I recently published this photograph of a rain spider on its nest tucked under a roof outside our kitchen:
My attention was focused on the large spider and how protective it appears in this photograph. Some of the comments indicated much the same focus. At the time I wondered about the fluffy appearance of the exterior of the nest and I even peered into those holes, leaving none the wiser. The sharp-eyed among my readers kept silent, perhaps taking what they observed for granted. This morning I noticed that the spider had disappeared and, in its absence, peered at the nest more closely for those fringes of fluff had a definite shape to them. Hooray for the magnifying qualities of a cellphone camera:
The ‘fluff’ are clearly the skins sloughed off by the hundreds of tiny spiders that must have hatched within the nest! This leaves me wondering what their survival rate is.