Thursday, February 4, 2010

Along the Coast

We took a walk last weekend on the trail between Baker Beach and the Golden Gate and there were all these sheet webs caught in the thickets and highlighted by dew. I had to read a little about them afterward. Sheet webs are made by sheet-web weaver spiders, which are usually quite small. I didn't see any although I looked for them. They create a mass of vertical threads above the sheet web so a flying insect will become disoriented and caught in them, and then fall to the sheet below. The spider waits underneath the sheet web to seize any insects that fall on it. You can see the vertical threads very well in this photo.

The trees and thickets on this trail are full of birds and probably other creatures (like this spider) that I can't see. We saw a pair of northern flickers, jays, and many white-crowned sparrows, in addition to all the sea birds like cormorants, pelicans, gulls, and maybe some phalaropes offshore. Sometimes I can't believe I live in such a beautiful place.

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