Nature's Place

Wasp Day

Immobile on a flower in the middle of the day, unusual for a hungry wasp. Still there when I got back with camera.

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Then without any notice she took off, I couldn’t follow with old eyes. Just as well we were going to the same place.

Where I work in the garden. The table with pot plants on it, and trays with water in them. So she could drink her fill.

So quiet she was I thought I’d try some background, a leaf from the nearby passion fruit vine, carefully placed.

And she didn’t mind being moved, we had an understanding, no unnecessary activity. But she wasn’t leaving.

Just a few shots for the record, my record. The green allows some detail in the shadows, contrast is necessary …

… a world of difference. After a while I gave her my warm finger and she climbed on without pause, the cool wind.

No sign of her stinger, so relax … She snuggled up, close as she could. What else to do on a cold windy day.

To soak up the warmth of it I suspect, and was very patient with me. She wasn’t interested in the butterfly bush.

She prefers meat, I think. Nectar at another time maybe. First things first tho, warmth for the rest of the body being.

She had adopted me, as a source of life and nourishment, warmth. And wasn’t going to let me go easy, so it seemed.

We are more dangerous to them than they are to us, though people don’t realise it from inside their emotions.

Spring is in and the days fluctuate between warm and cool. There’s little rain and much wind but the garden gets watered anyway. Changeable … It’s a lovely time of year.

She landed on the nasturtium in the middle of the day and I had to wonder, why so still … She was probably born on a warm day, and this one was cool.

Often a small creature takes its energy from the heat of the sun, amongst other things. Looks like this one was caught in the shade a while.

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

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Fly Time 2

On that paperbark tree, where big little creatures can be found in peril for their life. … It looked like a wasp at first, just the colours.

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Maybe it’s something about the other creatures that inhabit the tree, or that parasitise it, that causes some to be born broken.

As with the preying mantis from a week ago, this had something wrong with it. The wings wouldn’t fill out, she couldn’t fly.

With wings undeveloped, not pumped up for flight, she wasn’t going anywhere. And she was having a hard time with the ants.

She fell from the tree, to the ground, evading those ubiquitous ants, so I picked her up. Give her a chance to do some living, why not.

I didn’t leave her this time, taking her home in a jar I keep in the car, where she lived a few days longer than she otherwise would.

I gave her sweet water and left some nature with her, a bit of bark and a few clover flower heads. She liked it on my warm hand.

Pollen on her face … she got used to me quick enough, and lived the life she could, undaunted. No sign of any predators intruding.

She seemed to pick up at times, displaying enough vitality I thought it might just correct her wings. But such magic was not to be.

But still … a proud little thing, little messenger of the nature gods of pollination and marvel. Marvel, who designs these little wonders.

I worked her for a while, then she was gone … passed, as all things do. This is her epitaph … pictures of nature in a world in decline.

Man has gone mad, he just hasn’t realised it yet. Even mad is relative here.

On that paperbark tree again, another live casualty.

And not a sign of self pity. Just living and dying as a matter of fact.

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

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That Time …

Fly time … drone fly.

Standing still in the shadows of the giant fern and on the edge of a leaf is a prospect, a possibility. Take the shot you can get.

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With one in the bag it’s time to move in and risk losing it, for a closer shot, at a better angle. And take the second shot you can get.

Confident he’s not going to fly away now, don’t strike anything sharply, rotate to the left and take the shot you want – a profile of a powerful proud stance, with detail in focus and good (enough) background.

Be bold, go get the hose and turn it to spray and risk it on the fly, indirectly. Taking time and moving slow, then move in for another shot you want – profile, some background, my finger underneath, and a few drops to liven the show.

Moving around again for a slightly different angle, you never know what you’ve got til you see it on the computer. … A sure sign the fly is comfortable, he starts preening. Wipe those hands …

Playing with a drop of water, taken from his face. It was worth the work for that shot, though it couldn’t be planned. … All work done in the wilds of the garden or local bush. Subjects presented by nature.

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

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Better Late …

than never. So the saying goes.

Mantis, preying Mantis. Praying for relief perhaps. From the ants that were harassing it.

