Itsy Bitsy Spider
On the way back from the museum a couple weeks ago, we were driving into our section of the neighborhood and in a grove of crepe myrtles and rose bushes planted in the median, I noticed this Bigass Spider. I have this sort of simultaneous fascination and revulsion of giant spiders, which I bet is pretty common. I like to look at them, but if I think about it too much, it gives me the willies. Anyway, I let the family off at the house and came back with my camera. Turns out there are at least 8 of these spiders living in the grove, and they're all big. I took several photos, but without traipsing through the rose bush thorns or getting closer to these beasts than I could stomach, I couldn't get a good angle that minimized background distractions. This is the best of the bunch. No HDR with this shot; just a little sharpening and cropping.
For the curious, I did a little Google research and determined that it's a Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope Aurantia). The one you see here is apparently female; the males are smaller and less colorful. Despite the wicked looks, garden spiders are harmless to humans and devour pest insects . So unless the location of the web is really a problem, it's best to leave them alone and let them do their thing.