Charlotte appeared in our back window in early October. I first noticed her at oh-dark-thirty in the morning as I shuffled to my coffeemaker. I looked up bleary-eyed and jumped, thinking I had just walked past a spider hanging from the kitchen ceiling, reflected in the window. She was outside, hanging in the center of a web invisible in the dark.
Intrigued, I went to investigate in the light of day, but only found the web--and it was big, almost a foot-and-a-half across, attached to our eaves and patio furniture. Further trips to the backyard uncovered Charlotte's daytime roost between the gutter and the eave. At dusk, she would be back in view, often respinning the web she had carefully gathered up in the morning. She kept to her nocturnal schedule for quite a few weeks until recently, when we saw her at all hours. She didn't come out at all for the last three days, and I thought the worst, until she reappeared Sunday morning. Her web was much smaller, but still just as detailed, strands less than a quarter inch apart.
Meanwhile, another new tenant is renting space in our backyard.
This prickly-looking arachnid has taken up residence on our playscape. The spiny orb weaver's web sports equally spaced dots on its sparse lines.
A little late to be catching our summer mosquitoes...but I think I'll let her stay, too.