Part of the Bay Area News Group

Archive for the 'Spider web' Category

Spider wrapping up a bee in its web for lunch

Beginning the process of wrapping a bee. Photo by Barry Hart, Concord, CA
1bee spider barry hart concord

Gary:
My wife spends a lot of time tending her dahlias.  When she shouts “spider”, I run for my camera!  I was set up to take this one when it suddenly ran to a bee that had flown into its web.  I took several shots of the spider wrapping up the bee, but what was most interesting to me was the number of very tiny web strands that it was generating to do the job.  I couldn’t see them until I got the photo on the computer… It was also amazing to see how the spider took the bee from its initial position (entangled in many web strands) to a more convenient position for wrapping it up.  It got the bee to be suspended between two multiple strands and then spun it like it was on a skewer.  Nature is truly amazing.
Barry Hart, Concord, California

Barry:
Spiders are wonderful creatures and their use of their webs is amazing, as you saw. Your beautiful photos really illustrate this. Multiple types of web to be used for wrapping their prey … some sticky … and some not sticky which the spider uses to walk on. The spider’s ability to play our web in a long line that gets caught in the wind and carried across wide spaces until it sticks on the other side … so the spider can build its web across a large area … is also something to think about. But that’s another story for another time. /Gary

Job almost done. A snack for later. Photo by Barry Hart, Concord, CA
1bee spider2 barry hart concord

Posted on Tuesday, November 8th, 2011
Under: Spider web, Spiders | 2 Comments »

Nina had this beautiful visitor on her deck!

Visitor on Nina’s deck. Photo by Nina Anderson, Moraga, CA
1spiderweb nina anderson moraga

Gary:
Visitor on my deck!
Nina Anderson, Moraga, California

Nina:
We should all be so lucky! Beautiful!! /Gary

Posted on Wednesday, October 19th, 2011
Under: Spider web | 1 Comment »

Spiders: This spider spins those BIG round webs in your yard.

Black and yellow argiope spider spins big round beautiful webs in your yard. Photo by Sally Caron, Lafayette, CA
1argiope black and yellow sally caron laf

Gary:
Any idea what kind of spider this is?  Discovered him while doing yard work today.
Sally Caron, Lafayette, California

Sally:
It’s called a “Black and Yellow Argiope. This is one of the spiders we call “Garden Spiders,” that spin those big round webs in our backyards. Beautiful! I don’t use pesticides in my backyard garden, and I have about 10 of these wonderful spiders spinning their huge webs between my wire tomato baskets. they catch a lot of the insects that some people try to kill by spraying pesticides. Much better to have the spiders do it for you. Lots safer than spraying poisons around the vegetables you’re planning to eat. They also light up my garden like decorations on a Christmas tree. /Gary

Posted on Monday, October 10th, 2011
Under: Spider web, Spiders | 1 Comment »

A garden spider’s web sparkling with life in the early morning sun

Garden spider’s web in the morning sun. Photo by Cecilia Mason, Danville, CA
1garden spider web cecilia mason

Gary:
Just couldn’t help sending one of the pictures I took in my yard this morning.  Lots of webs around catching the early morning sunshine!
Cecilia Mason, Danville, California

Cecilia:
I love to see the morning sun sparkling off a garden spider’s web like a silken universe revolving around the brightest star in the sky. /Gary

Posted on Thursday, September 8th, 2011
Under: Spider web, Spiders | 1 Comment »

Red-winged blackbird dining out at the Spider Web Cafe

Red-winged blackbird eats bugs in web. Photo by Dave Harper, Oakley, CA.
1redwing web dave harper oakley

Insects caught in a spider web provide food for lots of other creatures besides the spider that spins the web. Like this hungry red-winged blackbird, for example. YUM! Free bugs!

