

A few questions have been answered, regarding what mother would do once the children are born, and what she does to eat – she has lost so much weight in the process apparent in her much reduced rear body.

About 50 tiny Huntsman spiders have hatched so far, with some dead already, and the sac is still looking full so I expect more in the coming days. But so far it has been interesting to observe the behaviour of the much maligned spider. In this case a mother, and she has gone hungry over a period of weeks to ensure the best for her babies, staying to protect them – most of the time – and eating whatever was unfortunate enough to wander her way. I am impressed by her maternal instinct, her devotion to the little ones – though instinctive it may be, is it ever any other way.

While I was watching I noticed she was chewing down on something that has come her way – you can see the stick/leg bits hanging out from under, an opportunity for some nourishment that would keep her going a little while longer – good for the babies prospects.

I tried to give a wider view of the situation, but restricted by the proximity of walls and things while doing my best not to disturb her the shots I got are the best I can do for now. Don’t want to frighten her off so she might not come back. It’s really a matter of intruding as little as possible so nature takes its course.

I also changed the lighting I was using, a modified snoot/diffuser that requires further refinement. Something to match the working distance relative to the magnification required for the shots, some of which are cropped slightly. It all works in the end, when you know the principles involved.

I may post another of this series if significant events occur that I am present for.

For those who wanted to know what happened next.

Mother rules Ok!

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture to enlarge in a new tab


Mother, Mother …

… In the dark of her den. Sitting there, listening to her little ones.

She has been sitting on her nest for over a week now. I had to move her from the garage while rearranging things but noticed in time there was a resident. So I put her in a suitable place, protected from the elements and unnecessary intrusion, and she has done fine.

Once I noticed she had actually moved the big white sack holding the young uns – which is attached to the wood only around the edges by silk ties, from one end of the wood to the other which was a closer/tighter fit allowing access only from the sides and no longer from atop. A security strategy I believe, to minimise directions of danger.

Another time I saw the nest was unattended and thought the move may have been too much and she abandoned it, as sometimes happens in nature, but she returned – probably from hunting or this one.

She must get hungry sitting on that egg sack for so long, outside my front door for over a week now and before that for I don’t know how long.

I had a mother once and then she died. Everybody dies, it’s ok.

She loved her children as only a mother can, in spite of our obvious failings – especially the boys, especially me – the epitome of rebellious.

The boys, young and old, because we are the more arrogant and troublesome. But girls too. And if you weren’t that your mother was lucky indeed.

But the point is Mother carries, births, nourishes and teaches what she can. She sees, experiences more of the children than the father, and so is more insightful and loving of them, regardless.

That’s what I see in Mother. Mother loves.

Our Mother, the Earth itself, loves us all and will take any punishment we throw at her. But one day she will let us know when we are not doing right by her, because we will hurt ourselves beyond repair otherwise – especially the boys, especially the older ones, who should know better by now.

Mother cares like no other.

Thank you, Mother.

The children will be out to play soon. :)

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture to enlarge in a new tab


This Little Girl …

… I found in the bucket of water I leave at the end of the garden to make it easier for watering a few starters – plants – there, the yellow bucket of the recent post of the same name.

She was exhausted from the effort to get out of the water and her temperature would have been below what is required for optimal operation of the system, but that’s a part of the effort she makes to survive, it also keeps her ‘warm’ in the cold water – while she dies from exhaustion.

I scooped her up, a finger beneath her and gently rose with her well balanced on it so as to put no strain on her meagre reserves, in trust she will recover with a little help. Insects die all the time from falling into water; it’s not unusual – a daily hazard where there is water and wind and predators – to evade, accidents happen too.

I brought her to a yellow Straw Flower in the sunshine where I could attend to her and feed her a little honey while she would clean, energise and dry out. Instead what happened was the honey blended or melted into the water drenching her little body and got in everywhere and made her sticky and unable to fly – I would suppose, putting myself in the bee’s shoes. Do bees have shoes? :)

She was disturbed, but not aggressively so. It was just that she now had more work to do because of my intrusion with the honey, however well intentioned. She may have taken a little of it but my placement of it was not regulated enough so there was just too much for best result, least effort to recovery.

