There are probably other spiders in the kitchen of my ninety-seven-year-old farm house, but this is the special one who has a name.
Meet Charlotte --
She lives over the kitchen sink and in the month since I took this picture she's spun and respun her web on what seems to be a daily basis, caught and dramatically devoured lots more flies, spent the better part of a day shedding her skin, and grown absolutely huge. (She hides behind the curtain during the day, so I can't get an updated picture right now.)
Can you see why I've kept her around? She's fascinating! And she's also not the kind of spider that bites people while they're sleeping. Those get squished.
From what I've read, orb weavers lay their eggs in late summer or early fall and then die. I probably should have moved her outside already to give her babies the best chance at happy spider lives. But she's hard to part with.