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!
We have had to cover our pool to slow down the rapid evaporation of water during this drought. This spider emerged from underneath once we had unfolded the cover and flattened it out across the surface of the pool. It was not impressed.
We helped it out of the pool and watched as it moved along the brick surround. It clearly wished to find another peaceful place to hide.
The spider climbed up the side of a bucket nearby.
And, I can only think, bared its fangs at me!
We put it in the Spekboom growing nearby and its scuttled away quickly to find a new lair.
I enjoyed my early morning coffee in the company of white browed sparrow weavers, red winged starlings, red eyed bulbuls, Cape turtle doves, red eyed doves, rock pigeons (yes, I know they’re called speckled pigeons now), laughing doves and pied starlings picking over the area where we’d had supper the previous evening. Not a crumb was missed.
Sadly, it was time to leave the Mountain Zebra National Park. Reluctantly, I began pulling the plastic storage containers from the tent to resort and pack them. As I was doing so, I noticed a large, fleshy-looking spider tucked under the rim of one of them.
It didn’t move and so I tipped the container on its side in order to photograph this torpid creature: first in the shade and then in the sunlight. It barely budged (which suited me, I have to admit).
Wishing to photograph it in a more natural setting, I flicked it to the ground. There it blended in so well that I had to note carefully where it was in order not to squash it inadvertently while I got on with the packing.
While I was busy, some pied starlings moved in to sweep the ground of any other tasty morsels that may have floated down while I emptied the containers. To my immense surprise – and shock in a way, for I had had a brief relationship with it – one of them pounced on the spider and made short work of eating it!