Breath Of Ecology

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Yesterday, when I saw a tiny spider crawling up my arm I was immediately tempted to swat it as a nuisance, but then became aware of what a remarkable creature it was.


I was suddenly amazed at those eight, almost microscopic, legs carrying it at a speed that we could never reach on our legs, the intricacy of its muscular system, as well as its digestive and reproductive systems.


Also, all of those yards of silk it was carrying inside, capable of producing a masterpiece of a web, woven with such care and patience. How could I put such a remarkable tiny creature out of existence with a careless swat?


There are 45,000 species of spiders found all over the world, ranging from .011" to 12", but actually, the only really dangerous ones are the black widows and brown recluses.


Not only are the vast majority harmless to humans, they are very important in controlling the insect population which could devastate our crops.


Unless you see a furry, foot-long tarantula - whose lifespan can be as long as 25 years - in your house, maybe you should think twice about swatting the one crawling around.

Written by:  Sr. Joel:  a Dominican Sister of Peace who lives in Springfield, KY.  She is a native of New Orleans  and has been a teacher, school and parish administrator, social worker, religious educator, and missionary.  She has written "Breath of Ecology" for local newspapers and has published a book under the same title.

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