Every evening, when we retreat into our house for the night, two small (well, no longer QUITE so small as they were when we first saw them towards the end of last year) spiders emerge from their hiding places near our washing line and begin to weave two elaborate, and absolutely beautiful, orb webs between the carport roof and the washing line.
They work like mad, racing back and forth, sticky white threads emerging from their rear ends, weaving and swinging and leaping from one spot to the next.
Not even half an hour later, the webs are complete.
The one night, while we happened to be playing around with the camera settings – hubby proving once again that he is far more patient than I am – one of those silly Christmas beetles that frequently blunder in through the windows in the evenings, flew smack-bang into a web.
A nano-second later, faster than we could draw breath, the spider had ’embraced’ it and was wrapping it in sticky threads, turning and turning around its prey, like a rather grisly tortilla.
We were transfixed by this gruesome, but evidently highly effective, hunting technique.
By the next morning, bewilderingly, both webs have disappeared – except for two or three sticky strands that remain. I have no idea what happens to their webs, but it’s definitely not the wind that removes them, because it also happens on windstill days.
Nor does it seem plausible to me that birds would be stupid enough to fly through both nests every morning. Quite apart from that, the nests aren’t in any bird flight paths (nor in our route to hang up the washing, thank God!) and any passing pigeon would be more likely to knock itself unconscious against the T-tube at the top of the washing-line pole or the carport roof!
So, we’re stumped.
Perhaps it’s the spiders themselves who roll up their webs before dawn? Rather like us rolling up our sleeping bag and mattress when we’re camping?
I don’t know.
Do spiders DO that?
I’m also intrigued by the fact that there’s TWO spiders in such close proximity to each other. Tolerating each other’s presence. Is that normal?
I’m not even sure they’re the same kind. One, I think, retreats inside the hollow T-tube at the top of the washing-line pole. I haven’t been able to get a clear picture, but I think this may be its sleeping quarters.
What do you think?
The other one lies flat below one of the support struts of the carport roof – or rather, as flat as its evidently well-fed and bulbous tummy allows.
If you do know what kind(s) of spider these are, please tell me, cos I haven’t a clue, and I would love to know.