20 Aug 2011
Saturday Snap: Tangled Web Woven
It was quite hard to see the fine, sticky threads of the web but I wanted to clearly show the spider and her web to a fascinated but very young visitor - without small pointing fingers wreaking havoc. Here's how I did it: I fetched my tea-strainer and a tiny spoonful of flour, then gently sprinkled a dust cloud of flour over the web. This won't harm the spider - in fact, she didn't even move - but the web and its tiny insect-catching threads can then be clearly seen. (If you have a fine spray bottle, a light misting of water would also work.)
This spider, I think, is an Orb-Weaver and very common in the UK garden. The web is spun in the morning; any insects caught in it are either eaten straightaway or devoured when the web is eaten at suppertime. The next day the process starts again - sort of Groundhog Day, spider style.