It builds a web on the outside of the sliding glass door to the patio every night. Every morning I break the web when I open the door to let the dogs out.
Or I walk through it face first.
She (he?) is probably just under an inch in body length. Her body is spherical, although not as large and marble-shaped as a female black widow.
She builds a circular spider web that’s about the size of a large dinner plate, not counting the strands that stretch out to anchor it. It’s the kind of web with the spokes and rungs around it. Scientifically it’s known as an orb web. It looks more random in this picture because she is repairing the damage I did when I opened the door.
When I first disturbed the web she ran to the top but came back to center when the movement stopped. She let me open the door and go in and out a couple of times to get my camera and try to figure out the best angle to shoot a picture up against the glass. When I touched the web she froze, as if to try to be invisible, and after a few seconds she would start again on the repairs.
I’ve only seen her this once, when I happened to get up about an hour earlier than usual. In the lower left corner you can see the flare of light as the sun is just about to top the house across the street. That must be the signal for her to go where nocturnal spiders go during the day. When I stepped inside to get my video camera—I couldn’t believe how fast she was able to work that web—she was gone. No sign of her anywhere.
After she disappeared I swept all the spider webs and dust and other buggy things off the outside of the door but the next morning, and every morning since, the web is back.
Evidently spiders, like humans, can be trained.
A few days after I met her, I finally remembered to knock the web down before I went through it face first. And about the same time I figured that out, she must have learned that if she reshaped her web it wouldn’t be destroyed when I opened the door.
I checked a couple of websites, but didn’t see anything that really matched. Anyone have any ideas about what kind of spider it is?