Nature's Place

Bee Purple

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Colder and colder, fewer and fewer, the Blue Banded Bees are making a heroic effort at surviving. They also have the sense to shelter from the cold clear sky at night, hanging from a thread.

Literally, life on a thread for these guys. Always somewhere near the nest where the females would usually be. A few of them about the garden during the day.

Still some flowers blooming on our warm winter days, enough to keep a few bees fuelled up for their frantic paced flight.

Fly little fireball, to the end of … burn up the form with the passage of the sun.

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

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Possum 2

Hello Possum … just looking for a bite to eat.

Yin and yang. The two principles of existence.

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

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Seasons End …

No fancy camera work, just what I could get without disturbing them. Don’t want to be the death of any this close to ‘winter’.

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These few are regulars outside the back door now, best shelter from the elements, rain, wind, cold night sky.

Proud little thing, comfortable being a bee, alert for non bee things in the cold dark night.

It’s usually the youngsters have the lighter colouring, smaller too straight from the nest, still coming …

I might set up some background during the day, before they come home to sleep. It might disturb them though.

It’s getting colder now and fewer plants are flowering hereabouts. Time’s up for many a small creature.

The Blue Banded Bee can be found sheltering from the cold dark sky under cover of the star jasmine, holding on to dried out stems.

They won’t give up, that’s not their nature. Come sunrise they will be away once more, seen doing what they do best, buzzing about the gardens nectar pots.

No worries about getting through the winter, no fear of death. None of that nonsense for the intrepid BBB.

Bee knows no psychological past so has no future, no imagination to stir emotion to be lost in.

Bee is what bee does, plus the power, of silence, of stillness behind.

Little beauty beeing.

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

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Snake …

Hiding under a web of tough plant stems, see the eye open, middle left. Well aware I am coming for it, unwilling to run with meal in place. Snakes are such confident creatures, rightly so. Carpet snakes are not known for being aggressive.

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See the eyes wide open, waiting … she was reluctant to leave the safety of the pillow case so I had to prod her a few times. Carefully, so as not to cause more than a little encouragement, in order to get a shot or two as it emerged. She’s a beauty.

It emerged, I was in place with camera, it didn’t care. And off it went with a purpose, gotta get out of the clear sky above, eagles about, or kookaburras maybe. About 4 feet long and 1.5 inch across the head, still swollen with mouse. A little blurry because we are both moving, it was a lucky shot, and she’s smiling …

The rains started a while back and a few days into it the cat got jittery, hadn’t seen him like it before. It occurred to me the wet would be a time of migration for the native creatures so attributed his apparent anxiety to a passing snake, perhaps – I had seen a small one.

Weeks passed and he was still nervous about going out, either the back or the front deck, and I thought he just needed more time to get over it, whatever it was. But he wasn’t getting over it … he wouldn’t even go out on his own any more. And it was becoming problematic.

Then one day I was watering a pot on the deck and I noticed faint movement where no movement should be, it was a snake, with a belly full of mouse – I presume. It was wide awake and well aware of me nearby but obviously unwilling to take flight.

What to do … Looking inside I saw the primal fear of a body for snake, or any wild animal capable of inflicting damage, so I had to encourage myself, to figure out what to do with it, and do it. I would leave it be, but not with a scaredy cat in the house, it was making him unhappy and cat was here first.

I’ve seen it done on TV so I got a pillow case and put on leather gloves, but the snake was entwined in the stems of a plant by the cactus so I had to cut what looked like would make it easier to extract the snake without entanglement, if I could get a hold on the head end without hurting it, or me.

And so it was … I disturbed missy snake enough to get her to raise her head and gripped her firmly so as not to allow for accidents of bite, snake bite. Snake didn’t come without a struggle, though a minor one really. The digesting mouse would have sedated it too, I think.

I had its head end in one hand and the pillow case in the other while also using it to release its body from entanglement with the stems, it was easy enough, with room for error. It did try and hold on to one stem it could still easily entwine, but I had a will to remove it …

without harming it if possible. And all went well. They are powerful creatures, muscle tone like a tree trunk, unbending unless forced. But it never panicked, snake was calm throughout, more or less.

And so was I, more or less. It was a partnership, of a kind. The contrary kind. Into the car and off to the local bush, Eprapah, and release. Pillow case on the seat next to me seeming alive.

Once there I opened the pillow case and had to prod it out and once out it didn’t hesitate, off it went into the undergrowth, barely a chance for a clear shot.

Throughout she appeared to just take it in her stride, fight response disengaged, in it to the end, naturally.

Bye bye snake …

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

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Squatters

The BBB likes to make a nest by tunnelling into dry clay, where it’s sheltered from the elements. Females sleep in the tunnels, males roosting nearby, as a general rule.

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From a hole in the side of the mud brick this fly emerged, staggered, looking fresh as … Could be a youngster, I think.

Whatever their normal behaviours are they are unique and amazing little things, no less than the big ones …

This one, a brother perhaps, stumbled out of the same hole and was promptly entangled in a spiders web just below.

