Nature's Place

The Strangest Thing …

1-P1080600_filtered Mark Berkery

What I could get in a couple seconds, with leaf as background contrast.

2-P1080605_filtered Mark Berkery

Shifted positions slightly, had the time for the angle.

3-P1080608_filtered Mark Berkery

And the shot I wanted, because she stayed long enough and I didn’t shock her sensibilities.

Looking at the comings and goings in the garden recently I noticed a Blue Banded Bee behaving oddly. It isn’t unusual to see them land on a leaf’s edge, stretch their legs and preen for a second or two, or buzz the leaf’s edge or surface as they continue flying along it, but this one stopped as if it was time to sleep.

As soon as I saw it I moved in to take the shot I could get, then I moved a little for the angle I wanted. I didn’t think I’d have the time for that but she – four bands means its a female – was still in position so I went for the shot I wanted, with a little careful adjustment of elements – side on with a good clean background.

And she still didn’t move. Then, as I stood back, she began to fly but couldn’t get enough lift and fell to the grass. I went looking for her but she had disappeared into the forest at my feet and I don’t know what happened next.

A bee in this situation would normally climb the nearest grass stem and use it to launch from but I didn’t see her again. Sometimes the body just doesn’t get back up, sometimes the eye just doesn’t see.

Me? Not there yet, but looking at inevitability from my grass stem … :-)

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

*

Hemispherical Living …

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to live in a hemisphere?

Nor do I. But since I brought it up let’s have a look.

2-P1090382_filtered Mark Berkery

The Thinking Beetle.

Hmmm! That feels … truncated, like half a sphere would.

Maybe it’s spherical living that’s over-rated, living in a head for instance.

5-P1090652_filtered Mark Berkery

Ooh, what’s that?

What’s it like living in a spherical head then?

Well, first of all, can I actually fit in a head I can imagine? I don’t think so.

1-P1090190_filtered Mark Berkery

Oh, never mind …

And there’s the catch, thinking of living in or as anything is very limiting.

7-P1090658_filtered Mark Berkery

Straight down to business.

Thinking is limiting …

© Mark Berkery

*

The Three Hombres …

The Three Hombres … A post here wouldn’t be complete without pictures.

Some of the latest visitors to the garden, a trio of beetles on the pink Crucifix Orchid. They aren’t found anywhere else in the garden, that I can reach.

It just shows, there is a place and time for everything. In the garden, or the field, there are tides of things, living and dead, the coming and the going of the forms of life.

Within the tides there are eddies and currents, splashes and sprays. It’s a wonderful thing, not knowing what’s coming on the next wave.

Out of the mystery she flows …

P1080100_filtered Mark Berkery

P1080080_filtered Mark Berkery

P1080073_filtered Mark Berkery

P1080186_filtered Mark Berkery

P1080154_filtered Mark Berkery

P1080109_filtered Mark Berkery

P1080222_filtered Mark Berkery

P1080219_filtered Mark Berkery

P1080252_filtered Mark Berkery

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

*

Gypsy Spider …

She’s back … At the beginning of September this year I went out into the garden to have a look around, it was near enough 1.00am. There hadn’t been much to shoot and it occurred to me to take the camera with me, not unusual that.

And there she was, the first place I looked, sitting in meditative pose atop a small daisy bud. A tiny ghost spider, bright against the dark of the night.

P1020066_filtered Mark Berkery

Since then she has come and gone across the garden, from daisy to butterfly bush to sunflower, chia, coneflower and round again. Through torrential rain, baking sun and howling winds …

P1070912_filtered Mark Berkery

Every time I see her she has grown, and every now and then I come across pockets of young crab spiders, some hers I suspect. Some numbers dead in a tray under one of the bee hotels.

P1070384_filtered Mark Berkery

Currently she is resident on the yellow butterfly bush, one leg missing and bolder than ever – age and experience showing. She lets me get very close now without much sign of alarm or resistance.

P1060819_filtered Mark Berkery

I trust she lives a while longer, fulfilling her purpose of nature’s intelligent instinctive desire, albeit unconsciously, and we will meet again in the garden.

P1050959_filtered Mark Berkery-001

All the good is in the garden, or the garden is all the good, an other time and place … inside.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click a picture for a closer look
*

*

What A Feast …

P1050411_filtered Mark Berkery

P1050892_filtered Mark Berkery

P1060055_filtered Mark Berkery

P1060650_filtered Mark Berkery

P1060344_filtered Mark Berkery

… the garden is. In more ways than one, I know.

To the senses a delight, of colour and form, scent and texture. Then just a little closer and …

… nature knows no pity, no sentimentality, just survival and reproduction. Only the fittest, the fastest, the craftiest endure.

And the wild formless intelligence behind it cannot be denied, while no thing, no body, lasts longer than its time.

I had a dream … that turned out to be a nightmare.

Now I don’t dream any more.

And the dream goes on.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click a picture for a closer look
*

*

Noble Visitors …

P1060468_filtered Mark Berkery

P1060479_filtered Mark Berkery

P1060438_filtered Mark Berkery

It’s another record year, never been 2015 before, as far as we are aware.

And in the garden it’s been another record, but who’s counting … I can’t help noticing the increase in variety and numbers of insect visitors, especially now the butterfly bushes are flowering and a few years work with the soil is bearing fruit.

