The exquisite artistry of spiders is much in evidence during England’s early autumn. Dewy mornings reveal myriads of spiders’ webs in the grass, on bushes, gates, washing lines and street lamps . An example or two can be seen in my Photo Gallery.

There are actually some species of spider that are endangered.  I admire the work of spiders but can’t say I like them, especially the large house spiders that scuttle out from under the sofa and run across the living room floor at surprising speed. One such froze me to the spot just the other day. I’d rather save a rhino or an elephant than a spider.

A recent TV programme, headed by Sir David Attenborough, highlighted the extinction and near-extinction of many species on planet earth. The programme was sobering and challenging, though it included a good news story of mountain gorillas in Africa whose numbers are increasing.

We might try and point the finger at other nations where, for example, the ivory trade is rife or climate change is ignored, but in reality we’re all culpable when it comes to being good stewards of the planet we inhabit. Whether or not you believe in God the creator, it is still the case, as is pointed out in the Bible’s first book: Genesis, that human beings are the  species given responsibility for looking after the world and all its inhabitants. And because, globally, we’re all interconnected, we should consider – individually and collectively – the part we might play in care, conservation and sustainability. Long live the gorilla! And the rhino! And the elephant! And maybe even (if somewhat reluctantly on my part) the spider…

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