All life is interconnected in one way or another. Even by bugs. Of course, next time the blackbird may eat the spider.  /Gary

Posted on Wednesday, April 13th, 2011
Under: Insects, Red-winged blackbird, Spider web | No Comments »

Some spiders eat their old webs and spin them in a new spot

Orb weaver garden spider and web by Kathy Zach, Walnut Creek, CA
web, kathy zach, wc

Gary:
I happened to notice this large, tan, sort of furry spider hanging out in the center of his beautiful orb web yesterday.  So I snapped his photo which I am sending for you to see.  What is amazing is that when I woke up this morning to see him, there was nothing there.  Not one strand of web left behind.  Do spiders eat their webs when they move to a new place? I am glad I took this photo so I know I am not having a senior moment.
Kathy Zach, Walnut Creek, California

Kathy:
Some orb weaver garden spiders eat their webs. Spider web silk is made from protein. By eating the old webs, spiders can recycle the silk/protein and use it to make new webs. So in a sense, they can pick up (eat) their old webs and move (re-spin) them. Clever creatures, aren’t they? /Gary

Posted on Tuesday, September 14th, 2010
Under: Spider web, Spiders | 2 Comments »

Spider web tent: Do spiders go camping?

Spider tent. Photo by Matty Kilpatrick, Walnut Creek, CA
spiders camping, matty kilpatrick, wc

Gary:
Thought you might enjoy this picture … do spiders go camping?!
Matty K., Walnut Creek

Matty:
Nice spider web tent! Too bad you didn’t get a picture of their little silk spider web sleeping bags (just kidding!). /Gary

Posted on Tuesday, September 7th, 2010
Under: Spider web, Spiders | No Comments »

Spider photo: Come into my parlor, said the spider to the …

Spider and prey by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, Calif.
spiderfly1

Dear Gary:
While checking native bees out in the flowers I noticed some really nice looking spider webs, saw a large bee fly into one, roll around and escape. While waiting for more bees to show up I saw this guy wrapping up a catch to eat at a later time. With a macro lens set up, that tiny world looks very large. This kind of thing is very fun to “explore” in the small world of native insects.
Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek

Dear Brian:
Come into my parlor, said the spider to the … /Gary

Posted on Wednesday, April 1st, 2009
Under: Spider web, Spiders | No Comments »

Once upon a spider

I’m sitting on the back deck of a little log cabin at about 7,000 feet or so in the High Sierra in Hope Valley, California, about 20 miles south of Lake Tahoe. I’m getting ready to read a book.

Unknown to me, there’s a single, 2-foot strand of spider web stretched tight between two slender branches of an aspen tree that’s growing near my knee. As the afternoon sun drops lower in the sky and becomes partly hidden by an enormous juniper, a stray beam of sunlight escapes and bounces off the web and suddenly I see the bright band of web sizzling between the two branches.

How does a little spider spin a web between two isolated branches like that? If I was the spider the branches would be hundreds of yards apart.

As the sun moves lower it unexpectedly illuminates hundreds of other strands of web blowing out from branches and twigs in all the other trees. It’s like instant spider webs, everywhere. Amazing.

I bend closer to one and see a yellow speck with microscopic legs on one end of the web — a tiny spider. Armed with that knowledge, I begin to see other tiny yellow spiders at the ends of the other blowing webs. And that’s how they stretch a web from one far-away branch to another. Swinging in the air on a web fastened to one aspen branch and spinning and reeling out web until the tiny yellow spider is carried along by the wind to finally brush against another aspen branch. It quickly fastens (glues) the web tip to the new branch and now it has an anchored cable of web it can use to build a net between the two aspen branches so it can snare tiny insects for dinner when they fly by.

As the sun moves lower, the light begins to reflect off of hundreds maybe thousands of zipping, zooming, swooping, diving insects in air spaces between the trees that moments before appeared to be empty. A startling metamorphosis.

It’s an amazing place, the High Sierra. It’s all so very much alive. There’s a lot of activity in this high thin air above 7,000 feet. It’s another world that you can only see if you look for it, and of course when the light from the afternoon sun is just right.

Mother Nature has her little secrets, but she’s willing to share them with her friends if we’re patient enough to wait for them to magically appear.

My book is still unopened on my lap.

Posted on Monday, August 21st, 2006
Under: Spider web, Spiders | 2 Comments »