Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fieldtrip to Tilden Nature Area in Berkeley, CA

Today we visited Tilden Nature Area in Berkeley for a Wildlife Interactive Hike on spiders!

First, our East Bay Regional Park District naturalist provided a short orientation on the basic characteristics of spiders--8 legs, up to 8 eyes, 2 body parts, and spinnerets. Together, we made mini-booklets to guide us in identifying webs from the most common spiders of the Tilden Nature Area.

Next, she illustrated how a Pie Spider would spin its web and provided us with interesting information about the spinning and hunting habits of each type of spider.

Then, we headed outside with spray bottles in hand so we could mist the webs and see their construction patterns better.

As we hiked around the Visitor's Center, we found webs from Orb Weavers, Pie Spiders, Garbage Web Spiders, Labrynthian Spiders, Sheet Web Spiders, Funnel Web Spiders, and Halo Web Spiders. We even spotted several live spiders perched in their webs.

The kids have always been fascinated with spiders and now they are even more aware of these phenomenal creatures and their role in catching pesky insects. Thanks EBRPD!
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