I didn’t want to use the ‘s’ word in large text in the title, as I know a lot of people have very severe phobias about them.
For those of you still reading: I found a white spider lurking on the side of this ripening blackberry, unfortunately it scuttled off when I tried to get a better picture of it. It would seem that it is a crab spider. Crab spiders do not use webs to ensnare their prey, but hang around on leaves, flowers and in this case berries waiting for a hapless victim to alight. Once a suitable target has landed in its vicinity it uses its long front legs to grab it and then scoff it. Some varieties of crab spider can change colour to match the flower it is sitting on – as long as it is yellow. This is triggered by a visual cue; they see that they are sitting on a yellow flower. They then squirt a liquid yellow pigment into their outer skin cells and gradually turn from white to yellow. If they move off the yellow flower then it is a matter of waiting for the pigment to disintegrate before they are white again. So, not as impressive as chameleons then, nor as cute. However, there are no chameleons in Credenhill Woods so we just have to take what we can.
I also noticed in the side of a bank going up into the woods, what looked like a load of holes in the ground surrounded by funnel-like webs. These apparently belong to labyrinth spiders. They create these beautiful webs to act as an early warning system against predators. The UK has no dangerous spiders, some of them can nip, but unless you suffer from a severe allergic reaction to it then you probably wouldn’t even notice it. This is an advantage we have over our antipodean friends for whom shaking out your undies before stepping into them can be a matter of life and death.