My relationship with spiders is, to say the least, one of fearful fascination. So, to get close enough to any spider to take its photograph is something of an ordeal for me. But this morning, we came across this rather fat-looking individual in the grasses of our locale.
Araneus quadratus). Somewhat similar to the more common Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus) to which it is closely related, this species differs in the obvious four spots on its abdomen and the rather more swollen nature of that abdomen in the female.
Enough of this, time for a small brandy after this close encounter!