A few years ago, I wrote about my affection for large spiders (which I call Grandmother Spiders) and how delighted I am that a number of them see fit to hang out around my house every fall. I thought that being a Neoscona haven was pretty cool, but this year I found an amazing lady outside my window who has me in seventh heaven: Araneus marmoreus, also known as a marbled orbweaver.
As my photographic skills hardly do her justice, let me describe her: her body and upper legs are bright orange, with black and white stripes at the ends of her legs, like stockings. She has a ridiculously large, very round abdomen, cheery yellow in color with elaborate dark brown markings. Between her vivid coloring and the size and shape of her abdomen, she looks more like some artist’s caricature of a spider, made from a large marble and glass beads on wire.
Early mornings, I’ve been privileged to watch her repair her web from the night’s hunting before she retreats to a modest shelter of leaves and silk she constructed at the top of the window. Most evenings I find her hanging in the center of the web, as pictured here. (The lighting at these times of day also accounts in part for the photographic mediocrity.)
So now I can check another really cool giant spider off my life list (which I didn’t know I had until she showed up at my window. Thank you, Grandmother!)