I went to a party at a decidedly rural location in Mississippi, about an hour's
drive from NO. The hostess lived in a hundred-plus year old house that used to
be the local post office, quite a way down a lonesome highway near the Pearl
River. Six acres that were alive with red and golden-yellow lycoria
radiata--in these parts they're almost a weed. Gorgeous, though--she said she
once even had some beige ones. An odd cross? Anyway she also harbored (and
fiercely protected) golden orb spiders--we were warned where NOT to go so as
not to disturb their webs. Well, she was our hostess and they were "her"
spiders, I thought tolerantly--then thought again when I got a close look at
one of the nearer spinners: its yellow body was the size of a 50-cent piece and
its legspread must have been 3 inches. Yeoooow! Another invitee mentioned
that the golder orb was "the least venimous spider of its size in Louisiana."