Nature's Place

Wake Up Call

It was early morning – my month is half and half, early and not so. About 6.00am, it had been an open sky during the night so it was coldish, relatively so. I went looking for any creatures that were visible, maybe late to rest in the afternoon and so ‘on top’ of things rather than hidden as so many are.

I went out the back yard and saw this tiny bee, or wasp, it’s so difficult to know at times, and thought it must be cool enough not to take much notice of me. But as soon as I got close she was away. Away about two feet to the flowers on the Crown of Thorns, the name given to a plant that grows out back.

It seemed frisky enough but I approached again where it was on the flower and it didn’t fly away this time but moved around the flower to get away from me, perhaps having exhausted it’s early supply of flight supporting energy. I took the opportunity to put a small drop of honey on a flower and as the bee wasn’t flying away I used my finger to nudge it in the direction of the honey.

When it got to the honey there was no distracting it. It was totally absorbed in the sweetness and surge of sensation it must have been to it. Heaven I’d say, to a bee on a cool morning in the shade. It drank a while and moved a little now and then and when it finally had enough it preened itself for a while, as they do, then flew away well prepared for an active day.

And not a word of complaint about the missing half of one antennae.

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Then a little while later a Golden Spiny Ant came along, about twice as long as the bee – you can see from the size relative to the drop of honey, it’s the same drop. And it was enraptured, wouldn’t you be? Honey, the rarest of foods for free at the most opportune time, breakfast, heaven indeed.

The ant made the most of it. And when it had enough it too went on its way. Not a thought from either to hoard or take more than was needed in the moment. Trusting nature will provide, instinctively, out in the wild yonder of the natural metropolis.

Wild little beauties both.

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

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Radiant Sunlight

Out the window, between the raindrops and when the clouds have passed, the light turns up. It’s especially noticeable when looking closely at something in shadow. That little turn of the radiance makes all the difference to seeing a thing properly, or not.

It’s the same no matter the subject, the closer I look the easier it is to see the shadow and the light. And it’s the balance that matters here, where everything is relative. The trick is to minimise the relativity, narrow the gap between the light and dark so it’s just right.

Then when you are ready, or the subject is ripe, an opening – or closing – occurs in the relationship and the quietest ‘BAM’, en-light-enment, of the subject. Entry into the state of seeing that is without the extremes of bright and dark. Or enough, in other words.

Enough of the extremes that mark the human condition, the excitement that keeps the world going and is reflected in nature – but not of it. Enough of the experience necessary to attain the right balance or poise of attention. Enough time and space to do what really needs doing here. Just enough, as the earth is in the balance of the solar system.

Our system of light, or love.

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The garden has been doing well indeed. Not so much doing it ‘my’ way as it ‘being’ done nature’s way, which is my way. I just introduce – seed and plants and things – while the garden gets on with living its life, the coming and going of form and relationship as shape, colour and happening.

In short I stay out of it as much as possible while taking responsibility for its primary function, to live, again and again, by tending it. And it never ceases to delight, what create-ures may arise from the process. I always look at the result most apparent to my sense and disposition.

The magnificent creatures at my feet, or hand. And some get out of hand.

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I have mentioned the big yellow Lynx spider in recent posts – just scroll down, she is still queen of the tops and even when knocked from her spot, as I did inadvertently, she makes her way back within minutes.

More recently there have been a few different visitors who sat long enough for me, too many to show them all in fact. But a few most delightful and unusual I will include, for the simple pleasure of seeing what my nature is capable of. It’s your nature too.

There was the most delightful shovel headed beetle with a metallic green shield on its shoulders frolicking in the heart of a yellow straw flower, as symbolic of the sun and its natural children as you’ll ever see. It had been injured somehow and appeared to have lost its front ‘hands’ that it does much work with but I saw no heed of it, but some impeding of its function. It was nevertheless a powerhouse of energy as I picked it up and it sought to dig down into the gap between my fingers with a strength amazing for its size – about a centimetre long, for the relief from all that yellow light perhaps.

Then there was the tiny fly that never stops still, as well with a shiny green shield of a back, also no more than a centimetre long. It sat just long enough for a few shots then off it went, on its busy business of a colourful fly in the garden, too quick and small to see, for me.

