I've visited the banana grove many times over the past year and have never seen a spider. So I was surprised to see a large web on Monday morning. Climbing up on a couple of three-foot stacks of big concrete plates whose instability made it a bit like surfing, I stared at the web from about two foot away and wondered where its resident was. All of a sudden this beast crawled straight up a webline from crotch level to right in front of my nose. Aiyaa! as we say in Hong Kong.
If this guy were to lie flat, he'd be about ten inches in diameter. Because of the light, you can't really tell here, but he could have been a role model for Alien. I pointed him out to Leela who then pointed to another part of the grove where she spotted his mate... and high up in the mate's web was a tiny (one inch) offspring. So we have a family now. As a friend of my noted, that makes him a whole lot less sinister.
Hopefully they'll hang around long enough for me to take some more photos. The problem here is adequate light and location -- they're nearly out of reach and the slab perch is always precarious. We'll see...
On a web design note, the overall Kleptography redesign is finally finished. I spent parts of the last four days coding Next and Previous links for every picture and now have the luxury of being able to tweak at my leisure and perhaps take a few more photos.
Thanks again to everyone who, in a separate thread, offered comments, criticism, advice and recommendations. I'm sure the compromise solution has something to annoy everyone.