A few days ago, suffering from cabin fever, I went down to the Sunnyside boardwalk to flip rocks and see what I could find. Pickings were meagre at first, but I struck pay dirt with a pinecone! Pinecones will now be part of my winter spider-hunting repertoire.
Setting the scene. The empty Sunnyside pavilion looks rather desolate in winter.
It didn’t take long to find signs of life—this small centipede was under a chip of bark.
This millipede was curled up under a small rock. (I put the rock back.)
A tiny running crab spider ( Philodromus).
The face of the same Philodromus running crab spider.
A tiny ground crab spider ( Xysticus) overwintering under bark.
Another ground crab spider ( Xysticus) found under a piece of bark.
Just a humble pine cone, nothing to see here…
A few minutes after I put the pinecone down, several running crab spiders began to emerge.
A larger spider, a near-mature orbweaver, was also sheltering in the pinecone. (Look at the top left corner.)
I cannot see you…you cannot see me…I am hidden.
Perhaps a Larinioides, the most common kind of orbweaver around here.
The bulbous pedipalps (the appendages below its eyes) indicate it’s a male. Immature, I think.
A pretty red-coloured Araniella six-spotted orbweaver.
A very handsome little spider. Sorry for waking you up, little buddy. I herded everyone back onto the pinecone and put it back where I found it.