The Natural History Museum’s Spider Pavilion doesn’t open up for a few more days ┬áso in the meantime if you’re into arachnids like I am why wait? Just come on over to our house and see this magnificent monster who’s set up housekeeping over the north side walkway.

It was a few days ago when I was sitting in the livingroom watching TV and something moving outside the bay window caught my eye. It was this fantastic specimen making its web, which should give you an idea of its gargantuan size (as orb weavers around the house go). OK, so it’s not tarantula big, but it’s easily got a two-inch leg span. I’ve never seen one bigger around these here parts.

Since first spotting, it’s proved elusive to capture with a camera. Pardon the flash (click the image for maximum arachnobiggia), but I had no choice but to employ it tonight since the spider keeps such strict dark hours. Sequestered in its daytime resting place up under the window eave until well after sundown, it dismantles its high-hanging web and goes back into hiding shortly before sunrise.

Just awesome.

As a bonus, there’s a second smaller orb situated up very near that daytime den that may be its mate.

UPDATE (9/17): Here’s another somewhat less-garishly flashed image of the beauty taken the dawn after (click it for the bigger picture and to see its eyes boring directly into your sooooooooul mwaaahahaha):