But the point is: Where do they all suddenly come from?
Well, they were all there to start with, but they were in their early tiny forms staying out of sight low in the vegetation. If you watch for them, in the spring you will begin seeing a white circle about the size of a nickel deep down in the grass. This is the early form of their stabilimentum, woven so densely it is opaque. If some little predator comes by, the spider can flip around to the other side in an instant to be out of sight. As the year progresses, the circle gets more tightly woven and bigger until, after a certain number of molts, the zigzag begins to develop. Here is the progression I have seen so far this year.
But spiders aren't going to be the big news this year. The signs are already here. When you walk through grassy places, or flower beds, you hear a skittering ahead of you, and see the movement in the vegetation, as if someone were scattering small gravel. It's grasshopper nymphs. Grasshoppers don't have a full metamorphosis. They come from the egg as tiny grasshoppers, more or less like the adults, but without developed wings or genitalia. With each molt they look the same, only larger. They still are only that skittering in the grass (though Cheryl complains they are eating her flowers). Here are a couple of nymphs that with a few more molts will be large and voracious Differential Grasshoppers, with long wings for powerful flight, powerful chewing jaws, and judging by how many I am seeing now, they will be in destructive numbers.