Spider gems

My photo doesn't adequately depict the magic of the experience. Decided to kneel and observe this sheet web made by a grass spider or a funnel web spider. My field guide says these spiders are "quick-running", and that is an understatement. See the circle in the upper right corner? That's where the little brown spider waits inside the curled leaf. The spider has constructed a system of telegraph lines around the web.

When I blew a puff of air at the telegraph line, the little guy came dashing out of his cave to check his web, before I could get my camera ready. I was in awe of the dewdrops still sitting on the web at noon. I'm wondering if the story-weaver of the 1001 Arabian Nights was inspired by a similar spider to create the tale of Aladdin.

© 2010 Nancy L. Ruder

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