Last monsoon, I missed the presence of tiny red velvet mites and the light attracting moths that filled many memories of my childhood. As I go down memory lane, I can also think of the black diamond and fruit sucking moths and flies which used to appear as signs of the arrival of rain along the croaking of frogs from a nearby pond!
Sitting outside and watching dung roller beetles that would visit us during those rainy days and their black color made me want to understand their role in nature. As I dug deeper, I realized that they play a crucial role in natural and agricultural ecosystems using fecal material of various animals for food and provide homes for larvae, which live in chambers or burrows on the ground. Dung beetles make soil pores by burrowing to improve organic matter.
In the autumn, all parks used to be filled with the fancy feathers of colorful butterflies wandering on the wildflowers. These too play a significant role in pollination.
Dramatic dragonflies used to fly over our heads, making us wonder how an insect with such delicate wings can fly so high up!
When the Rain Gods showered their blessings this year, I missed being surrounded by tiny creatures that made the monsoons so colourful. There were hardly any flies and moths I observed over the past few months.
This has really worried me.
My grandpa is 87 and he remembers a time where families lived in harmony with so many fireflies, beetles and bugs in his countryside house which is no longer the same.
A few decades ago, I read Rachel Carson’s eye opening book named "Silent Spring" and these words by her changed my life forever:
‘’In nature, nothing exists alone.’’
Our relationship with everything in nature defines our existence on Earth. And more people realizing this and appreciating the beautiful world we live in is our only hope for a better, sustainable planet. From creatures as tiny as moths to beetles to as large as elephants and tigers, no one can exist without one another. This interdependency is what holds this planet together.