Misty Mornings

With cooler nights come misty mornings. If you need evidence that spiders and other web building creatures are about in great numbers simply go out for a walk and see for yourself.

 

Lots of work by more than a few spiders went into these mist covered webs on a willow n the Wetlands.
Lots of work by more than a few spiders went into these mist covered webs on a willow in the Wetlands.

 

A closer look at the bottom web in the above photo.
A closer look at the bottom web in the above photo.

 

This large orb weaver's web was stretched across the path in Explore the Wild.
This large orb weaver’s web was stretched across the path in Explore the Wild.

 

Weighted down with mist this drooping web was just of the Main Wetlands Overlook.
Weighted down with condensed moisture in the morning air this drooping web was just off the Main Wetlands Overlook.

 

Another slightly sagging web on a black locust.
Another slightly sagging web on a black locust.

 

A black willow was host to this web.
A black willow was host to this web.

 

A long-jawed spider stretched out to its fullest next to the Wetlands Overlook.
A long-jawed spider stretched out to its fullest next to the Wetlands Overlook.

 

Longed-jawed spiders are in a different family than the familiar orb weavers that constructed the webs in the top six photos. Orb weavers are part of theĀ Araneidae family of spiders. Long-jaweds are in the Tetragnathidae family. They, long-jawed spiders, also build orb webs (circular webs) but they are often built over water and have fewer radii, or spokes. The webs are also oriented horizontally, not vertically as in Araneidae (typical garden spiders).

Longed-jawed spiders get their name from their exceptionally long chelicerae (fangs). They often stretch themselves out (pictured) which affords them a form of camouflage, they look like a twig.

Fall web worms have been munching on our tree’s leaves here at the Museum for a few months now. Their webs have certainly not been as obvious as they are now, covered with the morning dew.

 

Web worm webs covered with mist.
Web worm webs covered with mist.

 

It may be hard to get yourself started on chilly, misty mornings, but getting out early before the mist burns off, the webs dry or are blown apart by the inevitable winds that come each morning around 9 or 10 AM, is worth the little effort it actually takes to do so. The light is softer, the colors more saturated, and there are fewer people out.

See you in the mist!

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