Nature's Place

The Last Bee

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Before : resting undisturbed.

Click on the pix …

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Bigger than she looks.

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Not a comfortable mouthful for a night-time predator.

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And after : back to sleep.

Definitely the last Blue Banded Bee for this year. I have been trying to provide enough for her to survive but I think the cold may get her in the end. I even have a white bowl out with a blue sponge in the middle of it soaked in sugar solution, like a giant flower, so she doesn’t have to fly far first thing on a cold morning to fuel up – haven’t seen her take it yet.

The shots were taken in the dead of a cold night with a reflector under her, so there was less shadow below. It was just a piece of paper attached to the lens by elastic, a bit clumsy really but it worked to a point. I bumped her with it and she protested by spreading her legs that way, as if to say ‘I’m a bigger mouthful than I first looked, and you could choke on my sharp pointy bits’.

They do that when disturbed at night, if it’s cold enough that they don’t fly off to the light, make themselves look bigger. Many creatures do it, cause themselves to appear bigger than they are, or an uncomfortable mouthful, until the threat is gone.

It’s a working strategy people also employ when feeling threatened. Nature … it’s our nature after all.

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

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Click the pix, they open in a new tab and are meant to be seen a little bigger.

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… in a cold landscape. Too active until recently, too warm, too fast. They depend on temperature for their activity.

This one surrendered to the inevitable, or didn’t even notice as it wandered about the leaf litter one day.

Once on the twig it was only a matter of time before it stopped where I could get the angle.

Background is important too but you take what’s going and move on without stress.

Relaxed is important too …

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

 

Time Flies

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Click pictures for a bigger version, a better view.

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Just the two left now, out of 20 or so. The cold and scarcity of food has killed off most of the tribe of Blue Banded Bees.

Such is living in a seasonal world, and they have prepared for it by laying the seed of next years marvellous little creatures.

There is intelligence behind such design and planning, it’s not just a cascade of effects of effects of effects.

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Work your way back to now, through the sensation, and before any effect is space.

That’s gotta be significant … a sense of space.

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

 

Banana Drama …

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Aggression as communication. Occasionally the giant beetle glanced in the ants direction. Well aware of each other.

*Click the pictures …

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Aware but not intimidated, armoured as she is. The ants were focussed on the beetle as she continued eating regardless.

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The ants settled down and now and then one would come to inspect the giant, perhaps to bathe in its quiet presence.

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At some point it all got disturbed and the beetle came to life, other than eating, and I got a few shots for the record.

The Chafer Beetles have had their fill, only one to the fermenting banana this week, and only for a day or so.

The little black ants are also retreating from the cold, plus it has been overcast for a couple days, so colder too.

Had a look just after sundown and there was a Gecko lapping up the banana juice, may account for the missing beetles.

Quite an active little world, the railing on the veranda.

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

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In one end, out the other. So hungry they dug in and ignored the ants who made the most of the fresh opening.

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Rare enough, to catch one with its face out of the banana. These 1st 3 pictures were taken with a zoom + achromat.

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The banana dried tough in dry winter sun so the ants had to go where the beetles made a fresh break in the ‘skin’.

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These 2 taken with a broken macro lens. Double image, an aperture blade in the lens tore and jammed the action.

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Still got some of the better pictures with it, though just curiosities now. Lens has gone for repair – we’ll see …

The cold has come to Brisbane and the garden is bereft of its aerial inhabitants, not much to be seen at all.

So I put a piece of over-ripe banana out to see what happens, and they came from all corners for the feast.

A hidden tribe of flower beetles descended upon the banana in the sun, dug in and haven’t let go yet.

That was Monday, this is Thursday and there’s still three or four of what was ten or more at one point.

A welcome entertainment as the winter garden closes down in preparation for maintenance, naturally.

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Clearly they use sense to detect the presence of food. I’m sure it wasn’t broadcast any other way, it just makes sense.

Does the making of sense encourage the sensing of things that are now, as distinct from thinking about …

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

 

Sand …

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Click pictures for a better view.

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Fiddler Beetle, visiting the butterfly bush earlier in the year – it’s been a dry year.

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Only came the once I saw …

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… to feed on the abundant yellow flower’s sweet nectar.

… is where ‘s’ea meets l’and’. It must be so, how it came to be called sand. It just makes sense.

However, the most memorable experience of my recent few days away from the familiar was the sensation of sand being sucked by tide from beneath my feet, as I walked in the sunshine along the edge where earth falls to the deep.

The roar of waves breaking along the shore as I lay in the dark of night, on the other edge of the deep, inside.

Bright moonlight in a dark star filled sky, lighting up the midnight beach.

Cool misty morning air hanging over the dew soaked trail.

