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Put simply, these are the spiders that spin the iconic spiral webs. But this is over simplication. There is great variety amongst the species.

Wiki tells us that Orb-weaver spiders are members of the spider family Araneidae. They are the most common group of builders of spiral wheel-shaped webs often found in gardens, fields, and forests. The English word "orb" can mean "circular",hence the English name of the group. Araneids have eight similar eyes, hairy or spiny legs, and no stridulating organs.

This photo was taken on the same misty September morning as those almost random webs of the cobweb soiders and in the same damp grass. But no spider could be found. There is a simple explanation. These spiral / orb webs are so sophisticated that spider can sit to one side unseen with the radial strands in tension and immediately alerting it to prey being caught. 

A frosty morning in Cordale Avenue in Renton decorates some spider webs with tiny droplets of ice. You can clearly see the web pattern through the contrasts in shade.

WIKIPEDIA : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orb-weaver_spider

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