What made the silken threads on my lawn?

Late November, walking home with my son we noticed individual silken threads lay across the grass next to the sidewalk. They were nearly imperceptable. By chance the setting sun caught them at just the right angle to highlight them. These were not webs. They were individual strands lying from blade to blade over the grass.

What made them of interest is that they went as far as we could see. For 3 blocks they lay over everyone’s yard. They were invisible unless the sun caught them at just the right angle. I wondered if it was an illusion but I was able to catch ahold of one.

Location is NE Kansas. And it was quite cold that day. Not quite freezing but close.

I’ve seen those. I live in Western Missouri. I’m not an expert but I thought those were the results of ballooning spiders that have landed.

Some infant spiders use their silk like a parachute. They let out a line which gets drawn up into a breeze and then the just let go and get dragged along with the silk strand.

I think they do it to disperse from the nest so they don’t have to compete for food with the other half a zillion brothers and sisters in the nest.

I have to admit this is my guess though.

It’s really pretty, isn’t it? I’ve only seen them a few times, early morning, usually in the fall, and the display doesn’t last very long. When I’ve seen them, I’ve looked again the next few days, but it only seems to happen once a season.

It was mildly scary the first time, for someone who’s probably seen too many science fiction movies.

Check this out and tell me if this is something like you saw.

http://bugguide.net/node/view/344840

http://bugguide.net/node/view/344846

http://bugguide.net/node/view/344840

10,000 Sq Ft of this stuff. Sheetweb by Dwarf Spiders.

.

Spiders. The webs can end up anywhere.

Philster for the record you only linked to two different pictures. I see you edited your post so I don’t know if that was on purpose or the unintentional effect of your editing.

On topic: So beautiful.

Just a goof up. :slight_smile:

This is similar, though what I saw was not as dense. And hard to see since they were not covered with dew.
So it’s spiders after all… I thought that seemed strange because it was so cold. But on the other hand, spiders must survive winter somehow, right? I just never thought about it before.