Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dewy Webs

Someday, I should make a list of all of the natural events that I consider to be tied to particular seasons. It would probably be a pretty long list. There always seems to be something happening that I feel is intimately associated with the time of year in which it occurs. Right now it’s the frosty and dewy spider webs that I’m enjoying. You may see attractive webs at other times of the year, but it’s in the fall when the greatest abundance is noticed.

It’s proper that there should be a lot of webs now, since fall is a time when there are a large number of adult spiders present. This is also a time when many spiders, especially more youthful individuals, cast strands of silk into the sky and sail off to establish a presence in new territories. These single strands drape like tinsel across the autumn foliage.

I doubt that any spiders would care to venture onto the web when it’s covered with ice. I wonder if the web is still functional after it thaws. Maybe dew and ice cause it to lose its stickiness. There’s not much insect activity on frosty nights, so the spider must have to get out as soon as possible in the morning to rebuild a web in order to snag some day flying insects.

Dew makes it ideal for viewing the structure of a web. The strands light up like fiber optics with the least bit of sunlight.

Dew slid down the vertical strands to form droplets that developed into ice pearls on the plate of this web. Some spiders create a new web in a different location each day, so it may be that these will never be used again.

Each particular area of vegetative structure within the field supported a specific type of web. As I moved from one cover type to the next, I encountered a new village of spider webs of all the same type. Areas across the field with identical plant types also supported identical web types.

Funnel webs were scattered along the entire length of my mowed path. I investigated a couple of the webs, but could find no spider anywhere near the base of the funnel.

The dewy webs are impossible to miss when backlit by the rising sun. They become almost invisible when viewed from any other angle.

I take pictures of dewy spider webs every fall and will probably continue as long as there are webs and dew. I don’t mind adding new shots to my collection each year. What would make me sad would be to come out one fall and find that the spiders were no longer here to make the webs.


  1. Lovely photos! We're already past the dew stage to the frost-and-snow season up here, I'm afraid.

  2. Thanks Rebecca. If the National Weather Service is correct, it won't be long before we see the beginning of an extra snowy winter.

  3. Beautiful. Picture perfect...great job.