A small native paper wasp on a dark green leaf in the cold of the pre dawn light, looking a little tired or sleepy perhaps. Not where they are usually found at all, being of a social kind. There is a nest just above where I found her, about 30 individuals that feed and tend it, and it was apparent to me she had fallen from there. But then I noticed she only had one wing, the near one, the other just a stump undeveloped, and thought she may have been rejected, forcibly. I have seen these wasps express a distinct order of hierarchy and it is not unknown for creatures to shun a damaged or injured member of the group. She seemed healthy enough otherwise but a wasp that can’t fly can’t feed itself. I interfered and allowed her on my warm finger to climb back to the nest where she immediately went about tending the cells of the emergent young. I saw no reaction to her presence and then she was lost to my sight in the melee of activity that the hive already was, and trust all was well with her. She was obviously happy to do what she was born to do.

Then there was another kind of wasp, a mud dauber I think, of a solitary kind, and maybe even a new born from her size and the dried mud on her back. I found her early in the morning still asleep on a passion fruit leaf, something else the garden is growing that provides for many a visitor. The sun, good old Sol, was just rising to the right and behind and I had a time to shoot before it was high and warm enough for the wasp to fly. I sought out the best positions for the nicest backgrounds, a very important part of any picture, and think I found the best of the situation, acceptable anyway. It’s a matter of alertness and perception, the workings of experience within, to get a ‘good’ picture. Or, in other words, I do my best.

A subjective thing indeed, every picture being a good one to someone, some time. Judgment is a burdensome practise.

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

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Apocalypticism – A Glimpse of Death?

Or a beautiful death? Can death be beautiful? Or is it dying and dead bodies we make a big ‘to do’ about, because we are emotionally attached to living?

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A new word for me, apocalypticism, came across my field of view. It basically means, to me, the propensity of people to project their cultural and personal fear of death as images of future events. And since every-body fears death that means every-body does it at some time. The most vocal, heard above the din, are usually anyone who has touched the coat-tails of death. So much has been written about this, as if it were unusual, that is just another form of projection – taking it all so seriously.

Let’s look at the fact of things. Everybody dies, everybody knows it, and few realise it. The few who realise it, before they actually die, ‘often’ come back from the realisation with passionately imaginative stories of Man’s future life, or death, on or off the earth. And that’s all it is, imagination, fuelled by fear momentarily elevated to a passion, or released by a temporary detachment, that one may hold to as some kind of universal truth. This is just nonsense, in my experience, self delusion – if taken too seriously, as if it really matters.

It’s the non-sense of the self’s imaginings of its own death, since it dies with the body – as it grew with it, released from the burden and  fear of it, for a while. People who are ‘actually’ dying don’t have these imaginings, though they may have culturally colourful visions of the psyche released from the weight of existence.

Their attention is too focused on the reality of dying. Dying is sensational, if you are rightly prepared for it, or emotionally painful. The still delusional go on deluding regardless, and it will end in its time, no problem.

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On the other hand, since everybody/thing must die, and it occurs in degrees as everything in existence does, it has its place. Apocalypticism is as natural and ‘unreal’ as existence itself. It’s like saying ‘that flower is going to die’. Of course it is, ‘of course’ – by the simple way of things it will mature, wither and die. So it is, in another degree, with civilisations or even species and races. There is every degree or measure of death. Big deal?

I don’t think so, without death nothing new could be. It’s our system of being, this then not that. But it does have an entertainment value every now and then. :)

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The real import is in what cannot be imagined, cannot be written or spoken. Because it is beyond existence or the forms of it, be they you or me. That is reality. What is? Have I gone beyond your capacity to follow yet? Because from here there is nothing there, though a few can see and articulate the simplest view without having to run off … into … imagining.

The more words = images, the less reality. The image is not the thing imaged.

That means everything that is said, written, done, thought, imagined, felt is not the reality, though it is all necessary to the reality being realised. And that’s its purpose, elimination of the false by involving yourself in it until you become so Jaded of the ‘same old’ excitement that you give it up. Until the end …death … endlessly.

That’s self mastery and that’s all that really matters, to me.

