What Spider?

spider closeup
spider

Is it a Garden Spider Araneus diadematus?

I’d say body and head together measure about 15mm (2/3 of an inch).

It was (still is) on the compost bin in our front garden here in central Cambridge with a web stretching across to the black bin – a distance of about 15cm (six inches).

When I raised the lid on the green bin it walked sideways along the web and then back again as I lowered the lid on the bin.

Reply from a spider expert

What you have there is a Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus). You can recognise it by the diamond-shaped abdomen (hence the scientific name), the banded legs, and also those white dots on the dorsal area.  The colour of this species varies a lot which can lead to some confusion. They’re not dangerous, so you won’t need to move home.

Scientific name: Araneus diadematus
Size: Males up to 8mm, females up to 13mm
Distribution: Rare. Found throughout the UK
Months seen: June to October
Habitat: Found in hedgerows, woodlands and gardens
Food: Small invertebrates. Mostly flying insects which are caught in orb webs
Special features: Garden spiders are sometimes called Cross spiders on account of the white ‘+’ cross-shaped mark on the abdomen. They’re most frequently seen in September and October, when they reach adult size.
The females are usually seen upside-down in the centre of their circular webs, which they construct about a metre off the ground, in trees and hedges.
The colour of the abdomen is extremely variable. It can be anything from dark grey, through brown, orange, yellow to white. Usually at least five of the dots making up the cross marking are visible to some extent.
Garden Spiders lay their egg sacs on strong branches, fences, garden sheds or other structures in late summer and early autumn. The young spiderlings, which appear in spring and early summer look very different. Their bodies are bright yellow with a dark brown triangular patch on the abdomen.

WordPress.com Becomes Home.blog

A funny thing happened when I started what I thought was going to be a standard setup of a new WordPress blog. I expected it would be in the usual style of something dot wordpress dot com.

I started and chose the name Pangolin, and I could see that for the free option the URL would be https://pangolin.home.blog

Now I know that Automattic (the company that owns WordPress.com) bought the top level .blog domain a couple of years ago, but I never expected they would be using it to direct everything away from using the word WordPress on the front end. 

As I continued I could see that in the back end the URL was pangolinhome.wordpress.com.

Try typing that into the browser and you will it change to pangolin.home.blog

Is this just something they are experimenting with, or is it a permanent change for WordPress.com?

Follow-Up

I wondered what home.blog was, so I went visiting. It is the website of A3 – Appalachia + AGI + Automattic and in the About page it says:

Project A3 Goals

Building upon the ethos of WordPress — the open and collaborative technology platform co-founded in 2003 by Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg at the age of 19 — Alliance Graphique Internationale design legends Marian Bantjes, Michael Bierut, Minchaya Chayosumrit, Yung-Chen Nieh, Alejandro Paul, Taku Satoh, Eddie Opara, Nancy Skolos have created visual designs for the web together with high school students in Paintsville, Kentucky and digital designers at Automattic in an all-remote collaboration that spans the world. The one-of-kind visual designs crafted by the AGI designers center around themes that include Home, Art, Photo, Science, Code, Poetry, Water, and Music as presented on the dedicated websites Home.blog, Art.blog, Photo.blog, Science.blog, Code.blog, Poetry.blog, Water.blog, Music.blog as permanent symbols on the Internet of digital creativity. From these websites, anyone can create a blog as a free subdomain like: laura.science.blog or philippe.code.blog, etc.

(My emphasis – text made bold)

At the bottom of the page it said to click to start a home.blog so I clicked to start a blog and found myself back where I was when I had started hours earlier to create a new blog.

Only this time as I was going through the process I clicked on ‘alternative -something or other’ (can’t recall exactly what it said) and I typed in some vaguely random words. And before I knew it I had created SearchDotPress which is searchdotpress dot wordpress dot com

So by accident I had managed to make a site with an address that was wordpress dot com rather than something or other dot blog.

This is getting out of hand and about as confusing as heck.