This species of spider has been the subject of some of the scientific work at the Firestone Center. The golden silk orb weaver is a spider that can get very large, and makes fairly obvious webs in mostly sunny areas. It has a very wide distribution so many people are familiar with them, and we enjoy seeing them here.
And this photo is need of some explanation. The large obvious, colorful spider is the female spider. If you look closely just to the right of her abdomen you can actually make out the male spider (way smaller), which is using her web to hang out on. And that which looks like another spider down lower is the female's molt skin, which she just shed hours before I took this photo (I observed her earlier in the day and she had not molted).
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Keith Christenson - Wildlife Biologist