During a walk in our family prairie last week, I found a spider web spanning the entrance to a badger tunnel.
When I pulled in close with my camera, the shadow behind the web and the bright sunlight on the spider contrasted beautifully.
It might be tempting to think the spider was trying to catch a badger except for three things. First, that would probably end badly for the spider, and natural selection usually takes care of that kind of thing. Second, spiders often string webs across any opening that could act as a funnel for flying insects. A badger hole makes as much sense as any other, I suppose. Third, this wasn’t a tunnel a badger lived in, just a hole dug while a badger was hunting a ground squirrel or some other small burrowing animal. Most badger-made tunnels are of that ilk, and if you look closely at them, you can usually see the end of the tunnel within a few feet of the surface.
I do think it’s funny to think about what might happen if a spider hung a web across the opening of an active badger home, though. I’m imagining a badger emerging from its tunnel in the morning and then hopping around shouting “OOOH!! Ick! Spider web on my head! Spider web on my head!!”