Wednesday, January 28, 2009

When Nature moves in

This morning, we thought we might wake up to the remnants of an ice storm. No luck. Instead, we had a few icicles and lots of sunshine. So much that sunrays streaming into our dining room reflected off a messy cobweb hidden behind the window curtain.

Agelenopsis sp.
(That's a cast-off moth she's sitting above. Breakfast, maybe?)

Yes, messy–that's what most folks would say. Not me. It's COOL! It means we have a delightful funnel weaver spider living with us! With help from James (who held a mirror to reflect light onto her), I shot pictures of our eight-legged house guest. "Be sure and say on your blog that this isn't how we live! We're clean!" James exclaimed.

Sure, sure, sure, our home is very clean indeed. Except for patches of dust here and there, of course. And spider webs. I do NOT kill spiders. Never have. Never will. On occasion, however, I do wipe away their webs because they do tend to accumulate after a while. But I must say that this spider web was spectacular, especially back lit by the sunshine this morning. A masterpiece.

Typically, funnel weavers construct their webs on the ground in grassy areas. Not this one! She somehow found our dining room window and settled in there. Funnel weavers get their name from the funnel-shaped webs they construct. They lurk in the funnel opening and wait for an insect to bumble onto the sheet-like webbing, then they rush out and grab it.

Funnel weavers resemble wolf spiders, only they're smaller. Plus, wolf spiders wander around and hunt down their prey; they don't spin webs.

And yes, our funnel weaver is a she. I got up close enough to see the proof.

(It's a matter of knowing what to look for–that's all.) :-)

1 comment:

Kristin Lea said...

Oh! those pictures were awesome!! We enjoyed reading about your room-mate!

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