So she went to work cleaning herself, and it seemed she would never succeed to get rid of the sticky water. So I interfered again, this time to spray her with more water from a bottle, to dilute the honey and make it easier for her to get rid of it. I did this three times and in the end, about an hour later, of me standing in the heat of the sunshine with her cupped in my hand for best solar heating as she gently gripped my skin in her jaws to enable the vigorous flapping of her wings and shaking of her bum to throw off any liquid, she seemed close to clean.

Then, when she was nearly ready to get back to her life as a free bee, free to do what she does, she climbed onto my finger, the highest part available to her – to launch from I suppose, since that’s what many creatures naturally do, but didn’t.

I was watching and waiting, I had observed and helped so far and was looking to see her take off but it wasn’t happening. She was just sitting on the top of my finger, only occasionally shifting herself this way or that, moving only slightly about. A few times it looked like she had just run out of energy, but I reckon the honey helped there at least.

I noticed a car coming into the driveway and looked up to see who it was, and it was just then she launched into the air and was gone.

Have to laugh! If it was personal I might have been disappointed she left unseen and without a wave. :)

But she left in her time and that’s always best, there’s no other way to go.

Nothing is done outside its time. It doesn’t matter what we may or may not want. Life is too big, and life is in charge.

A bow to thee, little bee.

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture to enlarge in a new tab


PS These pix were taken as my OB flash was dying on my #1 camera so exposure was hit and miss, these were the best of the lot.


Read This at Your Peril …

Just kidding folks. :)

This is a Brown Ringtail Possum making a meal of some of the plants in my garden. She lives in the roof space and often we hear her arguing with the other possum on the roof at night, what a ruckus. Lovely little things though, you just have to give them their space and I can live with a few demolished plants – something else will grow there now. Life living! :)

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture to enlarge in a new tab. Sometimes you can click again for bigger if it’s big enough, the picture and the screen.

PS Details of benefits of Firefox 11.0 moved to : Read Me top of page.


The Fly …

… no, no, not The Fly


Once upon a time … Like now … :)

There was a Fly that carried a raindrop around on his back just to see how far he could carry it before exhaustion and eventual death took him – not really. He didn’t notice that to the observer he was a beautiful creature in a beautiful setting, when seen without reference to the stuff of mind, thought and emotion. This is what makes the race of men appear to be mad, the stuff of mind we believe in, until we don’t.

The Fly knows nothing of that though, thank god. Can you imagine the whole of nature emotionalised through self reflection? What a nightmare that would be.  :)

No, the Fly is a Fly and the flower is a flower. The raindrop is something else though, let’s not get too serious now.

And light makes it all possible. The light of intelligence perhaps?

There are all sorts of things you can find out about nature just by observing what is at your feet. Most creatures have instincts that are a variation on a theme, that being survival. Flies are no different; they just have different characteristics and therefore behave accordingly.

People are much the same. The very same in terms of instinct, it being the basis for existence, but not so much alike when it comes to personality, intelligence and predisposition.

These ‘extra’s’ that seem to set us apart from the rest of nature are really a consequence of our reflection and emotionalisation of that instinctive nature, our nature, and the effect that has in the psyche is both personally and collectively phenomenal.

The psyche is a very real place where what happens here accumulates there when resolution is absent, and there’s a lot of that going around. The trouble is nobody notices the build-up until it’s too late. But that’s just the way it is here.

It is also true that what emotionalisation I do resolve here has the effect of clearing some of than inner space, the invisible psyche.


How can you master your instinctive nature if you don’t reflect on it? And how can you not do what it takes to get it ‘wrong’, in order to get it right? The point being we don’t change except through pain and experience. When you’ve burnt yourself enough you learn what burns and you don’t let it happen any more.

It’s that simple, you can’t change it either. Though you can become cognizant of the process and enable the necessary change.


It’s the same with any other kind of experience. Only when you’ve had enough of something, anything, can you really give it up, stop doing it. Because we realise there is a ‘better’ way to be.

That’s the fact in my experience. And this is what existence is for, to get it right so we don’t ‘have’ to get it right, or ‘wrong’, anymore.

Then we can truly enjoy the simple life and beauty of our instinctive nature mastered. The nobility of being, as opposed to the difficulty of living emotionally.

Make sense to anyone?

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture to enlarge in a new tab