People are often confused as to why large numbers of spiders have suddenly taken up residence in their garden in September. It's sometimes thought the spiders just mysteriously arrived but in fact they've been around all summer, feeding up on various creepy-crawlies in the garden. They're now fully grown, and being much larger, the spiders are much more noticeable.
Many of these spiders are the Cross Spiders (Araneus diadematus), so called because they have a series of white dots and dashes on their bulbous abdomens which form a cross-shaped marking. Each year the RSPCA receive lots of calls from people who've found one of these spiders and are worried that it could be dangerous. It's easy to see why. The patterns on their abdomens are quite colourful and a bit "exotic" looking, but like all UK spiders if you leave them alone they won't harm you.
Of course the real charm of these spiders is the way they construct their intricate, and often beautiful orb-shaped webs. The best time to see them (and photograph them) is early morning when the webs hang heavy with sparkling dewdrops.