Nature's Place

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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Hidden Jewel …

A very handy tool, the walking/monopod stick. This little thing doesn’t think how lucky she is. A hint of the colour to come.

She just does what she is moved to in the circumstance of being cold and wet. Dry off and warm up.

And so she goes, stretching out those wings, wiping down antennae, what it ‘feels’ it is to do.

For a little variety she wandered off to a nearby leaf and climbed out on the stem, a little exercise.

Showing off her colours, hidden jewel of blue behind the wings and shields to a dangerous world.

Not undamaged, she has lost a leg and chipped a shields edge – see earlier pictures – but undaunted.

My dauntless nature, upside down, out on a limb, no concern beyond the immediacy of being what she is.

A wonderful little creature, of colour and form, of function and action. Broken legs can’t keep her down.

Not today darling, maybe another … And she spread her wings, took to the air and on her way.

A windy day and there’s bound to be something struggling to survive in the swimming pool.
Nature is full of accidents, things or damage happening to creatures and things they wouldn’t go looking for.
This ones accident is my luck, and lucky for this one I was around. Lucky all round today then.
Sometimes you have to go fishing to catch a fish. Or digging to find a jewel.
It’s a metaphor. Hmmm …
© Mark Berkery ……. Click on those pictures for a closer look
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Saved Again …

Bedraggled, this is what it looks like just after you’re pulled from a watery grave.

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Not too bad looking from the other side. A sign of life in the lift of the antennae, the set of the legs.

Recovered some from the prospect of certain death. Death is always certain, not always imminent.

Getting up … those stag antennae, legs set apart in support of the body’s weight, sitting on a stick.

Getting some nice background. You’d think a captive, so to speak, subject would be easy to manage.

And it usually is for a while, but nothing alive stays still for long, and I don’t use artificial means.

On the move again, time to alter positions and angles to see what presents. Life surprises sometimes.

Almost fully recovered now, getting set for take off. You can usually see it coming, an attitude …

And there you go … a wave as s/he turns away for the great sky beyond, never to be seen again, until … maybe.

Another little marvel from the watery depths.
A wasp maybe … with stag antennae, all the better to detect.
It was barely discernible lying there on the water’s surface, unmoving.
Impossible to tell if it was alive with the unaided eye, so I used the lens, naturally.
And there was signs of life, a little movement, and soon it came back to the way of being … a wasp.
© Mark Berkery ……. Click on those pictures for a closer look
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*Post was prepared early in the week and scheduled to appear here, in the process of swapping computers.

A Watery Grave …

Out of the water and on to a stick, a lifeline for a small but not insignificant thing.

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Taking her time to adjust and recover from the recent struggle in an alien world of water.

It is always striking there is no sign of personality, no suffering ‘me’, but a natural character of resilience.

Into her preening with a gusto, clear off the water, and anything else may have attached. Invigoration.

Once at ease with me, on my stick, I could move about to get the sky as background. Context helps …

Looking more like an wasp close up … a tiny drop of water still visible under its leathery looking body.

Having a good wipe down of the most important parts, antennae. A far seeing sense …

… not this time.

Out walking the garden where I am for now, Noosa hinterland, I noticed activity on the water’s surface.

A small creature, about 3/4 inch long, and it looks like an ant, or it’s a wasp, with those pointy mandibles.

It was in trouble, there is no way out of the middle of the pool so I gave it a hand. Lent it my stick to climb on.

And it didn’t hesitate, the need to survive overcoming any reaction to the sudden appearance of an alien presence.

Once in place it stopped a while to gather itself, wiping down the water, getting ready to launch back into nature.

No holding on to the experience as an emotional impression, no past to weigh her down, no problem.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click on those pictures for a closer look
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*This post is composed on a new computer that hasn’t been optimized for it. Just following established protocols, so differences to my usual may be apparent.

Away …

Fire from the wood, under the sun … as all things here are.

Short and sweet this week.

Will be back … check out the links top right of page.

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

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The Washing …

Not the prettiest face you ever saw, but she is a beauty. Tireless in her service to our amazing nature.

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I could see no reason for her to be on the ground, no damage or sign of exhaustion. Some things just are.

It took a while for her to steady herself but once up she was inquisitive of her situation, being handled with care.

Raising her up before she fell, time for a shot or two on the way. Quiet little beauty bee, stingless today.

Up on the washing line I had a few clothes. I put her to sit a while and she took to it easy, no worries on her little mind.

Manipulating the cloth for some background and the shot with some detail, she began her cleaning routine.

Wiping down her tongue here, the eyes and antennae get regular attention. Clean and proud is her way.

Careful not to disturb her, my finger the other side of the cloth, shooting from a few inches.

And in the end we take what nature offers. She’s still in charge, despite our best efforts. Trusting intelligence wins out.

Hanging out the washing I noticed movement at my feet. A closer look revealed a honey bee come to rest on the grass. An unusual place for honey bees.

Maybe she was tired from her early morning foraging, just taking a break. More likely she was knocked from the air, as healthy as she looks to be.

After a while I helper her to the jacket I had just hung up, got a few shots and left her to rest, preen and warm up in the sun.

She seemed content to be alive, doing no more than survive as she served her nature, to gather for the hive.

When I came back she was gone. Life moves on, things change, with a little help.

And there’s always some washing to be done.

All’s well in paradise, well enough.

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

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