Farmer’s Calendar for October 2016

December 10, 2015

One foggy morning, I took Wiggles and Echo out for our usual morning constitutional and, in the grass, I noticed dozens of handkerchief-size webs, as if the fog had landed on the ground and stuck there.

Later, I learned that the scraps of fog were the webs of funnel spiders. They got their name because they lurk in a funnel-shape hole in one corner of the web and dash out when they feel the vibrations of an insect walking across it.

Any funnel-shape holes in the webs escaped my eye, because our rambunctious dogs distracted me, keeping me from paying closer attention to the natural world. However, without the dogs, I wouldn’t even be outdoors to observe the natural world. While I pondered this conundrum, the dogs studied the webs closely. Then Wiggy ate one.

I pulled the dogs away and we headed up the road, enjoying the fall colors that look much brighter against the fog. By the time we got back from our walk, the fog had lifted. This made the webs invisible—less appealing for me, but more effective for the spiders.

A serious naturalist would have sat down next to the webs and watched them carefully, through a magnifying glass, taking notes. But then again, a serious naturalist wouldn’t have brought along the dogs.

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