Monday, 21 September 2015

September Spiders

Are you a fan of the spider? 
Even if these eight legged invertebrates don't make you recoil in horror, you may perhaps have not ever paused to study one too closely. 

Autumn is a fabulous time to seek out a close encounter with spiders; damp misty mornings or heavy dew highlight countless silken threads in gardens and hedgerows, or in shimmering tapestries across the grass. 

The confusion of brambles and scrub along the roadside through the industrial estate near my home, provides the perfect tethering point for the complex webs of orb web spiders; those 'traditional' spider-webs that we are all so familiar with. I lost count of the number of spiders I spied, waiting in ambush for unwary insects along the stretch of just a few hundred metres hedgerow this morning. Each web was an intricate construction, unique and seemingly intelligently designed. Looking closely each spider was equally unique with its own design of patterns across its body. 

Each of these spiders is of the species Araneus diadematus (or 'Garden Cross Spider' to you and me!) They vary hugely in colour, but have a characteristic pattern of pale golden spots which form a cross on their backs, hence their common name, and are one of our largest spider species in the UK. (The Buglife organisation's website has some more information:

Spiders will continue to to be very obvious in our gardens, parks and countryside throughout the autumn. These Garden Cross Spiders in particular are active until November. Even if you find these eight-legged marvels 'creepy' or intimidating, I am sure you cannot deny they are fascinating creatures or that the sparkle of dew on their cobwebs adds a seasonal beauty to our landscape. Why not take a closer look yourself next time you are out and about? 

(Don't forget, you can share your photos or sightings on the new patch Twitter-feed @OakByTheRife!)


  1. Brilliant blog - really enjoyed reading it - will be back
    Phil (

  2. Thanks Phil, that's great to hear. You may also enjoy my other blog at
    Do keep in touch,


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Hello! Thank you for viewing my blogs and profile. I am passionate about the countryside and british wildlife and I hope that this comes through in my blog. I am a nature writer and have been pursuing photography since early teenage years, whilst building a career in conservation. Helping people to reconnect with the natural world is very important to me, whether through direct hands on interaction, education or literature. Please also visit my website, for more information, my current CV, and further examples of writing and photography. You can contact me or keep up to date with new blog posts via Twitter @SophiEcoWild and/or Feedback, comments and audience participation are always welcome! Sophie May Lewis