DH and I were out the other night, plucking ripe tomatoes off our happy tomato plants when we spied this large spider right in the middle of the plants, right in the center of our raised bed. We got over the creep factor (DH called it "grim looking") and left it alone. I decided to check it out more closely last night and noticed this neat zipper pattern down the center of its web. So I ran inside to search for what exactly it was (search terms "garden spider zipper web"). Turns out it's a beneficial garden spider called Argiope aurantia or the black and yellow garden spider. I ran out to DH to tell him to leave it alone, and then I took pictures of it. Well, of her - it's a female. She stayed right in the center of her web without moving even while I disturbed the plants (and thus her web) while trying to get the best angle for a picture. Her stillness makes me feel better about reaching around her to get to our tomatoes, I won't be afraid of her jumping on me. So we have happy plants, happy bees and now a happy spider in our happy garden. Can you tell I'm pleased with our garden this year?