MORE GRASS FUNNEL-WEB SPIDER WEBS

This grass funnel-web spider web is beautifully offset by the heavy dew.

These webs, highlighted by the early morning light, festooned the vegetation along the edge of the road. I have not seen so many in the same place before. Here are only two of them.

I usually only see these webs on very short grass, so was fascinated to get this ‘under the canopy’ view of one suspended between higher plants. Unfortunately the hole is obscured.

GRASS FUNNEL-WEB SPIDER WEB

The webs of the Grass Funnel-Web spiders are best seen on dew-covered ground.

As you can see from the photograph, the web is extensive and is woven to include a deep funnel. I understand this is where the spider hides to catch any prey that falls in, but admit to not bending down close enough to find out!

TAKING THE PATH OUT

One tires of simply walking around the block and getting barked at by the same dogs in the same places and stepping round the same sewerage leaks … every now and then it is good to walk to the end of the road and along the path decorated with (on this day) donkey droppings acting as a starter marker for a jaunt out of the suburb.

It doesn’t go far for it serves merely as a shortcut to the nominal industrial area and the road that bypasses the town. The area is not as barren or as uninteresting as it might appear at first glance. Tiny pelargoniums look up brightly:

Spiderwebs catch some of the 2mm of rain that fell during the night:

An abandoned hollowed out termite heap gives a glimpse of the layers inside – I am sorry about the litter, but felt disinclined to remove it sans gloves:

At the top of the low rise one gets a lovely view across town on this overcast day:

The return path wends it way through patches of long grass:

In several places termites have been hard at work repairing their heaps:

On our return, we meet a single cow with her calf:

HAIRY SURPRISES

I shrieked; my toes curled, and I dropped the lid of the dustbin – then peered in cautiously. This is the hairy surprise that awaited me:

The spider appeared to lunge towards me and I drew back aghast – then peered into the bin even more cautiously, my toes still in a tight curl:

Needless to say, I replaced the lid promptly.

Now, only a few days later I boiled the kettle to make some tea. I lifted the tin and dropped it like a shot! I shrieked again and curled my toes – another (surely it cannot be the same!) large hairy spider scuttled out from underneath. It disappeared – as I feared – yet as the kettle had nearly boiled I reached to warm the pot. I didn’t get very far:

For the spider had sought shelter in the tea pot!

Give me a snake any day!

For the curious among you: my husband simply placed the lid on the tea pot, took it outside, and emptied the spider into the lavender bush. Of course I would have been able to do that – once my toes had uncurled!