I wasn't sitting on my tuffet or eating curds and whey...but a huge spider did sit down in our Cincinnati garden.  This female spider is approximately 3 inches across with beautiful markings.  Even more interesting is the incredible web it weaves.  From top to bottom, it is probably six feet and from the bottom to middle is a fascinating part of the web that looks like she has taken a sewing class. You can see the criss-cross web in the picture below.

I looked it up, and it was identified as a Black and Yellow Argiope, sometimes called the St. Andrews Cross Spider.  She is most commonly seen in the Fall garden.  She lays only 2-3 egg sacs before dying in the first frost.  Each sac will have between 400-1400 eggs.  The spiderlings will still hatch in the Fall, but stay in their sac until Spring.  Looks like I will have lots of spiders to take care of the mosquitoes next year!

Have you seen this beautiful spider in your Cincinnati garden?