This year, though, they’re back with about ten large spiders setting out their stall most days. This year I’ve seen a couple of events I’ve never witnessed before. The largest spider in the garden was responsible for both. Firstly, the very large creature bundled up in the web one morning looked suspiciously like another garden spider. I didn’t disturb it to check but by size and markings it seemed to fit the bill. And today I saw a battle between the spider and a bee. For a couple of minutes it looked as if the spider would immobilise the bee: it furiously turned the bee over and over, following it down the web as the bee tried to escape. But the bee was just too big and eventually flew away. The spider, large though she is, must have wasted a lot of energy on that.
Most days, though, they don’t do much, except hang there, getting slowly bigger. Occasionally, I catch one repairing the web and that’s always a delight. Even when they’re motionless, the subtle markings on the large ones always give pleasure. It’s strange, given that many spiders are not prepossessing, just how elegant the garden orb spider is.