Bowl and Doily Spiders

One early morning in late August, I found a bed of Black-eyed Susans dotted with dozens of dewy spider webs. I like sparkly things, so I looked more closely and found the webs to be identical in construction and mind boggling in their intricate detail. Their tiny residents–Bowl and Doily Spiders–spurt toward prey that lands on the web as if they were jet propelled. The name of the web is so apt. My grandmother could never have crocheted a doily that delicate. And the bowl is a million dollar chandelier–a deadly one.

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Sex and Death on a Hydrangea Bloom

Want a wildlife conservation area in your yard? Easy to have if you don’t mind miniature.

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A Spider Takes down Her Web

I’m expanding my repertoire. I’ve bought a macro camcorder and plan to film insects and spiders as well as birds.

Bet you didn’t know that some spiders take down their web every morning and rebuild it each night. The Barn Spider in this film, whom I call Charlotte because she’s the same type as the spider in Charlotte’s Web, sometimes looks like she’s closing a series of zippers and other times swings around the web like Tarzan.

Funny thing about how I came to film this spider: she chose us, or rather the sliding door to our patio. We took down the web twice because we use that door all the time. Then the third day, we didn’t take it down and it disappeared! Next morning, it was back. That’s when we began to suspect what was happening. So I got up early and got her on film a couple of days. Charlotte has since departed, whether to the sweet hereafter or to somebody else’s sliding door (because I annoyed her poking around so close to her), I don’t know. But I sure had a lot of fun learning about her habits and watching her take the web down.

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