Meet the Funnel-Web Spider
Unlike orb weavers that make the classic circular web beloved of Halloween decorators, this spider makes a less glamorous but equally useful means of catching prey. The spider darts out when a bug lands on the web, then retreats inside the funnel to consume it.
When they were very young and becoming interested in exploring the natural world, my children found these funnel webs and their makers fascinating. We lived for a time in a rustic section of Piscataway called Possumtown, with a lovely wildflower meadow and a brook nearby, affording us a living laboratory for nature study. But even in the urban environs near Park & Seventh, there is plenty to see and admire in the natural world.