What is? :)

Amen! :)

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

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On the Wild Side

That’s what I call the file I keep all my writing in, can’t remember where it came from now but I suspect it arose out of the fact I never really fit in to our civilised ways and that has never really changed – however I looked, or tried. Maybe it was just an element of self so ‘fuelled’ in the early days it became all encompassing and there was no undoing it, there just isn’t enough time, or will. Who determines such?

Something in me would just rather live and die in the desert, deserted of people and their demands of performance – whatever for. It’s an evolutionary impulse I know, this demand for improvement, but how to engage in the evolution of the human race when one is an alien to it, and alien by it? Perhaps alien is the evolution. :)

I look at the world of men and I see global insanity, the leaders and the led – on the whole and individually. And I see them heading for the abyss, not knowing what they are doing as they party on – business as usual. Nothing wrong with the abyss now, don’t get me wrong.

The only place I see otherwise is in nature or in being, being nothing. Nature has no self-delusive self-aggrandising agenda, and nothing is just that, the space behind and in which it all happens. And these two ‘places’ have no real attraction for the busy man or woman.

Regardless, I believe all is as it should be in order for it to change for the better, eventually – as all things must. And I do what I can to change it where it matters, in me first. The rest takes care of itself – until someone shows me different, and I see it.

There is surely no perfection in existence except it is as it is. The flaw in the jewel, or the jewel in the ‘flaw’?

And just keep going until the mirage turns to a waterhole. :)

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

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Water, Water Everywhere …

Just waiting for the next deluge to see if the sealing around the edge of the house has worked, where it meets the earth, to keep the rain out of the downstairs area – referred to in recent posts.

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The wildlife are taking what chances they get to be on with things, eating, mating, sleeping and whatever else it is they get up to – which is more than most have ever imagined, I imagine.

The big yellow Lynx is still going strong in her plant tops home, Leaf-Cutter Bees are making good use of some of the plants new leaves and flowers – of which there are many from the regular raining and watering. There have been many other creatures about to take pictures of but I thought I’d keep this simple.

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Though I have been going less into the wild nature recently I do when I can, and there is always something new to see, that I look. There are tracks through the places I go, even if made only by me, and I usually stick to them so as not to disturb what doesn’t need disturbing, unless I see something that attracts me to it.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of being awake to what’s in front of me, as it was for this beautiful creature lying along a stem of tall grass that was hanging across the track at dusk.

So I made an effort to capture her true nature under a darkening blue sky.

A golden backed Earwig – and it didn’t jump. :)

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

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A Silent Death …

Or a loving embrace? Either way, a most unusual meeting.

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Out in the field at sundown with a strong wind blowing I came across a protected area that had a few different creatures sheltering in the grass tops, off the ground. The Orange Wasp was the most noticeable beside the gang of small green golden Nomad bees that I often find roosting here.

Usually the Orange Wasp is so skittish it is gone as soon as I see it, as if the act of cognising it is registered by the wasp and taken as a signal to fly. But the strong wind did interrupt that process this day. The Orange Wasp remained in the relative shelter as the sun went down behind the distant trees, and the wind continued to blow.

I focused on the Wasp, since there is usually no chance of a shot, and watched as it climbed the grass to the top. On the way it ran into a gang of small bees and caused something of a stir. Just one bee remaining behind, as if undisturbed by the wasp’s presence. The others moved off to another grass stem nearby.

And the wasp was curious of the one remaining, aware there was something there and pushing through the grasses to do what, I don’t know – taste, smell or otherwise sense the small bee. It wasn’t aggressive by any gesture or appearance, these wasps are more vegetarian than not, so if it wasn’t hungry the bee was safe. After a short while of the wasp probing the bee the bee moved on up the stem, better safe than sorry – though I think a bee knows no sorrow, just the programming of survival and all it entails. But perhaps, occasionally, a small creature will show signs of self consciousness.

It was nearly dark with some light from the falling sun still getting through the clouds and trees at times, wind blowing as it was – see the bee on a stem in the blurred background in one picture – wind blown into the frame. When there’s time and opportunity I will endeavour to include any sun rise or setting for the background, but it was mostly a case of get what you can while you can. So I shot away at the wasp I was focused on.

