Chinese Sparrows, Thai Spiders

Thai Society and culture, Living in Thailand.
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parrot
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Chinese Sparrows, Thai Spiders

Post by parrot » November 18, 2015, 1:43 pm

Out for my morning yard stroll.....feeding guppies, trimming, kabitzing with the good land spirits that were here long before us (ปู่หลุบ)........when I saw this spider web. Morning spider webs are pretty common.....sometimes small, but sometimes stretching between two well-spaced trees. This morning's web caught my attention because the center of the web was unlike most others that I see......and on closer inspection, there were four insects caught in the spider's trap. From what I could see, all the insects were different.
Sometimes when I'm in the yard at night with a headlamp, I can see hundreds of tiny fluorescent blue lights in the lawn.......all ground spiders......often leaving a morning web woven into the grass. I know our yard has thousands of spiders......could be many many thousands for all I know.

So that got me to thinking about my time at the Defense Language Institute as a 20 year old studying Chinese with an exiled Kuomintang party member.......now an American citizen teaching young US military students Chinese. He was unlike my other Chinese teachers.......his first order of business was to teach his students the dirtiest words in the language.....most not in our dictionaries. It wasn't uncommon for him to flip off the Chinese branch headmaster if he popped his head into the classroom. And in his class, he told a story of how Mao Zedong led the Four Pests Campaign in the late 50's/early 60's.....to clean up the environment. One of the targeted pests was the common sparrow. And so, many millions of compliant Chinese.....waving their red Mao books, killed a sparrow a day.....until most all the sparrows were gone. Only when locusts ravaged the farmers' fields did they realize the benefits of having sparrows in their fields.........when the farmers previously thought the sparrows were only eating the fruits/seeds of their labor. I've forgotten most all of the Chinese I learned back then.....but I've never forgotten that story.

That story taught me more about the environment than anything I've ever read or heard since. But small reminders like today's spider web reminds me of how those critters all depend on each other for each other's survival.

I took a second photo of the web with a piece of black plastic behind the web......the first photo focused in on the background and the web contents aren't very clear.
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Aardvark
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Chinese Sparrows, Thai Spiders

Post by Aardvark » November 18, 2015, 5:13 pm

As David Attenborough once said "kill all the insects and Man may live a few months. Kill Man and the Insects and the World will flourish" ... enjoy your Insects :D

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