I was stopped in my tracks this morning by this sight in Lisa's garden. A huge, hairy, ugly spider chomping on a beautiful, innocent butterfly it had wickedly trapped in a web strung slyly by some flowers that the butterflies favor.
But is that what's really going on here? Of course not. The butterfly is not intrinsically "better" or "prettier" than the spider. We humans tend to anthropomorphize and idealize nature all the time.
The duckling is "good" and the Cooper's Hawk that tries to seize it for breakfast is "bad."
The tiger shark is "bad" and "predatory," and the cute little penguins it tries to snatch are "innocent."
Chipmunk = good. Snake = bad.
Nature, of course, could care less about all this. Mr. Spider there has as much "right" to live as the butterfly, and he just got a step up in the game (if you can call it that) of survival and evolution. He -- or she -- is just doing what he or she does. One less butterfly is not necessarily a good thing, but one more spider is not a bad thing, either. Spiders -- and we have oodles of them here at the Lovenest -- play a crucial part in the ecosystem, keeping control of insect pests, among other things.
I have no desire to be bitten by a Black Widow, mauled by a Black Bear, or chomped on by a Black-Tipped Reef Shark. But I wouldn't blame the creature if it happened. Which is more than I can say for human aggressors and predators.