Nature's Place

Droning On …

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8 seems like a lot but I couldn’t leave out any more.

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Tough little creatures these Hoppers, careful handling required.

The new Butterfly Bush, six of them, are coming along nicely. One has been flowering for a week and the scent is divine, the colours dark and rich. That’s to me, who knows what the little people see and smell. Probably the same in their way.

I got the plants early in the year off ebay, grown in Victoria, and put them straight in the ground a couple months ago, with space for them to expand, and they are all doing well. I’ll have to do a post on just the flowers, with their different and wonderful colours and scents they deserve it.

For now though I want to introduce you to the Drone Fly, lover of the flower’s nectar. A female I’m sure, with clearly separated eyes,who dropped by and surprised me one day as I was checking for infestations – I have been getting hoppers congregating and mating on new stems of the two golden flowered bushes and I don’t want them destroyed.

What I do is grasp two or three hoppers at a time, sidelong between thumb and forefinger, carefully as they have some microscopic thorny growth, and throw them away with any wind to ensure they don’t directly return. As I watch them disappear against the sky they take wing and change direction, like tiny helicopters, usually toward the big palm tree nearby. Then, a day or so after, I do it again …

It’s a necessary process to keep the plants healthy as they grow. I can’t use insecticide, that would be silly since I want to photograph bugs, unnecessarily criminal even. Well, it would be if we valued the little people as we should. I enjoy going around the garden anyway, and everything I do there is of value, in a sense.

We should value them because they do enormous work, but we don’t because we don’t see it, and that will cost us … If ever there was a case for the need of faith insects are it. Have faith they are necessary, even vital, and enjoy their presence that is often delightful, when time is taken to observe them at play.

Giving them space, not too much to the destroyers – our nature has been unbalanced by our interference, and anything else they need for their well-being, and they will entertain all day long without robbing the larder.

They love nothing better than to show off their colours, form and flying skills, and other not so unusual but often surprising behaviour …

Faith, all is as it should be … And if something needs changing, change it will – where there is willing, or not.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click a picture for a closer look
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Golden Head

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The big bods are arriving to the garden now, about 5” long this one, and there is plenty to eat this year so no need to evict them to the neighbours, yet. :-)

A Locust I believe, perched on the veranda, cautious but unafraid. She backed up from the lens so I manoeuvred her and eventually got some nice background in the frame – employing behaviour that appears undesirable to the inexperienced.

But no need to push it. At the angle she was and with what I had with me at the time there were only a few shots available. The upper body/thorax and head portrait is most expressive, for a Locust, and I thought the foot especially interesting.

Armoured, both for gripping and striking. Those sprung legs are strong enough to propel the heavy beast into the air, and those spurs are capable of penetrating and damaging the strongest of attackers.

It’s wild out there …

© Mark Berkery ……. Click a picture for a closer look
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Spring Time

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Plants in the garden are reaching for the sky, and in every other direction. Small creatures are reaching for the plants, from every direction. And spring has only just begun.

Ride that falling leaf and see the earth … from one perspective anyway.

It’s time for the new.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click a picture for a closer look
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Coloured Light

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Walking the garden at night with a torch, to see what shows, here and there a little reflective colour glows.

Holding on upside down, a precarious perch, for you or for me, nowhere to go but for certain, of thought it is free.

And after the flash fired and lit up the night, again and again, I went to bed, everything to me was all right.

When from my darkened sleep I went, there she still was, as the sun rose, the night rent, holding a silent pose.

The colour did burst anew, yellow rose, or sun, who knows, hit the flash again for a few.

Then, as the work done was my best, I thought I would give it a rest.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click a picture for a closer look
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Watering The Ants

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This nocturnal ant handicapped by the dented head.

Here in Oz the ant is in charge of turning the earth, as in other places it is the worm. That’s how it looks to me. Everywhere I look there are ants, always on the move, busy, busy, busy. They are better built for working the dry soil, with a little help from the occasional rain.

There are so many kinds of ant I have lost track, as if I was ever so inclined. Here are a few I invited to stop for a picture, by placing a drop of sugar-water along their path.

Every thing works its patch, you and me included. And everything needs the right kind of nourishment.

A little nectar is a passing heaven, to an ant.

