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The Dry Garden: Stepping into the most glorious homes in town

September 10, 2010 |  8:00 am

Spider-web

It's that time of year: Perhaps you reach into the mailbox and feel the sticky embrace of a spider's silk. Or maybe you're walking the dog one evening and feel the unmistakable tug of the (please let it be empty) web across your cheek.

Arachnophobes, get over it. As columnist Emily Green tells us, these webs are full of wonder, and they do far more than trap. Our eight-legged friends might use their silk as a kind of spider Tupperware to store prey, or they might simply spin shelter for the night. Spiders can create different kinds of silk: sticky for hunting, stretchy for building. By weight, it's stronger than steel, according to entomologists.

Conveniently, as we give Green a much-deserved week off, those dew-dropped webs are beginning to appear across the landscape. We thought we'd offer an encore of Green's piece on webs and their web-makers -- an introduction to the cellar spiders, orb weavers, yellow sac spiders and red jumping spiders waiting, patiently, in the corners of your home and garden, for something to cross their silk-strung path. When you're done reading, mark the calendar: The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County's Spider Pavilion opens Sept. 26. 

-- Craig Nakano

Photo credit: Los Angeles Times

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