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It was just hanging on to the tree trunk, jumping this way and that in response to the irritation of ants.

Ants that would be the death of it, if it stayed still for long enough. And so it was, jittery … to say the least.

Always looking for the informative angle, to display the brilliance, of design and form. We don’t ‘just happen’.

And after a while evading the ubiquitous ant she dropped from the tree, to more dangerous ground.

Why didn’t she fly away? I couldn’t see … I picker her up, for her safety and for a few shots of this little wonder.

Co-operative enough … she still wasn’t happy about her situation, however she perceived it. A lingering impression of ‘ant’ perhaps.

But no PTSD here, that I could discern, just the will to go on, as a Mantis, preying …

Preying still … I moved her to different surfaces for a few shots. I couldn’t just leave her to the ants.

And, little beauty, she posed a while … But why didn’t she fly away, I couldn’t tell. It didn’t make sense.

Often a creature will let me take a few shots and be away on the wing, but not lady Mantis, not this day.

A mystery … a beauty, to the eye that sees. Just wouldn’t want to be her next meal, as if that could be.

And one last from the side, maybe she’ll raise herself up for all to see her wonder … but not to be, this time.

When I got home and had a look I could see … her wings are held together with some kind of webbing that has some dark spots in it. Been parasitised perhaps …

That accounted for her inability to fly, her greatest danger. And so I left her, in what I thought a safe place. But on return the ants had found her, and were many. I rescued her again and took her home to die in peace and quiet … in such a dangerous world.

Between one thing and another this post got put off.

But is there such a thing as ‘late’?

Only if it’s personalised.

And it’s not personal.

It’s just the way it is.

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

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Coloured

They rained down from the leaves above, one stormy night.

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All I had to do was get out and look for them in the shadows of the garden.

A torch helps to find them, then it’s time to employ the gear and technique.

They were all over the place, different situations and varied colouring.

All with a single purpose, to live and reproduce. That’s nature …

In the dark of night they sought out the higher ground, or what presented as such.

Walking a tightrope some, a precarious existence, but never a sign of distress.

Signs of life though, a certain excitation on the end of an crucifix orchid.

Or the end of a stick, nowhere else to go but onward. To inevitability …

Or to a view of the jacaranda flowers that also fell in the wind of the night.

A spent dandelion is a good place to wait out the darkness, until the sun comes up.

Meanwhile, there’s things to do, mates to meet. Purpose to fill …

It’s a small world sensed by a beetle on my finger, vibrations of another form.

Some with the enhancement of colour by the lens of water. Raindrops to wear …

And time for a break …

There’s a tree in the garden where these beetles live their lives, at least for mating purposes – food to eat.

It’s a new tree, only been growing a couple years. And they aren’t found anywhere else around here.

Other plants in the garden have a similar function, only hosting a certain kind of creature.

It makes sense, one kind of creature for one kind of plant for a certain time or season.

Everything has its time and place, given the conditions it needs to initiate.

But space first and last, or nothing can begin or end.

Here am I, there and everywhere.

Keeping the genie in the bottle.

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

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Frogs …

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from around the pool.

Back in Brisbane nearly two weeks and there isn’t much native to shoot.

It’s been dry here, more or less, and it shows in there are few creatures in the garden.

But things change, that’s the nature of nature. The only thing predictable about it is it grows and changes or dies.

And grows again … but I think I will have to add the water that makes things move, inside, to boost a start.

To capture the best of it I need to be ever vigilant, in the garden, where life rises as this and that.

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Spoke too soon, it’s been raining for a day and the beetles were just waiting for it and they are out in their hundreds … many.

So there will be visual entertainment for next week, unless the sky falls in … who knows.

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

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Heir Apparent …

First of all, an open invitation. That means it’s open to anyone, regardless of … anything.

Is anybody interested in meeting up for time out doing macro in the nature? I know my own locality but others can be considered.

I got a van recently, at present it has seating for 5 and loads of space for any gear. It’s on its way to being a camper, maybe, a work in progress.

The idea is to go somewhere natural, near water and bush/garden, for early morning shooting, as the sun comes up, before it gets too hot.

Afternoons are good too, you just have to be better prepared, and to start out into the night which can be as good but different.

