August 20, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut
Funnel Weaver Spider Hololena sp. Araneae: Agelenidae
As I rode my bike along Bayshore Bikeway, examining the progress of the coastal restoration in the nature preserve that lies along the southern edge of Silver Strand between Imperial Beach and Coronado, I happened across the web of what I believe is a funnel weaver spider (Hololena sp. Araneae: Agelenidae). It was seated in a small hole in the side of a berm, its web spun out horizontally, waiting for lunch to be served. I don’t have a problem with spiders; I just don’t like to be near them. I also don’t have a macro lens; I just have a telephoto. Convenient for me isn’t it?
Coastal Restoration & Dredging Begins
There has been coastal restoration in the form of dredging going on for 5 months and just the other day the levees that separated San Diego Bay proper from the South Bay Biological Study Area were breached by the restoration team. This means if you walk or ride along Bayshore Bikeway at the north end of 7th St. in Imperial Beach, all the water in the nature preserve will ebb and flow with the tides from fresh Pacific Ocean water! I think it will probably turn the intersection of Imperial Beach and Silver Strand into a bird watching Mecca.
Spider Waiting For Lunch
It was a bright, cloudless day but the arachnid was in a shaded burrow so I used the on-camera flash to light the spider up. I had no idea that a spider’s eyes reflect light like cat eyes do but, they do. All other members of a coastal wetland sanctuary food chain benefit from being in the sanctuary, not just the birds and not just the wetlands.
Funnel Weaver Spider
That’s why, in a post where I’m talking about ocean water and birds there are spider pictures; they’re all connected and it was while walking around the preserve I found this spider, which lead to the train of thought that lead to the theme and tone of this post. Deep isn’t it?
Mouseover To See High & Low Tide before Restoration
Move your mouse over the photo above to see the difference between high & low tide in the preserve before the restoration began. If you want to see the amazing work that’s been done in the 5 months since the photos above were taken, you’ll just have to get on your bike, ride Bayshore Bikeway towards Imperial Beach and see for yourself. That blue stripe in the background is the Coronado Bridge which you can bike to using the trail. Along the way you’ll pass the nature preserve, Silver Strand State Beach and Hotel Del Coronado. See? If you are a lover of nature, biking, skating, running, the beach, hotels, Coronado or Imperial Beach, this outing has something for you. Don’t forget to bring your camera so you can include photos when you blog about your fun time. Cheers!