Open Space Background

Spiders and Their Webs

Watch for the many spider webs you can see tucked within the grasses as you hike along. Early in the morning, these webs frequently are decorated with morning dew. When the sun is glinting off of these webs, they also become more obvious. The hill to the left as you climb the steep road south out of Borges Ranch is an excellent place to look for these webs about ten o'clock in the morning when the sun is at the right angle. This slope contains tens of thousands of webs that are no more than three by four inches in size. However, their collective area traps thousands of small insects every day that might annoy us.

The spiders sit beneath these webs and a careful examination of the space below the web will show you the small hole that is their home. These spiders react, as most spiders do, to the slight vibrations caused by a trapped insect and soon that insect becomes another spider meal. The spider frequently will not suck the juices from these insects for some time and the enveloped mite can live for hours trapped in its silky tomb. When the spider is ready, then you might see it snacking away on its victim.

Jerry Fritzke
June 21, 2003