Buck and I almost walked straight into and through this beauty's web late this afternoon when we walked to the gate.
The out-of-focus brown furriness on the other side of the web is Maggie. Click here for info on the exquisite Nephila clavipes from BugGuide. She is also known as the Golden Silk Orbweaver.
Today was a double treat. Buck was talking on the phone mid-morning as he and I worked at our side-by-side workspace in the Lodge. Suddenly, he stood up, craned his neck toward the front window and pointed at something moving at the edge of the woods.
"Mr. Westmark, did you get what I said? Mr. Westmark? Hello?"
"Oh, sorry, Mark. Got to go. I'll call you back. Just saw a gopher tortoise."
I already had my camera and was headed to the front door. Buck came with his binoculars.
Any time a person is privileged to see one of these ancient, gentle herbivores, it is a good day. Click here to read more about gopherus polyphemous from the folks at gophertortoise.org.