When you live in England you don't have to worry about such appalling creatures as the one pictured above. This Black Widow (Latrodectus mactans), has been hanging out under our deck for God knows how long. I only became aware of her presence when I left my shovel beside my potting bench the other day and came back the next day to find the shovel ensnared in the strongest silk I have ever touched. I gave it a good twang then curiously followed it's path upward...oh hello! There she was, in all her ghastly glory, maternally watching over her egg sac...with her husbands dessicated body close by. Lovely!
I just don't like spiders. I tolerate the ones living in the vineyard as they are predatory carnivores that take care of pests that are harmful to grapevines. However, they generally run away, at great haste, when approached. Not Madame. No, she lay in her web above me, her token retreat towards a joist just barely perceptible. At this juncture, I would normally have introduced her to Mr. Wet/dry-Vac, but for one thing: Vinomaker likes spiders, nay, he loves spiders, any and all. You can see where this is going can't you? Yup, she's still there.
Vinogirl and the Vinodogs have female competition in Vinoland!