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After I had enough of that and she didn’t seem to be doing anything different so the shots would all be the same or versions of … I looked up the grass stem to where the bee had gone and there was another Orange Wasp facing my way with the bee behind it, and something else.

It was difficult to see now but on closer inspection it became clear a spider had a grip of the small green golden Nomad bee and I wondered if the wasp had any involvement, as in awareness or reaction to what was happening to the bee – it was dying in the grip of a Crab Spider, right next to the wasp, they wait in just such places for just such opportunities.

But no, the wasp seemed entirely unaware of the dying bee, or the spider, and proceeded on down the grass stem as the other proceeded on up it. As the bee died in the grip of the spider the two wasps met an inch below and clearly recognised each other as their own kind and made ‘inquiries’ of each other.

Touching and turning towards each other they were clearly communicating until eventually they came together on the same side of the grass stem and touched heads and ‘beaks’. A form of caress perhaps, or exchange of information of a kind.

Tending only to what mattered to them, not a consideration for the dying bee or predatory spider.

However, it was clearly not an accidental embrace, either one. It never is.

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

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Darkling Green

Out in the field looking for the Neon Cuckoo Bee in particular, which wasn’t to be found this time round, I came across a few other creatures. I don’t know what ‘it’s said by whom’ but a square metre of earth holds a host of creatures, many of which even I will never see – unless of course I stand there for long enough – don’t you believe it.

What kind of creation is created invisible to most? But that’s not really so is it, if you look with eyes to see you will see. And it’s a wonder to see what is there among the grass, holding on and just looking or being, for now. Or engaged in some invisible unknowable activity?

Who knows, or cares to speculate, when what is so obviously is, and is enough for now.

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It came from the earth, as all things do, even the car and the house. But it came as it is with no purpose other than its own and that’s enough too. It doesn’t need to fit Man’s reality, Man’s particular self-interest.

It’s called a Darkling Beetle, just found out today, a brown one. There is a black Darkling you can see here : Rainbow Wanderer – And it wanders the earth as itself, no thought to be another – thing of any kind.

Darkling sounds like a kind of vampire, or other creature of the ‘darkness’ but it may also refer to a sparkling that can be seen when the black Darkling is seen close-up in direct sunlight. It’s similar to looking at a starlit sky on a dark-ling night, but with all the colours of the rainbow glittering.

One more little wonder tucked away in my nature.

Hello Darkling thing.

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

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And Now?

… for something a little different from what has become the usual native bee, or so it seems.

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We had a Paper Wasp nest on the deck that had to be moved because it was just too successful; about twenty strong at its height and only a few metres from the front door, and Karen had been stung when she inadvertently shifted it one recent day. So it had to be moved because I don’t like to destroy any part of the nature, the garden. I enjoy all the nature, not just the pretty or cute bits.

One night, all dressed up for the occasion, because I know they can fly at night even if they prefer not to, I clipped the old fern growth the nest was hanging from and brought it down to the front of the garden, about forty metres away, where I had prepared a post to place it in where they would have to work harder to maintain its success rate, by at least having to travel further to the food source. I rather foresaw some of the young moving off to new pastures and the nest attaining a more acceptable number, foresight is not always as it turns out though.

The nest was so successful because of the planting I’d been doing the last year, and allowing nature to take its course, Butterflies and Moths laying eggs all round the place, which in turn hatched and soon enough little caterpillars were eating up the vegetation. That’s where the wasps came in; they fed on the caterpillars, voraciously.

It was a balance though; an ample source of food presented and something came along to eat it, and so on – is usually the way of things. But there appeared to be nothing to eat the Wasp. No deft Wasp eating birds about the place, nor Geckos willing to risk being stung in the dead of night, hence the intervention on my part.

But it seems I got it wrong, or went too far, and the nest has now been abandoned by the Queen, there’s always a Queen to start off a Paper Wasp’s nest. Gone to I don’t know where because it has become apparent the little caterpillars are having a ball in the greenery and plants are dying from lack of viable leaves.

And then, in my wanderings about the garden, I saw this fat yellow Lynx spider. There are many Lynx and other spiders around the garden but none as big as this one is, or has recently grown. It looks like what the Wasps are no longer doing the spiders might be.

