Food Chains, Who Ya Gonna Love?

by Sandy Swegel

 

Spring is such a good time for photos.  All life is bursting forth again and I’m enamored with the newness and uniqueness of everything. Daily I’m getting great email photos of nature showing up for the first time this year.  Some remind me nature can be awfully brutal too. As humans, we get to be at the top of the food chain, except for the occasional clever bear, bobcat, lion or other wild animals. But most of the creatures we love to see in Spring aren’t so lucky.

A clever photo I got this morning reminds me life isn’t so simple further down the food chain.  Nature is full of life and death.  Death mainly because most animals are food sources for new life further up the chain.  Here’s a picture I got this morning of the potential destiny of the cute ladybug I saw in the leaf litter: a photo from last May of a Cordilleran Flycatcher eating a Giant Ladybird Beetle.

Fortunately, nature creates such abundance that there are plenty of aphids and ladybugs and worms and birds and mice and hawks, bunnies and cats and foxes for everyone to eat to survive, reproduce and thrive.  Our opportunities as gardeners are to keep creating natural habitats in places: planting lots of flowers for the insects to eat, and make sure that there’s ample water for insects and bees and birds and mice and hawks and foxes to drink. (I’m not so keen on providing for the raccoons and coyotes.)  And don’t forget to provide hiding places like old dead trees and debris for babies to be born.  Spring brings the cycles of life to our attention.  Pay attention and enjoy!  And stay away from wild beasts that eat humans!

 

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