Journaling the Giant Webs of 2007
In 2007 I spent many hours watching, photographing, and videotaping the spiders at the giant webs around Texas, including the most famous one at Lake Tawakoni State Park. Somewhere around hour 100 I lost track of just how many hours I'd spent with these spiders. Below are the journal entries of my adventures and discoveries, full of photos, videos, and stories.
How the Giant Webs Were Made
Giant web discovered at Lake Tawakoni (August 24, 2007) — Story of how the web was discovered and what went on behind the scenes before news broke.
Lake Tawakoni spider web engulfs the world (August 30, 2007) — News of the web broke and snagged news media worldwide.
A first visit to Lake Tawakoni State Park (August 31, 2007) — Mike Quinn and I visit the giant web for the first time. Here are my first impressions.
Mystery of the Lake Tawakoni web (September 2, 2007) — All sorts of theories were floating in the news, but none of them really explained the true mystery of the web.
Reports of giant webs elsewhere (September 2, 2007) — People elsewhere in the country speak up about similar webs they've seen in the past.
No alien spiders found in the web (September 7, 2007) — Texas A&M releases a report on the spiders collected at the web. We were surprised that there were no surprises.
Return to Lake Tawakoni Spectacular! (September 19, 2007) — I returned to Lake Tawakoni State Park and watched the web for about 15 hours over a period of 30 hours. Here are my discoveries.
Jumping spider puppet fight (September 20, 2007) — Jumping spiders were crawling all over the giant web. I caught a video of a territorial spat between two male Bronze Jumpers.
Second web reported at Wind Point Park (October 1, 2007) — While Hank Guarisco and I are at the giant web at Lake Tawakoni State Park, we learn that there's another web on the other side of the lake, so off we go. Check out my video of the clouds of midges.
Web discovered on Starnes Island (October 10, 2007) — Another giant web is discovered just west of Austin, on Travis Lake. I go to investigate.
Wind Point Park before the storm (October 14, 2007) — The storms kept wrecking the giant webs, but Shelly Little managed to catch the web at Wind Point Park at its peak just before a storm.
Web reported at Arkansas Bend Park (October 18, 2007) — Another web is reported on Travis Lake, this one at Arkansas Bend Park. Off I go again to investigate.
A super abundance of midges (October 23, 2007) — Four giant webs were reported, and here's a look at what they all have in common. I show a video of how the spiders are chowing down on midges.
The intelligent Neoscona crucifera (October 25, 2007) — While at Lake Tawakoni State Park investigating the web, I found this orbweaver using its web like spiders should — like a net.
Spiders performing Cirque Du Soleil (October 31, 2007) — Great shot of the spiders and their web on Starnes Island.
Good-bye giant spider webs (October 31, 2007) — The spider webs are shrinking and the spiders are disappearing, but there are still more mysteries to make sense of.
Same spider on all the giant webs (November 9, 2007) — It's now confirmed. The same kind of spider is largely responsible for all the webs. It's the Guatemalan Long-jawed Spider, Tetragantha guatemalensis.
Giant web bungee jumping (November 10, 2007) — The spiders at all the giant webs were doing something strange. They were bungee jumping off the web on lines of silk — and I got it on video.
Jumping spider in an orb web (November 12, 2007) — While studying the giant web at Lake Tawakoni State Park, I caught a jumping spider where it doesn't belong — at the hub of an orb web.
Spiders stealing spider webs (December 3, 2007) — At Lake Tawakoni State Park, the Guatemalan Long-jawed spiders were stealing other spiders' webs. Check it out.