It’s an idea, if anyone is interested or has a suggestion comment here or click Contact, for email.

 

The first egg, of many to come, unless the nest is destroyed. It’s what people do in fear and lacking understanding, not to mention the care it takes to avoid disturbing a nest of this kind, situated as it is and in proximity to people.

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She can be dangerous, fierce in her protection of the nest, with a sting she’s famous for. But not so careless as to throw away her life without cause. And so is the window for mutual respect, due care and attention to her needs.

After using a small 12″ laptop for 5 weeks I really appreciate these pictures on a bigger 24″ screen. So much better, more detailed, and easier on these old eyes. If you are on a small screen see them on a bigger one, even the TV.

From three cells to four, future development in mind, she builds her castle a room at a time. She uses her antennae to listen to her egg developing. I’m sure she can hear things we can’t. And isn’t she photogenic, against a clear background.

Day and night she climbs all over the nest, checking for any flaws in the structure or signs of invasion by other creatures that would take advantage of her work. Watching out for the health of the egg. Such is nature, ever vigilant.

Here she is laying the second egg. It’s as close as I could get without risk of disturbing her or the nest, and that wouldn’t do for my photogenic friend. I would have her survive the season without having to move home mid-birth.

After a short while photographing her she got used to me and no longer made those staccato dancing moves that indicate she is on the verge of alarm. If I had stayed longer she would have come to accept me as part of her nature and so would the offspring, though still wild, make no mistake. Some of the best safaris happen in the garden.

Not long after I got to Pomona, my house sitting gig, I noticed this queen paper wasp nesting in an out of the way place. So I observed her a while.

Over the weeks I was there the nest grew slowly from three cells to five. So she was preparing for the future, a castle for her little dynasty.

I didn’t see her come and go, to gather the materials for the building. In fact I thought she was conserving herself, for the first egg to grow.

Obviously she had other designs in her mind. Her young would develop, the first would help with the next, and so on until …

Some would take off and start the process somewhere else, and on it goes. That’s nature, never ending, always burgeoning.

No matter what we do to the earth, and we are doing more than can be told, she will survive. But things will change.

And ‘adapt or die’ will echo through the psyche, as it has down the ages. Forms come and go, life goes on.

No point in lamenting the past. It takes pain for Man to change, unfortunately, or not.

So it is we develop in time, until time’s up.

Maybe it’s all just apparent.

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

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Endeavour …

A little green on reflected cloudy blue sky, water. Struggling to keep above and breathing. I lent a stick.

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And on the edge of this life’s scene sits frog, waiting for a juicy green meal. If one comes his way, but maybe not today.

No, not this one, this time … she still has water on her chin and holding down one antennae, but she’s on the way.

Ever attentive frog, never knowing where or when the next meal, or mate, may be. But follow the signs, there be …

… and there it be, if only we could see. And off she goes, antennae untangled, gait picking up a pace, striding out.

And the ever vigilant frog, sees much by sitting still. But green beetle is not for frog this day, not today o lord.

Today is time to climb the peaks, see what’s to be seen above and beyond. If there’s anything there at all …

And frog doesn’t give up either, in his way. Frogs way is not the way of green beetle, different and the same.

Different peaks, same climb … to live and die and evolve, just may be … and nothing to see actually looks beautiful, blue.

But what’s this, another frog … is there any respite from frog, for a green beetle? As long as beetle keeps climbing.

But, but, what’s this? You said … there’s danger at every turn. And you never know what direction life’s coming from.

… not the ship, the state if you like, of being behind the happening. Of never giving up, like life …
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This little green beauty was struggling in the water, so I helped her out.
At first she was quiet and immobile, from the exertions of survival probably.
But it didn’t take long for her to wake up to the possibilities and recover her strength.
She was away, hither and thither, exploring her newly recovered life, on a stick.
At some point I let her away onto the greenery and she wandered off into the nature.
Then I saw it, the little tree frog, from another time, night time …
… and what’s that under the leaf she stands upon, one more battle …
… to win or lose, who knows what may be.
© Mark Berkery ……. Click on those pictures for a closer look
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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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