Nature's Place

Masked Bee

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Click the pictures for the bigger – and better – version.

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Twice this year these bees have presented. They are usually too shy for a shot but circumstances dictate. And then there’s luck, what nature, or what’s it called behind, will …

The one on my finger was rescued from the water, of which there are various locations in the garden. The other landed on top of one of the bee hotels and set to preening itself, out of the way of the passing populace, some of which are predators.

A small window on the life of one of my garden friends. A passing pleasure, watching nature’s delightful little robots.

I bet they age just like me and you.

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

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Click on any picture for a bigger version in a new tab, they do look better.

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Down the old haunts where nobody goes there is an old tree that nobody knows. It’s a dead tree, full of life that can’t be seen while searching with a wanting eye, or nose …

Then, when the gasping trying goes the still and quiet comes and one appears, to let the shooting begin. Carefully, no grasping, so as not to disturb the native ears.

Once begun, as shooting is under way and one has had enough and moves away, the other visitors to the tree present, one by one, for a picture, to represent.

And so it goes … While the shooter is busy seeing what’s there the visitors are busy with their own search, of what’s in the air and under the surface. I’m sure they have a care.

For what they find is no small thing, to them, danger or boon will cause them to sing, in their way. Have you ever heard a shield-bug cry out, or have a fling …

Well, they don’t remember the pain to compare so shout for joy they don’t. Except in pain they may cry, that none can avoid. The experience is true though, the same for I, or you.

The difference being they don’t interpret and start to think, to keep them from the brink, of suffering man who cannot help but sink.

But it’s not the end, just something along the way, until thinking no longer holds sway.

And that, my friend, is another story, for another day.

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

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After a few days rain dead things come to life. Deserts turn to flower. It’s a resurrection of sorts. Water does that, breaks the run, of baking heat and absent form.

Walking in the old places, still shooting above the waist, at first there was nothing to be seen. Where is all the life gone …

Stopping still long enough to examine an old leafless tree, still standing, nothing. Then she walked into view.

Over the horizon she came, and after some examination planted her egg, another burgeoning form.

Is there really such a thing as an old dead tree. Or is death always the ‘other’ side …

Where no imagination can go. Here and now.

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

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Mouldy rotten fruit is heaven to some. Like these long legged Weevils. It’s a tiny creature, to about 5/6mm long, and plentiful when there is some old fruit to feed on. They just show up and congregate, on the wing – FIFO.

Periodically I leave something out for those that enjoy it. A pear on the balcony railing – more suited to the ants and flies, or an orange spiked on a post in the garden and left to age in the elements. Way to bait some nature, bring it out from its dark corners.

That’s the way of old emotion sometimes, needing to be baited by circumstance in order for it to be exposed to be resolved – gotta know what to do with it too, if anything.

If, as with the Weevil, you take a high resolution picture of it, without allowing distraction by any other process of mind – blur – emotion will either tell you what to do about it, or fade away.

Seeing it, properly – by focussed attention, it’s not me … You can eat it once and for all.

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

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A string of bees. With the spiders closing in more than 20 have moved to my side of the fence.

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A female, four blue bands, a little disturbed so I only took a few shots.

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The same little beauty from a different angle, and bg.

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Once more unto the depths. Out of the water with a tiny hitch hiker – springtail?

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And she’s on the move … being a bee.   —   Click the pix.

… or not. Is that a question?

The bees have no problem. It’s the not …

Bees to the left of me, bees to the right.

It’s the being down the middle that matters.

Ho, ho …

© Mark Berkery ……. Click those pictures for a closer look
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New Wave Bugs …

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Squatting the Sunflower.

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Passing through.

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Loves anything of the Nightshade family.

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Impeccable hunter.

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Never gives up.

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And raring to go again.

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Depositing an egg to live off another.

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Sap sucker.

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Golden Orb Weaver.

The garden went dry for a while, nothing to be seen for weeks. Now it’s populated again, all the young have grown it seems. And I can’t bend forward yet to capture most. But here’s a few from a height.

The Grasshoppers can have the Sunflower, lives in the maturing head apparently – better watch out for the visiting Mynas. The Ladybug Potato Beetle can have the Melon Vine, food for others too.

Jumping Spider lives and hunts in the Passion-fruit Vine, Soldier Fly for this meal. Another Bee rescued from a watery grave, vigorous little thing.

The Wasp laying in the Orange Tail Bee’s nest, she only does what’s natural to her. Bug sucking on the Bird of Paradise. Hmmm …

Golden Orb Weaver lays in wait to catch them all, gets fat doing it, 4” leg span, stickiest web around.

