We don't use pesticides except for BTK and Neem Oil and so we have a huge number of bugs. With a huge bug population we have also developed a flourishing spider population. I've joked with the occasional visitors that I've taken up Spider Farming, they are so plentiful and so very large. If you are an arachniphobe it is best to avoid Sparrow Haven.
Over the last few weeks I've noticed a very sharp decline in the spider population and assumed that they had set their egg sacs and died off, like Charlotte in the children's story Charlotte's Web. Today I found that the Sparrows we've named our place after have had a hand in the declining spider population and I actively realized that our no pesticide policy has been a large benefit to the entire food chain here.
The bugs feed the birds, spiders, and toads as well as performing the duty of pollinating the plants, when they aren't eating them to the twig. The spiders feed the birds when it is time to fatten up for winter. The toads feed the raccoons and skunks, as do a number of grubs and tree fruits. The squirrels also benefit from the tree fruits, apples and chestnuts mostly. The birds and squirrels feed the occasional hawk, owl, and weasel and they spread the seeds from various plants they nibble at.
What do I get out of this whole passion play of nature? I get pleasure in the sight and sound of all our animal visitors. I benefit from the wholesome fruits of the garden on a physical level but the pleasure I derive from watching the antics of the animals fills a place in my psyche with love and peace and the knowledge that all things are interconnected. A wonderful bit of knowledge that so many in our hurried world have lost contact with.