Help! Spider ID please

I've always liked spiders in my garden and in general, around here in Chicago, we don't have any of the poisonous types although that's not quite 100% true. This year there's this spider that seems very aggressive. It spins its web fast and they're big and they span aisles were I have to walk! A couple of days ago I step out the door to water and run right into its massive web which covered me and got in my mouth. I look down and the damn spider was coming at me like I was its prey. Needless to say I totally freaked out trying to get the web off me, frantically brushing away the spider to keep it from crawling on me.
Today/tonight I sat and watched this thing spin another web and decided to get my camera and take a shot. After taking a few flash shots of it she kind of stood up on her hind legs taunting me (at least it seemed like that). I still have to go and water that part of the garden so in an hour or so I'm going in with a water canon to disperse the situation.
Anyway, here's a pic of the spider.
http://brandylion.com/images/spider.jpg
That's the best picture I could get since it was night and I was using a flash and it is difficult for me to get close ups under these situations with my current digital camera. The spider looks tan with some blotches on it and I have absolutely no idea what kind this is or if it is poisonous but I'd really like to know. Although I respect spiders and never kill them in the house because I like that they eat bugs, I'm kind of an arachnophobe in reality. House spiders usually stay out of sight and never bother me or make it known that they're around. This spider is getting in my face and it seems like its treating me like prey.
BTW: The background of that shot is what I call the catnip corner of my garden.
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It's pretty hard to tell anything from the photo, and I'm no expert. However, I did want to say that there are plenty of websites where you can look at photos, and compare what you've seen in your garden. I've found this site useful when trying to get a rough idea of the identity of spiders in my garden - http://www.spiderzrule.com/
If it's a sizeable spider, and large, tough, web, it could be an orb weaver of some sort. It looks like it has striped legs, and I've seen quite a few photos on the above site of Argiopes and other orb weavers with striped legs.
Rhonda Anderson Cranebrook, NSW, Australia
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Awesome site, thanx for posting it!
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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In article snipped-for-privacy@bigpond.com says...

I'll assume its an orb spider and stay clear of it. It is rather industrious. Yesterday it spun another web in almost the same spot. I accidently damaged part of it and the poor spider was quick to repair the damage and get back to business. I'm going to let it set up shop and have that part of the garden from now on from 11pm till the next morning. I have another closeup shot of its back.
http://www.brandylion.com/images/spider2.jpg
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snipped-for-privacy@nospambrandylion.com says... :) In article snipped-for-privacy@bigpond.com says... :) > If it's a sizeable spider, and large, tough, web, it could be an orb :) > weaver of some sort. It looks like it has striped legs, and I've seen :) > quite a few photos on the above site of Argiopes and other orb weavers :) > with striped legs. :) :) I'll assume its an orb spider and stay clear of it. It is rather :) industrious. Yesterday it spun another web in almost the same spot. I :) accidently damaged part of it and the poor spider was quick to repair :) the damage and get back to business. I'm going to let it set up shop :) and have that part of the garden from now on from 11pm till the next :) morning. I have another closeup shot of its back. :) :)
http://www.brandylion.com/images/spider2.jpg
:) It is a garden orb weaver. They will take down all but a couple of main strands of the web then rebuild each night. Follow the strands and you can find where the spider is held up during the day.
--
Lar

to email....get rid of the BUGS
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Hard to say from the angle at which the photo was taken, however it appears to be a variety of orb weaver. He's more scared of you than you are of him, trust me.
--
David J. Bockman, Fairfax, VA (USDA Hardiness Zone 7)
email: snipped-for-privacy@beyondgardening.com
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If it has some yellow on it, as it appears to do, I think it is what we down in south Texas call a banana spider. Harmless as aw git out. They do get quite large and scary looking though.
-- Make it just one gnat to email.
J.C.
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On Tue, 19 Jul 2005 00:36:09 -0500, Mark Anderson

Look for "writing spider". There is a blotch of white in your picture that looks like the written message found on their web.
I consider myself fortunate when I find one and sometimes they leave their web up long enough I'm able to get a picture in the morning light.
Regards,
Hal
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In article snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net says...

This one doesn't seem to stay around until morning. Closeup shots using flash with my digital camera are very difficult. I used manual focus and tried the best plus I was a little jittery getting so close to it.
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