Summer in North Texas: Arrowhead Lake

You know it’s a good nature walk when you get to use the line ‘it’s like the Pit of Sarlacc…’

Ant Lion traps, a slippery funnel of sand with a fierce larval predator waiting at the bottom of the pit.
Basilica Orbweaver (Mecynogea lemniscata)

We take a lot of inspiration from the peculiar creatures around us, and that gets used in fiction, like the abovementioned monster. But there are other things that we see, and resonate with us. Like the motherly devotion of this little orbweaver spider, in her inverted bowl-and-doily web, domed like a cathedral (hence the genus name). Her egg sac is safely above the dome where prey is hunted, but you’ll see mother’s hind limb is connected by a tiny lifeline that allows her to monitor her unborn children. 

Another little orbweaver has shown the cleverness of instinct. This web is sandwiched between two flat Prickly Pear leaves, safely out of the wind. There were several webs built in this way, each with their small occupant sheltered in a spiny home. 

You can see more of the photos from our walk here, at my Flickr site. We didn’t stay very long, because it was getting far too hot to be wandering around in the sun, but we will make our way back again some early morning.