Roles and Ownership

I was driving home from the grocery store today, and noticed a colony of tent worms on a denuded true branch. Remembering my grandfather burning them out of his trees with a kerosene soaked rag on the end of a long steel rod, my first thought was "destructive little critters".

Then, newer thinking took over. They have a place. The are eating tree leaves, part of the tree's purpose to provide habitat and food for other species. In turn, the worms become food for another species. Not destructive in the circle of things.

Then, another thought hit me... why do we consider them "our trees"?? Because we "paid for them"? I very much doubt that Nature/Earth/Gaia really cares much about bits of green paper or bits in a digital ledger...the trees are no more ours than we belong to the trees.