Is It Halloween Yet?

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So most mornings recently, early mornings, as I am leaving for work, I have been greeted by walking through a spider web as I go to get in my truck.  Spider webs on my face are not on my "favorite things in life" list.  I have just sort of swiped it away, said lots of righteous things under my breath and gone to work.  But one morning, as I walked out of the garage, I clicked the key fob for Gretchen's car.  That causes the backup lights to come on, which revealed a strand of spider web.  It was going up to the sycamore on the north side of the driveway.  As I followed it in the other direction, I see one of the biggest webs I've ever seen.  And in the middle . . . this. 

Not sure what type of spider this is.  If you closet etymologists out there can identify it, I would love to know.  It is about the size of a half dollar, maybe a little bigger. (update:  I found out that is neoscona hentzi, in the family of orb-weavers.  Charlotte was also an orb-weaver.  Since we just read Charlotte's web with the kids, I'm sure that is why this spider has shown up.  Now I'm waiting to see some words in the web.  Maybe "Some Gretchen" for her birthday.  He probably doesn't take requests.)

So one morning I popped up the little flash on my camera but that looked horrible.  So of course the next night after the kids went to sleep I dragged Gretchen out into the dark holding my camera stand and umbrella to take some shots.  I ordered an umbrella adapter from Adorama that came with a tiny little fold up umbrella.  Seriously, this thing looks like a toy umbrella but at close range on a small subject, it's apparent size is huge so it worked well.

The wind was blowing so getting a crisp shot was tough as thing was constantly moving closer and farther away.  And I'm just thinking "Please God, Creator of Heaven and Earth and spiders, please don't let thing jump on me or I'm going to scream like a girl."


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