Nature's Place

Of Creatures Past …

twelve from this year just gone.

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The instant before take-off. Just before sunset they seek a roost for the night and may check more than one before settling.

*Click on the pictures for a closer view …

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Lined up on their favourite dead branch just before sleep time. Many native bees sleep this way.

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Saved from a watery grave and looking happy for it, to me anyway.

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Butterfly on a butterfly bush, a rare enough opportunity afforded by a butterfly migration through the area.

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Small wasp depositing her eggs into a not-dead-yet tree. Creatures take every opportunity for habitat.

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Angry ant, testing its mettle against the giant flower beetle. The beetle, impervious, took little notice.

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Wooly weevil on a drying orange skin staked in the garden. Not seen before or since.

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Ambush spider casting a thread into the night. To travel to new places and things, nest site, a mate, food and death …

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Fly at night. It’s a good time to catch them still for a shot, carefully – they still don’t like to be disturbed.

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Brothers perhaps, sleeping on a daisy with nasturtium in the background.

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Nocturnal ant, unusual for Oz an un-armoured ant, also relatively un-aggressive – you can tell by the look of them.

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Midge on the blue butterfly bush at night. Everything has its season, its time. Its time is gone, for now.

Being what they are, doing what they do.

Not a problem in sight …

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

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Spider Hunter

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It was just before the rains, I was walking where the drain runs into a creek, the road into a rainforest.

On the edge of things, you could say. And what did I find but ephemeral form. What else is there in this world …

I was inspecting the concrete wall of the drain below the road when she announced herself, antennae waving, staccato gait.

She was already carrying her burden, a spider, food for her yet to be born young, looking for a suitable nest site to deposit.

Following her wasn’t easy but she did present on a number of occasions, shots taken from a prepared position, lying in wait …

Some things come easy, some you work for. No telling what may be either way until the distortion of resistance is negated.

And in the spirit behind that infamous battle cry down through the ages, god wills it … or not.

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

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Oddballs …

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 in the garden and beyond.

Being what we are.

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

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Creatures Of Night

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Perched on a stick left out for the purpose. A lacewing takes portrait position.

*Click on the pictures, in this case bigger is better …

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Furry fellow, frantic feeder … Anticipating position, speed is key to capture an image of this hyper active moth.

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Salt and pepper moth, but not for eating … except by spiders maybe.

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Monk beetle, because it has that hooded look. Wedge beetle, shy little thing.

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What big eyes … all the better to see in the dark … On my finger.

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A fermenting but still useful orange I staked in the garden attracted this big moth, about 3 inches long.

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The proboscis is actually piercing the orange peel. When she finished I’m sure she was drunk, the way she blundered about.

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Owl Fly, debris of an old butterfly meal evident. Picture of a rose in background to hide the clutter of branches.

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They are predators, big 360′ eyes, hunting the same as a dragonfly. Just not as aerobatic.

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Huntsman, prowling food debris in the garden pile – one of them.

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A different one, front right leg is intact. Sitting for a shot. Amazingly, they can grow new legs.

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Hawk moth? Attracted to the light that had a stick beneath it for the purpose. Provide and they come … sometimes.

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Don’t and they surely won’t. Hawk moth and friend at rest, a hopper of some kind perhaps …

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An occasional visitor to the same light. The only way to see some creatures is attract them.

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Nature’s design … my nature. Thank you for your attention.

You have to go down the garden at night to see these creatures of the dark. You won’t know them otherwise.

Go quietly, disturbing as little as possible on the way, lest they take fright and disappear into the night.

The least disturbance can be enough that they are away, never to be seen again without aid.

And when they are done they are gone, time’s up. Gotta make the most of it or …

When you get close enough, never mind the mozzies, little beauties all.

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

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Spider Mates

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A delicate operation, he delivering his seed while avoiding becoming a nourishing meal.

*Click pictures for closer view …

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Daring fellow … perhaps instinctively balanced between survival and reproduction imperatives.

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She, being relocated on a stick as too close to the orange tail resin bee hotels.

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He is content in his own web, waiting on an unlucky visitor to the butterfly bush. Gotta keep his strength up.

St Andrews Cross spider they’re called. The big colourful female and the relatively small male.

She sits in her web unmoving, he approaches from the other side, the web a barrier and carrier, wary for his life.

Some spiders eat their suitors after mating, food for potential spiderlings, these are probably one of those. Nature is savagely practical.

They reside in different parts of the garden, within their own webs, sitting without anxiety for what may be. No thought for any past or future.

Some spiders must die of hunger this way, become food for another predator, or travel for food and a mate, as they do, fearlessly though no doubt instinctively cautious.

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

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Anomaly …

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After the feast of butterflies, butterfly scales evident, appetite filled and unmoving for a while.

*Click the pictures for a closer look …

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Along came a weevil, looking to sup on the butterfly bush nectar, the spider ignored.

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Perhaps oblivious to the nature of the spider, weevil went exploring under her.

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Or could that be a baby spider … I don’t think so. :-)

After the butterflies came and went this spider was seen with evidence of eating them, butterfly scales around its face.

Along came a weevil the spider ignored, perhaps no longer hungry enough to move. Or weevils don’t taste good to a spider.

I don’t think the spider thinks the weevil is its baby, or the weevil thinks the spider is its mother.

Just one of those things that happen in nature, apparent anomaly.

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

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Silk Traveller

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Running to and fro around the dried orange on a stake in the garden. Inspecting for what, who knows.

*Click on the pictures for a better view …

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Raising his abdomen into the air he casts his sticky thread, adventuring into the unknown …

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Not once into the darkness, but more. What could be his criteria satisfied … does it feel right?

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Then at the other end he rests, how long for who knows … Not long, work still to be done.

There are many ways creatures get around, walking, flying, hopping etc. These spiders use silk.

He climbs to the highest point on his map and casts a thread of silk into the dark night, in his search for food and a mate.

First he thoroughly inspects his platform, running around with no apparent purpose, then raises his abdomen into the air and spins a sticky thread.

Taken on the light breeze, there’s always some movement of air, it lands where it will and off he goes to investigate.

Where he ends up there’s no telling, he leaves and returns along the thread and casts again.

After a while he seems satisfied his destination is reached, for now, and rests a while.

But the threads are still in place, if he needs to return, and to mark where he’s been.

Diligent little thing, never tiring in his purpose.

Way to go …

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

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Butterfly Ball

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The Caper Whites were the most numerous by far. It was their migration.

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And so many other kinds showed up alongside them, like this Skipper, and others.

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Jacaranda is raining across the country.

They came in their millions, these butterfly guys.

Dressed in white, red, blue and … on.

Dancing across the garden, supping as they went.

In waves, one week then two, they filled the air.

Some said it was an accident of the wind they came.

There was no food where they go. A terrible waste.

As with the Jacaranda flowering, right across the country.

I saw a dusting of the world by the magical, celebration earth.

It was east they danced and whirled, to the mystery.

Not west to the mapped mechanical.

There’s a world of difference.

Inside, that inner sense.

Of significance …

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

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Cicada Day

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Having just left the car on my way into the bush I stopped to have a look at a nearby tree and out of the wind a cicada landed on me.

Opportunity, gotta make the most of it, some things only happen once and they’re gone.

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

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