I couldn’t time this if I had tried…just days before Halloween.
My son and I went for a hike at a local forest preserve. He found this species trying to cross the path, a female marbled orb-weaver (aka pumpkin spider).
I wont lie. Spiders scare me….but isn’t she a beauty?!?
Right now in October, marbled orbweavers are on a very important mission: laying eggs in a silken cocoon. A cocoon can contain hundreds of eggs. Next spring, the immature spiders will emerge. Good luck little guys, sleep well this winter.
Notice this female is missing a leg on her right side.
Profile view and photo I made the sketch from.
Happy hunting on your hikes! May you find all things big and small.