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Family Fun Connections: Spiderwebs

What shape is a spider web? Orb webs, with their wheel-like spokes, are probably what most quickly comes to mind. But if you’ve walked across a dewy lawn recently, chances are you passed by the funnel-shaped web of a grass spider. These webs really stand out on misty or dewy summer mornings and they are worth getting your toes damp to take a closer look. First, look at the web from a few different angles until you can see the narrow part of the “funnel.”  This is often where the spider hides, waiting to pounce on any insects that come along. Approach slowly so you don’t scare the spider and see if you can spot it!

spider web in grass
Can you see the spider in this web? (click image to enlarge)

If it’s a dry day and you want to look for spiderwebs, take along a spray bottle.  Squirting a fine mist over a web won’t disturb the spider, but will make it easier for you to see the web. 

Then, once you’ve observed real spiders at work, try spinning your own web. Start with a small ball of yarn or string and wind it around tree branches, chair legs, or anything else you can find in your chosen location. Web-weaving is tricky, so be prepared for some trial and error, and don’t be surprised if you gain a newfound appreciation for spiders afterwards!