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August 14, 2008

Time for Spiders

Filed under: Photo's by Bill @ 7:27 am

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.

big spider web

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.


  1. whoa! now THAT’S a WEB! amazing construction…AND great shot!

    Comment by Bettye — August 16, 2008 @ 8:53 am

  2. Thanks… That’s one of the best webs I’ve ever seen. I just had to take a picture of it. As for the shot itself, well, I took a lot of pics before I had something I was happy with. (Thank God for digital cameras.)

    Comment by Bill — August 16, 2008 @ 9:48 am

  3. I have one of these big girls too and they are both terrifying and beautiful. I am looking further into the name. I want to know if they bite!!!!

    Comment by carina — September 8, 2008 @ 10:20 pm

  4. It’s a barn spider, makes sense to me where we are anyway.
    Great pic though, I couldn’t get one like that either.

    Comment by carina — September 8, 2008 @ 10:34 pm

  5. I think you’re right, it is a barn spider. From what I understand they’ll bite if threatened, but they are not dangerous like the brown recluse.

    Comment by Bill — September 9, 2008 @ 6:17 am


    Follow the link above, it tells you all about the Barn Spider. So, you are right, and I have loved this insect since I lived in Port Jefferson, graced by it’s beautiful large webs. I know you will think I’m nuts, but I literally watched it weave it’s web for a few hours. It was amazing. I swear I wished I could have filmed it. The way it moved so quickly in creating it, sheer poetry. Creation is a beautiful thing and this spider is to be apprectiated.


    Comment by Carolyn Conquest — September 14, 2008 @ 3:53 pm

  7. I don’t think you’re nuts. I once watched a cicada molt and that takes quite some time. I agree 100% that the beauty in things like this should be appreciated.

    Comment by Bill — September 14, 2008 @ 5:45 pm

  8. Are they poisoness… I have one right by back door… Its huge and changin colors…

    Comment by DAVE — June 15, 2009 @ 10:42 am

  9. Nope, not poisonous. They probably have a painful bite, but I was told by our local nature center that they are not dangerous.

    Comment by Bill — June 15, 2009 @ 8:40 pm

  10. Yup…my son did some searchin’ and it does seem to be a barn spider. I’ve lived on Long Island in the same town all my life but never saw this type of spider until about 5-6 years ago.
    This Summer we’ve been watching at least 5 of them in my garden at night (we sit outside at night) It’s awesome watchin’ them build their beautiful webs. I don’t mind them as long as they’re away from me but we’ve killed quite a few when they come near us.
    Beware though…I’ve been bitten twice. On the back of my ankles. They’re not poisonous like the Recluse. The bite looks like the beginning of a pimple but as days go by it becomes very painful, not itchy. The site then starts to turn purpley (mine was a least 4″ around)and then came to a pus filled head.

    I’m sorry and don’t mean to creep anyone out…but what I do now is wear what I call my “Spider Wear”! Long pants & high socks.
    Thanx for sharing…and sorry I was so long winded!

    Comment by Luanne — September 17, 2009 @ 9:58 pm

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