It’s that time of the year again on Long Island. The time when orb weavers make their presence known by building huge webs around porch lights, shrubs, garden paths, and anywhere else suitable for scaring the pants off unsuspecting passersby.
There are two of these spiders around my house this year. One directly under a porch light, and another in the dark near a sidewalk alongside my house. Both spiders are quite large, but their webs are different sizes. The web in the dark is about 5 feet tall (huge!), while the one under the porch light is only about 2 feet in diameter. I wonder if that’s because the light attracts so much food she doesn’t need a larger web.
I know these are females by their size. The males are much smaller and build smaller, less organized webs. The web below (click pic for full size image) is in almost complete darkness. It is illuminated here only by the flash of my camera.
This is a closeup of the spider under the porch light. I don’t know what exact species she is, but does it really matter? It’s big, ugly, and yet incredibly beautiful.