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Wildlife Whispers...

The Web of Life

by Dee Walmsley, nature writer


Few things appear more perfect in nature than a spider’s web glistening with dew in the early morning sun. Stretch a strand or break the pattern and like a roof without trusses the engineering skills crumble. And so it is in all of nature. Each animal/insect species from the multi-legged centipede to the gigantic bull elephant has a role to play and a duty to perform in a world where we are all inter-connected.

Minute mushrooms spores spread throughout the forests feeding off fallen vegetation speeding up the recycling process that will generate more tall trees.

 Flying squirrels seek out buried truffles and spread their spores, which in turn spawn new growth in the form of trees while other squirrel species hoard their food supplies of nuts and seeds. The uneaten cache sprouts forth creating new forests.

 Slimy slugs slip through the forest recycling animal droppings and other debris while overhead raucous crows scout the land for carrion and human garbage.

Predator and prey as each struggle to survive and maintain a natural quality control link nature’s food chain.

Are humans stretching the strands that bind?
It has been said that trees are the lungs of the earth yet we slash and burn them by the thousands daily leaving behind nothing but smoke-filled air.
We allow chemicals from fertilizer, animal waste, and road run-off to enter our waterways while we view the latest oil spill on the evening news.

We choke on the smog that fills our air then drive to the nearest corner store for another pack of cigarettes to blacken our lungs and those of our children.

We hold world-wide conferences on the environment and shelve the solutions because they aren’t financially feasible.

We pollute, destroy, and poison our environment then study the effects on the wildlife we monitor as environmental indicators.

We submit reports on the domino effects of our lifestyle. The only thing we don’t do is listen.

The animals are doing their part. What will it take for the top of the food chain to stop the tug of war we are causing on the web of life?
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