Where the Wild Things Are- Decorated Spider Webs

Any walk that starts off with Bottle Gentian is worth going on. Anything past that is just icing on the cake. That being said, there were other things to see. The sneezeweed is blooming, and is much prettier than it's name. Large leaved Aster and Zig-zag Goldenrod are plentiful in the woods. The biggest surprise was the sight of thousands of Nodding Bur Marigold blooming where water once stood a foot or more deep. With the breaking of the beavers dam earlier this summer, I didn't know what, if anything would grow in the newly exposed mud. It turns out that the Marigold found it a perfect place to expand into, covering from grass to water with a golden carpet. 

If you walk in the morning, when the dew is still on the grasses, it is easy to see spider webs. They are also there when the dew isn't on, but it does make them stand out. The flat ones with a hole in the middle are from Funnel spiders. They lurk under that hole, waiting for their prey.

I know some people don't like spiders much, but they are far more afraid of you and you will not see most of them. If you do see one, maybe take a moment to really look at them. You can tell them from other insects by their eight legs, and two body segments. The head/thorax is where the legs are attached and the rest is the abdomen. Most spiders around here have 8 eyes, some have 6. They range widely in size, but none are as large as those horror movies would like you to believe. 

If you are lucky enough to see one of those big round spider webs, decorated with the morning dew, take a moment and really look at it. They are made by Orbweavers, some of the most noticeable spiders in our world. A lot of orbweavers spin their web every night, and take it down in the morning. They take it down by eating it, as it is made of protein. Then it "recycled" as new webbing. Scientists say it is 80-90% recycled protein in each web. I really don't know how they know this. Somethings I don't really want to know. However they do it, it is a remarkable achievement. Get out and enjoy nature.