Nothing is alien to the garden, or it’s all alien.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click those pictures for a closer look
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To The Rescue …

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Clinging to the rescue straw.

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Catching the breeze on the edge of a leaf.

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Jeez, that was close mate. You ok?

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Don’t fall off now, that wind is strong.

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No worries, just catching it to dry the wings.

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Ahh, it’s nice here in the warm sun.

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Thanks for the help mate.

The rain came and with it the ready bees in the hotel under the veranda burst out into the world of sense, colour, scent, form, sound and the touch of another.

They wait for a few days after enough rain so there would be conditions conducive to survival, moisture and food in the form of flowers. And of course resin to build and seal their nests with – in the case of the Orange Tail Resin Bees.

It had been a while since there were many of these bees flying around the garden, it being so hot and dry I suspect as cause, and then I started seeing them. One here and there, and then I went looking around the hotels and started finding them floating in the watering cans – I leave them sitting for the chlorine to evaporate.

Can’t have that, so started a rescue mission and retrieved five or six from a watery end over a couple days, two pairs – my early morning sleeplessness as advantage. Set out some water they can land on and take off from, and no more bees in the cans, so far. This is during the last week, after I got out of hospital and was supposed to be doing nothing at all.

Hospital was a rescue of a different kind, really. A Dr Charles Nankivell (surgeon @ Redlands Hosp) headed a team that I like to refer to as stellar. In fact my experience of the process from reception to discharge was that. Only the good shone for me, the other didn’t make it in, though it did knock.

In ‘a way’ the surgical team get the easy end, after introductions the patient is usually drugged to numbness to one degree or another, though I suspect they have their difficult ones, stressed out at the prospect of being under the knife is probably not uncommon.

The nurses that manage the aftermath are exceptional creatures too, each in their own way demonstrating quiet efficiency while doing the job of a diplomat, keeping everyone in the game, regardless of disposition.

It was a powerful experience, surrender of my life into the hands of strangers, and the care and kind professionalism with which I was handled …

… as if I were a baby loved.

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

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You’ve heard the saying ‘as within so without’?

I’ve been observing this flower spike grow for the last few months. It must be the slowest growing flower I have seen, and everything in its time. There were a few scale bugs sucking on its sap and a few ants farming the bugs for their ‘dew’. A little world of inter-dependence, or exploitation – ants feed off the bugs, mind interprets it. Meaning is mutable with perspective, fact is fact.

I don’t do flowers much but that might change, who knows, change emerges in time with experience. Flowers don’t run away and hide, I can pick one if there’s enough in the ground or container and bring it to my level for comfort, and take longer if necessary to get composition and background right, time to experiment, time to play. Some obvious considerations.

They are another class of life-form, different to the mobile, often camouflaged, action oriented insects I am predisposed towards, and perhaps under-appreciated by me so far. More passive, stationary, receptive and often loudly advertising their qualities in colour and form which makes them relatively easy to find, though not so easy to capture well.

And though it can’t be captured for re-presentation scent, the invisible but still sensible, is a characteristic not much acknowledged – being bred out in some cases. Some are very ordinary, to my nose, and some are exquisite, transporting even. The right flower at the right time gently smelled serves as a reminder of real beauty, the beauty inside.

Yes, I think I will give more attention to the flowers. It may be an inevitability whose time has come and no doubt the practise and art will evolve if I involve myself in it. We’ll see, it’s still just a possibility.

The quality of the received is in the giving, of attention in the first instance, without which nothing is.

It’s why it is said ‘what you acknowledge you get’.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click those pictures for a closer look
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On The Edge …

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Mating Leaf Beetles. A grandstand view, picked for the shot, replaced and then they were off up the tree.

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Come into my arms … says the Clown Spider to the …

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Steampunk style? One of Gill’s finds.

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We thought this wasp was in trouble, dying maybe. She was so lethargic and approachable. See her other side.

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On the abdomen is a small crater-like wound, weeping from under the fold, and swollen. She has been parasitised and the alien life form is growing.

of the dark vasty deep, of the water treatment plant. Some say an off smell drifts from it but I only smell the sweetness of the earth, with the occasional whiff of active water – can’t smell ‘off’.

Gill and I started in the garden and there was not much to shoot at all, probably something to do with heat and dry – not much rain this year, and rising temperatures. Not encouraging.

So it was off to the local hot spot and though there wasn’t a lot to be found there was more than I could have anticipated, or seen alone.

Bugs were mating in the shade, some bugs dying too, and others just looking fantastic.

Magical nature, deeply touched. The earth turns on this stuff.

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