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In the space of a few hours, an enormous spider has built a web across the sliding glass door. The spider's got around an inch and a quarter legspan and is yellowish-dun with snazzy black tiger striping. There's a black spot on the abdomen, with small white bits at each corner, that looks for all the world like a gaping mouth with little peg teeth.

It's a very large web, and once it got dark, the spider's cunning was immediately obvious--bugs are drawn to the light on the other side of the glass door and flop straight into the spider's larder. I already watched it slowly and systematically annhilate a small lump of something. It has very large palps. The system broke down a little when a moth with a nearly two-inch wingspan arrived to beat at the glass--it rips right through the web without even noticing--but for the most part, it's like a small, somewhat digusting nature show happening less than a foot from my nose.

I have no idea how I'm gonna go outside and water the plants tomorrow, mind you, but I suppose I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

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(Forgive the random-person intruding-ness, if you please...)

We had a big ol' spider that built its web outside our back door. We named him Bert. He was a large fellow, and yes, quite genius.

Every night, he'd put his web up, in the same spot. Every morning, he took it down, and it never bothered anyone during the day. Then at night, he'd build another web.

I'll slink off again, now. It'd be interesting to see, however, if your little octo-legged visitor was equally meticulous as Bert was.

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How polite. All we have is a territorial daddy long legs who has moved into our dish drainer. It makes washing up an unusual experience.

I enjoy watching squirrels wreak havick on my backyard and watching my dogs wreak havick on the sqirrels (or atleast I use to..NM doesnt have any squirrels)...but I cant live with a spider in my house, in my yard or in my general vicinity..uggg..expecially a large spider..I dont know how you do it.

Maybe a writing spider? We had one that repeatedly built a web across our kitchen window a couple of years ago .. I'd sit and eat breakfast and watch her spin a new one.

We lived out in the country when I was growing up, and had *lots* of spiders, especially enormous green and yellow ones that made zipper-like things in the middle of their webs. My dad actually had them trained as to when to start building their webs -- he'd take the dog for a walk every evening between 9 and 10, and any spider that built its web befor then got it ripped down. Sure enough, within a couple of weeks no spider would build across the path before 10PM. Pretty amusing.

My favorite webs were the ones where they'd build across the path between tree branches, and drop a line down to the ground to anchor it, because often they'd attach it to a light leaf or a small pebble, and it wouldn't be heavy enough to anchor it to the ground, so you'd see a leaf or a pebble floating in midair below the web.

I'm very sorry Ursula.

I read 'enormous' and was twitching in sympathy - gick!

And then I saw 'inch and a quarter legspan'.

The Australian started laughing :D

Sorry, that had me giggling. I don't think I could ever live in a country where the spiders are as big as cats...

*laugh* Yeah, well...I'd probably be desensitized to anything smaller than a basketball if I lived there, too.

Generally every summer a family of jumping spiders move into the mailbox. This can make getting the mail a daunting experiance. Only once has one leapt through the rolled down window into the car, and it was very polite about immediatly exiting when I opened the door.

Perhaps it could sense the impending danger of drowning if it did NOT exit the car and continued terrifying me.

But I kind of like webbuilders, as long as they stay IN and web and I stay OUT of the web. It only takes one facefull of webbing to have me jumping at every stray hair that touches my skin.

Those and wolf spiders. Wolf spiders are polite spiders too. As a girlscout councellor in training (gave that up REAL quick) we had a rule, if a girl came to us yelling about a spider in their cabin or the bathroom we'd ask "Is it bigger than your foot?" "No" "Then you can squish it as well as we can."

Only once was the answer "YES!!" and that was a nice wolf spider in the bathroom. Huge thing, bigger than my hand at least. I cleaned out a little trashcan, turned it on its side, looked at the spider and said "In!" and it... got up and scurried into the trashcan. That way I could carry it out into the woods away from the bathroom and let it free.

I joked that it was better behaved than the kids.

My theory on spiders, outside is their territory, inside the house is mine. If catch and release is not an easy option inside, squishing is fine. Outside though I tend to just avoid them.

Hello Love, that sounds like what we called in N.C. a bannana spider. They grow to be huge and do at times jump so best to send him on his way now or in a bit you'll have a sucker bigger than the palm of your hand to deal with.

Ahh. You've met, from your description, the Writing Spider. A staple of southern ickiness.

You can tell for sure if it's a writing spider if it has a wooly zig-zag down the center of it's web.

And I agree with your assessment of enormous when it comes to spiders. Austrailians don't have spiders, they have eight legged dogs.

I had one that would build a web from my doorknob to the wall, every day for about two weeks before he realized that yes, the door opens every day.

But the weirdest was the one who got into my car somehow last week, and built his web over the driver's seat: anchored from steering wheel to roof of car to seat belt holder. I went to get in the car one morning and there he was, hovering in space at exactly my head-height. Ended up using the funnel I had in the trunk to remove him and his webbing; I still have no idea what he expected to catch inside my car with the windows closed.

that would be you of course, a spider with ambition.

If you go hunting Moby Dick, Bring Tartar Sauce

I'm not a big fan of creepy-crawlies at the best of times, but I'm slightly more tolerant of spiders, so long as they don't actually crawl ON me, since they help keep away OTHER bugs. My fiancee, on the other hand, has a fairly serious case of arachnophobia.

Which is why I'm hoping that the time last week that I saw a mdeium-sized spider crawl up out of the recess between my dashboard and windshield while I was in my car alone, scurry across to near the passenger-side door, and then descend out of sight again, will turn out to be an isolated incident. The last thing I need is to be on the highway with her beside me and have her go into screaming fits.
My theory, which I can't confirm because I can't get my head in far enough to see, is that there's actually a space down there large enough for him to have crawled up into the passenger compartment from the engine housing, and my hope is that he has since left the car as being too noisy and mobile to make a good hiding place.

What you described is a garden spider. Here's an image of one: http://wildwnc.org/wallpapers/images/gardenspider1a.jpg
Their black, yellow and white color patterns can vary.

I think they're beautiful. Like you said in your later post, there's something about the ones you can keep an eye on that seems less frightening.

Back when my husband and I were just dating, he and his roommate discovered one on their front porch that had webbed the entire front door from floor to ceiling. It could have easily trapped birds if it wanted to. We were expecting to find the mail man all wrapped up in there one day. Our solution to the situation was to slowly close the inner door and never use the porch again. : )

Take a can of Raid Spider Blaster with you across that bridge, and I guarantee that no spider will molest you even in the slightest.

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