Spider webs in parts of our garden are growing to gossamer city proportions. Normally that doesn’t bother me (except when I forget they’re there and find myself head deep in one, doing a passable impersonation of Frodo in The Return of The King); I think they can look rather beautiful, especially when the sun glints on them and they almost take on the appearance of a fairy palace.

I say almost because the illusion is clearly always ruined by the presence of a flesh crawling arachnid smack bang in the centre of the web, surrounded by a morbid suspended cemetery of things which had once been insects – or, in the case of our epic sized webs, maybe even animals.

The diminutive size of these eight legged architects is, thankfully, usually way out of proportion to the webs which they inhabit…except in the case of this fellow.

He/she is a newcomer to the garden and I can’t say I’m comfortable with his/her presence. As a rule, my arachnophobia increases in proportion to the size of the spider in front of me. Although I’m not overly scared of the seemingly stoned hippy spiders which hang about corners in the house doing nothing much all day, when I meet one of their cousins who is nearing the size of a small mouse, a klaxon goes off in my head and the numbskulls scream over the internal tannoy system “EVACUATE THE AREA, EVACUATE THE AREA…”

I haven’t a clue as to what species this is and whether it’s a sheep in wolf’s clothing, or a wolf in wolf’s clothing, so if anyone can identify it, it would be a great help…oh, and don’t forget to include details of an antidote in case it bites me.

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