I first saw her after catching a glimpse of her golden web, hanging between she-oak trees in the late afternoon sun as I cycled home from work.
With no camera, and the comfortable domestic pleasures of Friday evening enticing me on, I didn’t stop to have a closer look. Of course the memory of a golden-webbed spider large enough to be seen while travelling, looking back, and from several metres away, was sufficient motivation to return to take photographs.
She is a Golden Orb Weaver, Nephila edulis, apparently widespread in Australia, especially Western Australia where this photograph was taken (in the urban bushland of Kings Park in Perth). Unfortunately the morning light, or perhaps the aging of the web, has lost the golden sparkle which originally caught my attention. Apparently the ‘edulis‘ part of her name means that the spider herself is edible; she is at least a mouthful, with a body length of 3-4 cm.
Just below and to the left of the mess of her food waste in the web, mainly insect exoskeletons, her male partner can be seen.
The link to information has some more astonishing photographs, including one of a small bird caught in the web and being consumed by a female Golden Orb Weaver.
P.S. Geek note – the photo was taken with a Sony compact, can’t remember the model. I used to have the same sort of thing in Olympus. All my photos on this blog are taken with one or other.