Our warm spring has been bringing early visitors to the garden.
There have been spiders' webs everywhere: criss-crossing the clothesline; spanning potted plants; tightly binding the strawberry and lime blooms; and trailing in floaty threads seemingly from nowhere.
In the past few days I have had my camera out recording the spiders' handiwork. The macro setting on my little camera has allowed me to point-and-click up close. Really close.
There have been precise and orderly webs; others, constructed chaotically. Some have been full of tiny ensnared insects; others filled with puffy dandelion seeds.
My last photographic venture took me to a large web spanning between two plant pots. And there ensconced firmly in the middle, was the owner. She looked quite big. I wondered whether she was an orb weaver - a wonderful spider that dismantles its old web at the end of the day and spins a new one each evening. My parents once had one in their garden and it was fascinating.
As I positioned my camera to capture her, I noticed her lovely long legs. I moved in a little closer and noticed her shiny black body. Then as the flash went off, my blood ran cold. The bright red stripe on her back was illuminated mometarily.
Ahem ... no, not an orb weaver.
As the old song says never smile at a crocodile ... or ask a redback spider to say cheese.
All garden spiders have since been served with notices to vacate.