Spider on the Web | WWF

Spider on the Web



Posted on 27 March 2021
Children part of the Sigatoka's National Sand Dune's conservation camps learning about the importance of nature and the need to protect it.
© Jason Tutani

Spider on the Web

Today, I share a short poem, titled ‘Spider on the Web’, written a few years back when I was learning the ropes of my profession.
 
I was inspired during one of my patrols to the National Park’s only stand of Dry Forest, called the Driodrio Forest. ‘Driodrio’ is the Nadroga word for darkness. And why this Forest is called ‘Driodrio’ is for another day.
 
Dry Forests are typical on the drier side of Fiji. The National Park, being on the drier (Western) side of Viti Levu, has a small pocket of this endangered forest type. I was told by a reliable source that Fiji has roughly about one percent of Dry Forests left. This is a worrying statistic and I’m glad the small pocket we have in the National Park is being conserved.
 
I wrote this poem in the Driodrio Forest, sitting on Mother Earth, with my back reclined on a tall Canoe tree. With a notebook and a pencil in my hands, I scribbled the poem into existence.
 
When I had entered the forest, it was quite cool and there were many sun rays shooting out from the canopy above, down onto the forest floor. The lighting was just adequate for me to see the forest stirring with life. My eyes were slowly drawn to the many spiderwebs suspended between the branches and trees. I had suddenly felt an urge to express the moment. It felt quite poetic.

Spider on the web,
What news does your silvery thread bring you today?
Is it about the sparkly morning dews that cling onto your web?
Is it about the juicy fly entangled on your web?
Is it about the fallen leaves that litter your web?
Is it about the trade winds that gently strum your web?
Is it about the nosey human whose curious finger probes your web?
Spider on the web,
What news does your silvery thread bring you today?

The poem, though it talks about a spiderweb, is essentially about the forest. It uses the spiderweb to surreptitiously bring to light the ‘magic’ of a forest and what we are still taking for granted or ignoring. The verses have implied meanings and I’m happy to decipher them for you.
 
The verse ‘Is it about the sparkly morning dews that cling onto your web?’ describes the ambience of the forest. The ‘sparkly dews’ indicates that it’s morning, the sun has risen and is slowly irradiating everything. The time of day brings a different mood to the forest. And if you know a forest well, then you are privy to its many moods.
 
The verse ‘Is it about the juicy fly entangled on your web?’ is about forest biodiversity. A natural forest is home to a multitude of flora and fauna. Spiders are smart predators. They set up web traps in forests (on different trees) because they can ensnare indiscriminately all sorts of delectable insects (sometimes even small lizards).
 
The verse ‘Is it about the fallen leaves that  litter your web?’ reflects on the natural processes that happen within the forest. Processes that keep a forest ecosystem functioning, which in turn, keeps us alive through the important environmental services provided. Natural processes are absolutely critical as they maintain balance in our environment.
 
The verse ‘Is it about the trade winds that gently strums your web?’ is an augury of what’s to come as our forests worldwide dwindles. We are in the era of climate change and it’s effects are slowly being felt. Scientists have vehemently stressed the need to protect and restore forests to combat climate change. And we must like the alert spider, pay attention to the news.
 
The final verse ‘Is it about the nosey human whose curious finger probes your web?’ is a bitter reminder that our unsustainable human actions (past and present) are having great environmental repercussions. Already, a zoonotic virus has brought our world to a standstill. Its origin is still being debated, but I haphazard a scenario. It probably came from a forest, where one of its wildlife was illegally trafficked away to a human community. And then began, the pandemic. It’s a warning too!
 
The poem is prophetic in a way and encapsulates in simple prose what our Mass Media iterates day in and day out. We currently have some serious glitches in the proper functioning of Planet Earth, caused and exacerbated by ourselves as we stubbornly cling onto our human centric isms of what the world around us should be.
 
The question now is ‘How do we address it?’ Simply, if we are the cause of the problem, then We must address it. Work has already started on this and we need everyone on the band wagon to truly have an impact.
 
Today is Earth Hour. Join me and the many people worldwide this Earth Hour to collectively raise our voices for Mother Nature  to secure a greener, healthier future for all. The fate of our world is literally in our hands.
#Connect2Earth #EarthHour

Note: The poem Spider on the Web was written by Jason Tutani for Earth Hour 2021 and Jason Tutani is a conservation officer and park ranger for Fiji's Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park. 
 
Children part of the Sigatoka's National Sand Dune's conservation camps learning about the importance of nature and the need to protect it.
© Jason Tutani Enlarge
For this year's Earth Hour join the many people worldwide to collectively raise our voices for Mother Nature to secure a greener, healthier future for all. The fate of our world is literally in our hands. #Connect2Earth #EarthHour
© Jason Tutani Enlarge
The question now is ‘How do we address it?’ Simply, if we are the cause of the problem, then We must address it. Work has already started on this and we need everyone on the band wagon to truly have an impact.
© WWF Pacific / Ravai Vafo'ou Enlarge