One Saturday morning about two weeks ago I began my morning with the usual ritual, out the back door, ride up to the bakery and bring home fresh bread for breakfast. Nothing untoward happened. An hour later I stepped out the back door again and found myself completely wrapped in spider web, some time in the hour a very optimistic spider had built its web across the doorway! While I was untangling myself, Jo looked up and pointed out the culprit – a very large Garden Orb Spider had taken up residence above the door.

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An orb spider that took up residence across our back door

As this was a little inconvenient, we relocated her to the rose bushes near the corner of the house and thought no more of it, by Thursday of the next week we’d seen no trace of her.

That Friday was Good Friday and we went away for four days over Easter, coming home at around 10pm on Monday night. As we were unpacking the car I walked around the side of the house to take some things down to the shed and walked straight through a large web. Aha, looking up I found she’d moved from the rear of the house to the front and had taken up residence on the guttering, spinning her web down to the rubbish bins.

The following morning she was gone again, then that evening she reappeared, even further around the house to the front, stretching her web between guttering and rose bush. We search around each night just after dark and can watch her spin her web, freezing and going off to hide if we trigger the outside light. First the main supports go in, then a wide spaced framework, then she fills in the gaps with the closely spaced sticky strands.

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Orb spider on our front verandah

Since then we check for her every day and can usually find her hidden in the timber surrounds of the front porch, the tattered remnants of the previous night’s web hanging slack, often demolished by the first clumsy human to step out the door in the morning.

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Our resident orb spider caught herself some dinner

So there you have her, she’s nearly famous, a Garden Orb Weaver spider (Eriophora transmarina) with a blog page, photos, and a citizen science observation all to her name.