It is said the Stag is a noble beast – I remember that from somewhere. Maybe it comes from the old English kings practise of hunting them, they had to be noble for kings to hunt them …

But really, kings are just ordinary men dressed up. Every body is of noble blood, all god – whatever that is – made. And the antlered beetle is no exception.

All god made things, and all things god made. To exclude one is to invite conflict to the mind.

Try maintaining a prejudice, a psychological position, without some conflict appearing.

As within, so without. And nothing is absolute, both ways …

© Mark Berkery ……. Click a picture for a closer look
*

*

Raiders On The Tom’s …

P1060400_filtered Mark Berkery

P1060414_filtered Mark Berkery

P1060406_filtered Mark Berkery

P1060418_filtered Mark Berkery

P1060423_filtered Mark Berkery

They’re back, the dreaded fruit fly – dreaded by some because they destroy the harvest. I see them as a photo opportunity, since I don’t expect so am not disappointed.

I have a few tomato plants at different locations in the garden and at just one site something has been taking big bites out of some growing fruit and opening the way for so many others to feast.

This years garden is burgeoning beyond bounds. Plants overgrowing others to their apparent detriment. I just do a little pruning, dead-heading, and trust it works out for the best. The insects are loving it.

And oddly – not for me but against the usual thinking, I see the insects as a good sign, all is well in my garden. Because that’s nature and my garden is me ‘out there’. As within so …

I find if I let what must be alone ‘enough’, inside and out, it doesn’t take more than its share of the available space and things are in balance, not too much or too little of anything.

Equilibrium, who could ask for more?

I know, I know …

© Mark Berkery ……. Click a picture for a closer look
*

*

She …

P1050657_filtered Mark Berkery

She lies in wait, unmoving … threads on the blue to tell and trap or trip.

P1050699_filtered Mark Berkery

Capture … seen first from below, or upside down.

P1050726_filtered Mark Berkery

From above … after a little manipulation, careful not to alarm her.

P1050754_filtered Mark Berkery

A bountiful day … for the spider queen.

P1050758_filtered Mark Berkery

The discarded husk, falls from the blue, form without much life, emptied of nourishment.

waits by the flower for her love, a need of food to sustain her, in this time of reproduction, instinctively without self-conscious calculation.

The blue flower embroidered with her silk, the better to do her job of capture and eat, to feed the young, potential in her.

Red Nasturtium papers the walls of her minds eye, bees and flies the action in her unoccupied space.

Perpetual nature, incomplete in mortal form, knowledge to the seeing eye.

Thank you for the perfect little things.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click a picture for a closer look
*

*

Ambush …

P1040997_filtered Mark Berkery

P1040841_filtered Mark Berkery

P1040984_filtered Mark Berkery

P1040848_filtered Mark Berkery

Everything needs to eat, it’s fundamental to existence. Things die so other things can live, that’s the way it is in the closed system of energy the earth is. It’s basically an exchange of energy from one form to another. That’s just nature the way it is, no problem.

Spiders have various methods of capture, too many to go into here and I am disinclined to too many words these days anyway, words without purpose – why write again what someone has already done well enough.

Right now though there is this ambush spider active in the garden, a few in fact, and though they are known to take on the colourings of their particular hunting environment, for camouflage no doubt, this one stands in stark contrast.

It can get away with this because of the structure of the flowers, it can slip in between and beneath so as to almost disappear to the unwary eye. It must be effective since the spider, let’s call it he, he is still alive after a week or so and growing bigger all the time.

I have also recently seen a starkly white spider sitting on purple flowers catch a blue green fly as it came within reach, focus for a short time on immobilising the prey before pulling it into the comfortable shelter of the flowers. An amazing display of speed and dexterity in colour, clearly intelligent, to me.

At another time I saw it miss its prey and slip back into hiding, without a sign of emotion, disappointment, sullenness or regret. Most creatures have no discernible emotion, behaving primarily from instinct, but nevertheless are as clever as any person – it is our nature after all, clever, cunning, savage. Not what we like to believe, I know.

There is nothing we are that isn’t already in nature, as much as we like to think we are special. What makes us special is the potential to transcend all that in the clarity of being – our ‘other’ nature, a place of stillness inside uncluttered by thought or emotion, imagery and its genesis. But it’s not for everyone, apparently.

Relative to what I know people can be, in my own experience, nature, for all its manifest savagery, is at least honest. Not imagining it is something it is not, it can be itself without the problem of emotion imagining generates, you can’t have the up without the down – that’s not something I made up, and the delusional complications that arise from it. A problem to which the solution is so simple, to love – not as easy as it sounds.

But, just as the spider has little to no self awareness beyond it’s immediate needs, so is the person but with an expanded cognizance of what those needs are – is what makes us think we’re special. And that’s all right, for the person – every thing has its time, and the spider – who can be no other way.

He still hasn’t caught a bee as far as I know, loved it in her way. I don’t think he’s big or strong enough, perhaps not venomous enough. And he knows it, so he only goes for the certain kill.

Or the bees are just too fast for that form of love, of a spider. Remember how quick you got out of the way of that ‘danger’, bees are quicker, more intelligent, having no ‘minding’ in the way.

Can we get back to that state before mind as random thinking and emotion, with all its accumulated experience.

Can we love that clarity enough to do what is necessary and what is essential to make it incorruptible.

That’s the only question, what matters, for me. Everything else is noise.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click a picture for a closer look
*

*