Veil of spider webs cover Gippsland after heavy rainMark DeBono, Friday June 21, 2013 - 13:36 EST
Torrential rain across Gippsland has stirred the local spider population into a web-making frenzy.
The local wetlands between Sale and Longford had nearly dried out before the rains hit last Wednesday and the drier conditions prompted a flush of new growth.
But since the rain started, rising floodwater from the Latrobe and Thomson Rivers has pushed the linyphidea spiders off ground level and up onto drier territory on the top of the grass tussocks, onto fences and into the trees.
In some parts of the wetlands, the web veil covers hectares of flooded grassland.
Dr Ken Walker of the Melbourne Museum says the so-called gossamer effect can be attributed in part due to the damp settled weather conditions.
He says the webs, which are usually so fine they are hard to see, are normally dispersed by the wind.
The town of Sale is close to the confluence of the Latrobe and Thomson Rivers which both flood regularly at times of high rainfall.
The area had about 120 millimetres of rain in a week.
© ABC 2013
More breaking news
Rainfall totals are the lowest on record over the past year for parts of western Victoria and south-eastern South Australia, weather forecasters are warning.
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce 'takes on board' concern that farmers are struggling to access drought loans
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has indicated he might be prepared to consider changes to improve the Federal Government's concessional loans scheme for drought-hit farmers.
Labor, Greens slam Agriculture White Paper for lack of strategic vision or climate change consideration
Prime Minister Tony Abbott says his government "wants to back people who are prepared to back themselves", and that a newly released vision for Australian agriculture will do just that.