Not the first little creature to find itself trapped by nature of another kind, there’s an ant in there too, and that ball …

A mosquito, looks like, ant below it, one leg stretched to the ground, the ball touching it. Ways to die on earth …

This new born bee got its timing wrong, or I need to reorient the brick. It emerged at sundown instead of sunup, and lost its way. I lent a hand …

I made a mud brick with earth from under the roots of a fallen tree and drilled holes for the blue banded bees to nest in.

It took a while for any to take to it this year but a few did and would roost nearby, not a good year for the bees anyway.

In passing I noticed some unexpected activity and bent to investigate. Flies … spiders and others, no surprise really.

Where there’s space for it, life takes form, form dies, and life goes on.

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

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Golden

They can often be found on these flowers, always producing nectar for the little ones. Though it’s a dangerous passage to such bounty.

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Joining me at the table, a crumb or two to be had from the nearby giant, less dangerous too. As long as she knows her place is not on me.

Sharing a little goodness. Glad to see another who survived the perilous journey? We have much in common, if we could only see.

Happy little ant, no sign of danger about, well fed, just taking it easy. Not a single problem on its little mind, no ruminating on past pain.

After the climb up the sticky stem and something delicious to eat she takes the time for self-cleaning exercises. Intelligent little thing.

Wandering the byways of the wilden green the golden ant takes a morsel to keep it going. Doing what? Living, what else, as an ant.

If we could live as a body, without all the things we think we are, or are not – the notions and potions of mind, we would be doing as well as the ant.

No problem … Could we do better than to be without the madness of mind, as compulsive thinking, anger, fear and wanting?

Is there a ‘we’ can do that? Since ‘we’ presumes any plurality has a hope of ever being free.

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In times of difficulty ‘don’t judge the situation’, as a guiding mantra – will keep mind from running rampant.

And be the body as sensation, by focus of attention, through any thought or emotion that tries to rise.

That way what passes passes all the quicker and cleaner. As what passes always does.

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

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Lilith

… or Lillith.

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The old stories of Lilith being a demonic seducer of men who also stole and ate babies, and other such nonsense, are from men who lived in fear or ignorance of their own nature and failed to understand the purpose of what beset them, and so couldn’t be responsible for their love. It’s the same today.

All nature is sexual – meaning its first function is to reproduce, what life on earth does. And every living wonder flows from that. That’s the fact. Which does suggest there might be more to love between man and woman than making babies.

This nature is every mans and womans, and what sets us apart from the rest is a spiritual spark, the capacity for self reflection directed by the imperative to improve. Spiritual being the imperative of negation consciously engaged, dis-identification with what passes, eventually.

It’s the way it is. Evolution is not in progress ‘out here’, it is in the negation of identity, divining original space by an act of attention, or will. No religion here.

The rest is practise, of right action, within and without, under the guidance of one who has already done it.

The mystery is something else, the mother, or father, of light, or dark, behind.

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

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Kooky …

She? appeared suddenly and waited for me to get back with the camera, as if I was one of the family. See the hitchiker behind the eye?

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The youngster maybe, centre of the garden, between the adults. Learning the ways of the world, a hunting.

The other side, the other parent, teacher and provider. How we are … until death us do part.

Sharp eyed hunter, bright vision in blazing sun or deep shadow … the king of kingfishers is our Kookaburra.

It’s a lovely time of year, the hot summer’s over and a warm wet autumn has begun.

I was taking dead heads from the yellow rose bush out back near the fence when I heard a sound close by.

I didn’t recognise it and thought nothing of it until a big kookaburra appeared just above my head, about three feet away.

It must have been around two feet long, tip to tail, and that beak … a deadly serious hunting tool, to the gardens small creatures.

It wasn’t at all wary of me, probably somewhat used to people given it lives in the suburbs and probably gets fed on occasion.

Then I heard a soft kooky cry from behind me and there was the youngster, or was it the mamma. I don’t know …

And then there were three. One casting around for sign of live food, a movement in the shadows, a flicker of give-away light.

One sitting on top of the clothes line, or watsitcalled. And the other diving towards the far fence to sit high for the outlook.

But no, nothing to be had in my backyard this hour of this day. I ran up and got the camera …

and some grain bread, but no interest from the family. Their need being for fresh meat.

And I didn’t have any to give … but they let me take a few pix from close by.

A simple pleasure, unhurried.

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

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Horse Flys …

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She came in through the front door … and got herself trapped against the fly screen.

She was just following the light, not knowing to turn back into the darkness of the shaded room to get free.

She doesn’t do any knowing in that sense, being an entirely instinctive creature – this one wasn’t the exception.

So I got a glass from the kitchen and caught her up in it for transporting to the verandah.

She seemed to enjoy being out in the air, though I’m sure she didn’t know what had happened.

It took a while for her to find her feet again, don’t know how long she was trapped.

And so I left her, being what she is, to find her way once more in the wide world.

Then she took to the air … as all good flies do.

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

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