29th August 2015

Orb spider-webs: Orb webs have existed for at least 100 million years, as evidenced by remains found in Early Cretaceous amber in Sussex and I saw these on my last morning in Sussex. The process of building orb webs is so complex I can only precise it here: The spider casts a thin thread into the air across a gap and when it adheres to a stem, strengthens it several times by walking across it laying down more thread. It then makes a y-shape, and adds the radials to this. They it works on non-sticky spirals so it can manoeuvre without getting stuck itself, before laying down sticky spirals which trap the insects. Commonly, spiders eat their webs each morning as the stickiness does not last and they need to recoup some of the protein they have expended in the web itself. Conditions: Fairly cool and cloudy. Temperature: Max 18- Min13c.

Orb web.

Orb web.

Orb spider-web

Orb spider-web

Other sorts of webs completely entangled the Blackberries

Other sorts of webs completely entangled the Blackberries

The very heavy dew and low sun highlighted a field full of various spiders-webs.

The very heavy dew and low sun highlighted a field full of various spiders-webs, which were virtually invisible as the sun rose and the dew evaporated.