My daughter found a large cluster of Garden Orb Spider Araneus diadematus spiderlings in between two pots (above). These spiderlings balls are now everywhere (even on my car!). Once they hatch from their silky cocoon, they will stay in a tight ball for a few days in a communal web. After they moult they will disperse to make their individual webs and start catching tiny insects, mostly aphids.
There are two age groups of Araneus in the garden now. The tiny newborn spiderlings and the year old spiders which have survived the winter and are not mature. This large male has built its web in a flowering sage with is always busy with insects.
Male Araneus diadematus on his web.
A male Philodromus aureolus
We also found this lovely spider crawling on a hedge, on our way back from school. Males of some crab spiders have iridescent scales on their bodies. I think this is Philodromus aureolus. After failing to take a photos where it was as it was quite mobile, I potted it to photograph at home. Shortly after I released him in the garden I found another individual on ivy, and what could possibly be the female of the same species (below). Crab spiders don't build webs, instead sitting on leaves or flowers to ambush flying insects that stop to bask or feed on the flowers.There are several common Philodromus species, and without microscopic examination of their genitals (or palps in the case of males) identification to species is not possible, which is sadly true for many species of spider.
A female Philodromus sp.
Female wolf spider, Pardosa sp., with her egg sac.
Female Tegenaria sp.
Pholcus phalangioides, mature female.