Even though we are studying spiders, I really didn't intend to have such a large specimen outside the window to study. We're trying to figure out what kind of spider it is. Can you help us? Click here to view a picture. (This is the only not-out-of-focus picture.)
Here are some more pictures -- taken with my camera unfortunately, meaning they aren't in focus because I'm zoomed in so far. Point and shoots only do so much.
Gotcha! These are two of the craft spiders we made at co-op. Much less scary!
Could this be it?
Added *much* later: I'm told this is an eastern orb spider.