Tuesday, 29 June 2010

R & R

Rest and recuperation.

I haven't mentioned the brave members of the Arachnid Special Forces for a while but I think its time to give you an update. They appear to have been on an extended period of R&R and possibly a further "R". In this instance the extra "r" stands for reproduction ....

.... one of my walks takes me across a piece of relatively unimproved pasture. Parts of the field are grazed and mown for silage but a reasonable chunk of the meadow is on a steep slope and is left for the rabbits. It's a lovely area of wild flowers and so steep that you tend to pause to take in the view whilst you catch your breath.

Today I noticed a quite amazing structure in the grasses. In fact, I noticed several. On the side of the hill adjacent to my path there were several small Spider Gazebos. At a height of about 10 inches from ground level about six or eight grass stems had been pulled together and held fast with spider silk. This living teepee frame had then been covered with a sheet of the finest web to form a cover and there inside this Spider Tent, suspended at the apex was a pea sized egg cluster, again shrouded in silk.

It may be a Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis) but I am far from an expert just fascinated to see these delicate little structures amongst the grasses.

A brief mention from Pedants corner - it should be noted that I have referred to these shelters as teepees and not wigwams because the two are entirely different types of shelter and not synonymous as many think.

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