Sensational …

© Mark Berkery ……. Click a picture for a closer look
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A Shooting Star

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Click the picture for a bigger version.

A crop of above, for the unbelievers … :-)

Was this Jewel Bug blessed by a shooting star, or was it the photographer or the reader of this, or was it the earth it passed over? Does it matter … all that perceive are affected, by the perceived and the perception, nothing stays the same after the cosmic touch. It matters …

In ancient days, when we were less rigidly rational and perhaps more intuitively romantic, we saw significance in small things. The flight of a bird, the twist of a gust of wind or a falling star. Everything has meaning if you can read it, and it helps to know what others have seen.

What it means is subjective, personal, a matter of context. Such things as shooting stars are universal and as old as the sky above our heads and their meaning has been intuited in various ways, divined in a mind as clear and magnificent as the night sky. Your mind …

So reading the universal is aided and coloured by the context of the reader. I looked up where in our culture the shooting star has occurred and the instance that spoke was this : ‘And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.’

Looking down, or up, within,  see that ancient sky and all it contains now, as clear as mind can be. … are you a shooting star burning up with a flash of mystical purpose, or a rational meteorite.

Mystical purpose is a burning meteor, you wouldn’t know it to look at.

Cosmic symbolism in the ordinary life … nothing too serious.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click the pix for a closer look

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Dragon Days

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Still, in the heat of the day, overseeing its territory from rest, no less dangerous for that, to the other airborne creatures hereabouts – the vast canyons of bright empty space surrounded by deep wells of dark shadow.

To the Dragon I was invisible, a trick of being, not being anything a Dragon would fear. In the ever moving colour and form of the psyche everything is connected, and when ‘the time is right’ one thing knows another, inside.

The smaller the creature, the more distant the relationship, the less direct or immediate the connection. But the Dragon knew me, like Dragon knows Dragon, nothing to reflect on. Nothing to resist, no separation.

In being. In form it’s another matter, everything going its own way, clashing and thrashing, killing and dying, as some thing, Dragon or man.

The trick, or knack, is to slow down enough inside to slip into nowhere, as no-thing, at will, and still function some where, as some thing, outside.

A life’s work, for a man. Dragon does it naturally.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click the pix for a closer look
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Things That Fly …

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Zebra Bee. Ok, not really. A native resting on a cold afternoon.

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An unusual fly warming up by the light at night.

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Too cold to fly away, resting on the grass.

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Racing Red and blue/black winged Wasp.

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Long legged fly enjoying the rotting fruit.

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Red Assassin Bug, hunting on the flowers other creatures eat.

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Bee echo …

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Assassin nymph chasing native bee.

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Hoverfly in the spiders grasp. Bye, bye fly.

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Mating time for the ants.

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Doli fly in the afternoon.

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Honey Bee meets Spider, usually ends bad for the bee – which is good for the spider.

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Mighty wasp. She was seeking nesting sites around the ants feasting on fruit.

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Asleep in the field, not far to travel for breakfast.

Things that get overlooked, in the garden or field and on the computer. There are so many images of encounters that are never seen but once.

It may serve as a reminder of the unique character of the individuals within the one amazing nature, everything with a place.

Nothing remains the same, even when change is imperceptibly incremental the movement is always towards ‘better’.

As long as we don’t give in to the dark side, and even that serves, has its place.

And time runs out, things die, nothing remains to change.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click the pix for a closer look
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Honey Bee Central

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Individuals from three visits over the past month or so, where the creek crosses the track in Venman. They come in waves from the hive, fill up at the waters edge and home again.

Hunkered down on the side of the track, off the landing zone and out of the flight path, watching for any nearby bee at the right angle and situation for a shot or two.

Careful not to kneel or lean on one, don’t want to kill or get stung, dipping the lens tip to the water at times for a bees eye view. Hat on in case of accidents from behind, listening for the tell-tale buzz from what can’t be seen.

Air traffic observation. A flurry of landings, a scattering of take offs, coming and going in apparent confusion with rare collision until, all of a sudden, nothing. Quiet space.

A gap in the busy work of the bee, it seems, and the mind at work with them dies, no more to take my attention.

Time to look to the sense, in between.

Mind the gap …

© Mark Berkery ……. Click the pix for a closer look

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