Well, we’ll see what happens. That’s what I love doing in the garden, just seeing what happens next. It’s a real epic unfolding; when you really see the creatures little lives as important as our own – in their way.

Which of course they are to the web of nature, my nature. It is our nature after all and we can’t really do without any part of it for long or something gets out of whack.

But it always recovers, that’s its nature too, to live again – unstoppable it seems, and ever changing on a changeless reality.

A maelstrom of possibility in form, and no real need to interfere now, nor inclination to.

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It’s how we learn, by going too far – one way anyway.

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

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After the Flood

It just ended today, that’s monsoon season in Brisbane I suppose, heavy rain coming and going.

People get upset at things the way they are but there really is no need. When it rains it rains, when it shines it shines. And it will do that when we’re all gone, I assume, if there’s someone here to know. Things will change when they change, not before. So relax, because it may never be as you want, or fear. Now isn’t that nice, a way to go? :)

Nice and relaxed? Feet up or down and doing something you enjoy, even if it’s only feeling the sensation of being alive. That’s what it’s all about, after you exorcise the superhero, the one who would be special, with something special to do. There is nothing special but what you do, so everybody is special, or not.

Isn’t it nice just to be relaxed, no tension or pretense of being anything other than what you so obviously are, a body of sense. And if there is anything else to do it must present here not there, because I am not there, whoever ‘I’ am. It is here or it’s not, because I don’t know where there is. And I am finished with the other, superhero to the world.

I will never be what someone else was, what a fiction. True, fictions have been known to live, by conjuring with intent. But intent to what, the further undoing of the superhero in another form? What else but to aid the intelligence entombed in such offence.

For that the image has to be left out of it, or is it in, and that’s an exercise to start with, but you only feel mad for a few days, or is it weeks. It’s just like taking off those favourite boots that you’ve been wearing for the last year or so, it feels a little odd at first. Or putting on some new. :)

What do you think, I am mad? And do you think it matters what you think? Life is lived either way, then everything gets left behind. And yes, a sense of humour can hide your pain or keep you going. But you don’t give it up twice, or thrice.

Can you change what you are when what you are never changes, or always changes back to itself? Will the silent judgment of another make a difference? If an island were thought to be a mountain would it be that?

Or are you content to be an ordinary man or woman, maybe with something extraordinary to do for a while, maybe not. Grow old, get ill and die.

Shit happens.

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Or to throw off the cloak of mortality? Reach for the stars and the crown, touch the beauty and light. See the end to his suffering, touch the wings of his love in her flight?

As I once did, and never gave up on. Cloaks get heavy in the rain, reach shortens with age and with pain. Beauty and light always remain. But suffering the wings of his love in her flight?

Why not? Except, has someone turned it into a game?

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I called out once, or twice, or thrice. And saw no reply on the wall. Was it eyes a failing in the dim of twilight, or assumption blinding the truth and beauty of little mice.

No echo in the hall, at all. But if you would join me we may still have a ball.  :)

And you would only have to tolerate my sense of humour, my …

… intolerance of the intolerable, and my judgment due thereof.

The hero is late, that’s fate. And who is that at the gate?

Late is only late, not fate, but judged no less in kind.

And now, indifferent to the source, I no longer mind.

I can still walk a while, or is it just a mile?

A little wait, dear mate. A smile?

Oh dear, dear dear, what fate.

I must go on a while.

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The garden is a quiet place, so fair. And when I can’t walk for long I do linger there.

It has many things it needs of me, or so it seems to me from here.

A little time alone, by the seat in the corner, with wasps that know no fear.

Around the corner a vision comes, to show a light from over there.

Will never know if it doesn’t show, the voice I may never hear.

A shining in the afternoon, a welcome, no need to swoon.

Or maybe now, just tell me how, how to find thy boon.

And, please, not just with the same old spoon.

How else can I say it but to the phasing moon.

A little time so soon, my love.

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So soon, before the cat gets the Dove.  :)

In the early hours he prowls the ways around the house.

Looking, treading so carefully, not just quiet as a mouse.

But just in case, he once was bitten, as by a giant snake, or was it a grouse?

Djinn, the feline of the house.

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

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