A ‘help me’ scream came from Lil’ Buddy in the backyard. To me it sounded like he may have hurt himself. He was up in the treehouse portion of the swing set. Frozen in the open doorway, he exclaimed,”I’m stuck! Stuck in the spider web and I can’t move.” But you can, I told him. Just keep walking. Relieved, he walked out of the web and happily slid down the slide. The spider web, however didn’t fair as well even though the spider had picked a perfect spot for a web. The spider rebuilt the web a couple of times. But after having it accidentally knocked down a couple more times too, the spider moved on.
We first noticed spider webs and cob webs about a month ago after Lil’ Buddy’s run in with the big one. Eldest Girl and I are keeping watch on the web we found on the end of the althea branch. The one that looked like Horton Hears a Who. Those little spiders are getting bigger.
After watching the really neat YouTube video of an orb spider making a web – linked at Handbook of Nature Study, we headed out into the backyard on a gorgeous fall afternoon.
Middle Girl had charge of my camera. The sunlight helped us spot quite a few. She told me that the little tree that she and her siblings call the Christmas tree usually has good spider webs. It’s tucked back in the woodsy part of the backyard. None were found this time but she did spy a bird’s nest!
We turned around to look at another web, down low, and startled a squirrel away. (Rather, he scared the daylights out of me when he ran to the other side of the yard).
Photos above: 1. Middle Girl photographing bird’s nest | 2. Taking photo of cobweb on back gate | 3. Littlest Girl dressed the part – wearing the favorite spider shirt Nana made.
Eldest boy also captured some cobwebs with his camera and may share them in a separate post. (Warning, large garden spider photos coming up…)
After our outdoor hunt we talked about the large garden spider that chose to build her web at our front door three years ago. That spider gave us over a month of up close nature study.
The web was perched where we could pull back the curtain and see what she was up to. The spider made any front door visitor rather nervous, so impressive she was.
We just called her our Halloween decoration. And during our cobweb study this time, we looked closely at these photos from years past, remembering her spectacular web.
That same afternoon, we also had fun sitting outside and sketching some simple webs with instructions via a link our Nana found. We pulled some black construction paper and used white chalk.
Making a cross, then a star, we added each part of the web, just as the orb spider had. Measuring mostly at an equal distance.
I love how each of ours turned out differently. Just as different as all the webs we’d seen.
You can even blend and smudge your web just a bit to make it filmy.
Littlest Girl created an abandoned cobweb. You can make your own spider web by following the directions here.
This nature study helped us to notice just where spiders like to place their webs, plus the variety of webs they create and just how many there really are when you take a few minutes outside to notice. There’s still time to join in fall nature study with the Outdoor Hour Community at The Handbook of Nature Study!
Barb-Harmony Art Mom says
Okay, so my web entry does not come with such a glorious spider as your does. 🙂
I love the story of your son in the treehouse and the web…adorable! Thanks for sharing your web study and your artwork with the OHC. Now that I am thinking about it, I am GLAD we don’t have a huge spider like that to share….don’t like big spiders.
That spider was a terror to most who came to our door! But she was mostly shy with us. We’ve not seen her back since then but many of our bushes have grown up around the front of the house, so it’s likely not as good a spot. We sure had fun with this study – many thanks to you, Barb, for arming us with the tools we need and the inspiration to forge into the backyard!
All Things Beautiful says
I guess I will be considered weird for thinking that she is beautiful. (Of course it won’t surprise those who know that I once wanted to be an entomologist.) Thanks for sharing your photos and your spider web how-to. We will love doing this as well.
Not at all weird Phyllis! That’s why we left her there even though friends and neighbors asked us to remove the web. Because we enjoyed seeing what she was doing next. And yes, her size is impressive. But she is a wonderful creation. We did like that we could see her so very up close – safely from behind the glass door 🙂
Alea Milham says
I wish I had seen this post before I bought glow in the dark spider webs for my son (who is obsessed with Charlotte’s Web). this would have been a much cleaner activity. I think I will do this with him tomorrow.
Alea, you make me laugh!
Clara @A Slice of Homeschool Pie says
We just finished learning about spiders (using Apologia’s Exploring Land Animals). I’ll be posting pictures early next week of the webs we found (although not as large as yours which is fine by me as most of the webs were in my basement). I have to admit, if I saw a spider like the one that was hanging around your door, I would freak out! 🙂
Some of us enjoyed our web study too – my son is very afraid of spiders so he really didn’t want anything to do with this particular lesson – but I ‘encouraged’ him onward. Love that garden spider! Such pretty colors.
That is one beautiful spider!