Photo Friday: Funnel in the grass

Saturday, almost a week ago, Loved-One and I took a walk in the early morning.  I needed to take pictures of Queen Anne’s Lace so Chad can finish the back cover of A SHIP OF PEARL.  Every lawn we passed had gauzy patches covered with dew.  Small patches, that may have gone unnoticed, if we’d waited until later in the morning. The dew covered gauze shimmered in the still-waking sun.

Well, of course we had to take a closer look.  And then a still-closer look, and closer, and closer:

webs - 4

webs - 1

webs - 2

webs - 3

Notice the hole in the center of the web? A black and  brown spider sulked inside one of the holes.  I tried to get a photo, but she scuttled into the hole.

Here’s a photo and some info that I found on-line:

The “Grass Spider” I saw was maybe a 1/2 inch long.  She’s  from the funnel weaver family Agelenidae. These spiders spin dense, non-sticky, sheet-like webs with a funnel-like retreat where the spider hides.  They eat insects and other spiders.

“Grass spiders” are timid and non-aggressive. When anything other than  their web is a than an insect approaches, they typically retreat to the back of their funnel web. (And just in case you’re wondering, they cannot bite humans, because their “jaws” are too small.)

 They build these beautiful and practical webs, only to have them mowed down or crushed.  [tweetthis]What lovely workers. What wondrous patience. What enviable persistence.[/tweetthis]
Now for some other lovely photos, shared by Jen at Pierced Wonderings.
Pierced Wonderings