Close Encounter: The Eight Legged Type

Last night a friend and I stopped for a quick chat outside and noticed a massive spider web being spun. The spider itself would have had a body about 25mm across and a diameter (legs semi-extended) of about 10cm. The main anchors on the top of the web were attached approximate 5-6m high on one side while the opposite were attaching to the smaller trees and shrubs at between knee and chest height. Of course, that doesn’t give you an idea of how big the web was until you realise it was spanning our driveway – probably about 4m wide!

While we chatted, I walked closer to it to marvel at its size and to watch it spin its web. Unfortunately, due to where we were standing in relation to the lamp post – I failed to see another similar sized spider lurking in the darkness about 20cm above my head! As I moved to a better vantage point for spider #1 – the light caught the silk of the second web at which point my eyes immediately trained up to see the spider dangling just above my head.

I love spiders to look at, I think they are an incredible creature. However, due to their size (quite small on the whole), lack of weight and stealth – they tend to freak me out when I find them in unexpected positions. I’m confident that they would have been harmless but they always make my skin crawl when they get a little close for comfort.