These three shots show the story of our interaction with her. (I know she’s a female because the males are much smaller. We spotted one—probably a potential mate, but he ran away before I could snap a shot. Bummer.)
Then I accidentally shook the web. I backed away a bit for the second image, but you can see that the spider is now very nervous. See how her legs are coiled in. Sorry, spider.
Finally, she had had enough of me. As she ran away, I ended up with a nice shot of her back side. Oh, okay, I should really be scientifically accurate and say it’s her abdomen.
I always like looking for spiders while enjoying the fall foliage. Autumn is the time of year when spiders are most active because they are looking for mates. But this lovely lady was just hanging out on a web built very close to the trail. What a wonderful surprise!