The simple things that please without excitement.

The feel of sand is what sensation looks like.

Welcome to my new world order …

… of sense, in ancient ways.

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

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The same bee from different angles on different days, times and ambient light.

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… one.

Winter is coming and the bees are struggling to hang on. Regardless of the conditions they, she, can be found at dusk on the same grass stem as yesterday.

As summer ends their numbers are no longer replenished. The young won’t waken until the temperature rises again and the moisture in the air increases.

The colder it gets the less they eat and fly, the colder they get, the quicker they die. Much like us people … better keep the camera warm or it’s me next.

And next year, as long as the conditions are right, there will be more bees to participate in the great cycle of things we know as nature.

Thank you bee, it’s been fun following you around since spring. See you next year I trust, maybe plant some flowers for you.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click on those pictures for a closer look
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Meditation – Once More

Every now and again I offer to teach meditation locally and the ad has gone into the local paper and there have been a few calls. One from Dulci, who has been before in years past, and others who are new to me and perhaps this meditation.

When and if it takes place is entirely up to the people who want to take part. I can be flexible on timing up to a point, and because there are no costs involved doing it from home there is no charge. I prefer to leave money out of it anyway.

Anyone who sees the need for peace of mind can do this meditation. It’s far simpler than it reads. So, if you are reading this and are local and want to learn contact me and we’ll take it from there.

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A niche Orb Spider with a web where no fly would find it, between high ridges of bark on a tree.

*Remember to click the pictures for a better sense …

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Nature knows best for nature. Or something’s not right … don’t believe that for a minute.

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An unusual find in the long grass, a Flower Beetle at rest at end of day, at end of season.

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Tiny Jumping Spider, lives and hunts on the vertical, usually found on trees often stalking wandering ants.

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Surprise, a piece of forest fruit against the darkening sky through the oof (out of focus) forest canopy.

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This will be a Ladybird soon, still forming inside her shell.

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A giant Robber Fly resting in the afternoon. Time enough for 2 shots and it was away.

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Larva of some kind, can’t recall now, munching away on gum tree leaf.

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They flick that tail when disturbed. Probably as well not to cuddle it.

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Cockroach, shy and elusive. Not the kind to enter the house and eat your food.

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Mother Shield Bug. Hiding her brood from me. Maternal instinct at work in the smallest creatures.

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And back in the garden, a Harlequin Fly – yes, just made it up.

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Tiny jet black Weevil. Almost too small to shoot and feature.

These pictures are of the odd ones that aren’t often posted these days. There is something remarkable about each, in their way. It’s nature’s common variety of weird and wonderful we don’t often see.

It is a form of meditation to really look at something, an image for instance. If you focus on seeing without thinking you’ll see what I mean. Thinking is in most cases always trying to get in on the act.

See the colour, the form, look into the detail. See or sense the space it all happens in. That’s all sense. And you can do this in any situation, any time or place that doesn’t actually require thinking for it to be or happen.

The way to keep thinking out is to keep coming back to seeing. Focus on seeing. Look, don’t think, by constantly returning to seeing or sensing. After a while thinking fades as a compulsion and in time it becomes a pleasure to do this.

Looking at these images is one form of meditation. Another is smelling the flowers, feeling the breeze, hearing the birds – or anything that requires the focus of attention on one sense or another, that you can exercise ‘not thinking’ in.

This focusing of attention on sense, on the ‘outer’, is the reciprocal of and complimentary to the focus of attention on the ‘inner’ sensation of the body. The tingling or pressure that is always there, which you probably already observe to some degree.

It is this focus on the inner that eventually, in time, amounts to sustainable peace of mind. Peace from the thinking mind and the emotion thinking stirs. What other peace is there a need of, really. If there is inner peace then surely the outer must follow.

Once you get the idea you’ve got it, it never leaves you so you never have to depend on another to be able to do it again. Though, until you master the practise, it does help to be guided by someone who has done it before you.

As in all things …

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

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Rising for flight, not ready yet to sleep.

Click the Pictures for a better view.

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Noble creature, in the absence of ignobility, what else.

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Jostling for position, an existential need as night rolls in.

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Hazardous foraging, resin? stuck on its mouth.

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Lined up for sleep, on their current favourite dying flower stem.

Around the old field of bees, now under a foot of wood chips, and new plantings. Remnants of the ancient orders survive, the ancient Orders of Bee.

Out of the wilding darkness they came, in swarms, in oh so ancient of days. To do the bidding of the Lord of the Earth, to set all of the flowers free.

Set to their task untiring, up with the rising of sun, to and fro through the day they would wander,’til rest at last in the cradling peace of Thee.

At sleep or death, the little ones have a silent cry, of joy. To rest at last in the peace of Thee.

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