Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Predator

After getting off work this morning (um, Wed. morning), I rolled the trash barrel out to the street. It's been a couple of days since I looked at that particular corner of the yard/driveway, but I was surprised to see a rather complex spiderweb, stretched from the drainpipe over to the ditch.

It wasn't your typical spiderweb with hexagons or octagons and angles, but very tightly woven, almost like a sheer silk, with upper threads for supports, and looking even more substantial with the sun shining at that particular angle. It was almost swirly in nature, and made me want to touch it, despite my distaste.

I looked around for a rock or stick something to destroy it, because I am not fond of arachnids, or any other insect, for that matter. (I only tolerate ladybugs because they eat aphids, which eat my roses.) Apparently I startled a little brown grasshoppper, who leaped quickly out of my way--and right into the spiderweb.

Almost immediately, the owner scurried over and pounced onto the grasshopper and leaped back again. Startled again, the grasshopper tried to jump off the web, but couldn't. The grasshopper struggled mightily, but again and again the spider jumped onto its back, and then leaped an inch or so back. I assume he (she?) was biting the grasshopper, because the prey got weaker and weaker and slower and slower in its movements. The spider just sat and watched. And waited.

Soon the grasshopper was making only spasmodic movements. I thought briefly of going in to get my camera and wondered if the spiderweb would show clearly in a picture, and if I could get close enough to get a good photo of the spider. Another movement caught my eye. The spider scurried over, grabbed the grasshopper, and with seemingly no effort at all, extricated the insect from his web and transported it under the edge of the drainpipe. The whole thing took less than 2 minutes, start to finish.

The spider and his web are still there. I figure he's paid his rent.

Wonder what he could do with slugs.....

7 comments:

audreypawdrey said...

I do not like spiders, either. I can't believe the whole experience took less than two minutes! Throw a slug on there!

jacquie said...

while i don't like spiders either...they do create amazing webs and are pretty darn efficient...you have to admire that.

MightyMom said...

well, what'd the spider look like?

good thing you weren't eating your curds and whey (whatever they are) when you saw him!!

pragmaticcompendium said...

See, that's why I'm okay with lizards here in Florida. They EAT the spiders.

Catherine said...

I'm rather frightened of spiders -- don't know if I could have stood and watched that scene!

AnnieO said...

I found a dead slug covered with ants on my back patio this morning...I guess I shoulda looked to see if a spider was nearby!

Anonymous said...

I once watched a spider make a web from scratch. It was fascinating.