Now if you know me well enough, it's no secret that I like dangerous creatures. :) So of course I have to go snooping around for them, even in Australia!
This particular spider is called the St Andrew's Cross and I ran into it (not literally, though) by accident in Tim's backyard.
It chose to pointedly ignore us while Tim snapped various close-up pictures of it and its rather unusual zig-zag crossed web.
I wasn't the least bit offended. Tim said it hurts like a bitch if it bites you, and travelling without medical insurance, I thought it wise to stay clear. The St Andrew's Cross can ignore me anyday if it wants to - I really don't mind.
Of course, that's probably nothing compared to the infamous Australian funnel-web, which is indigenous to the Sydney area.
The funnel-web is one of the most poisonous spiders in the world. It usually makes an appearance when the rain washes it out of its funnel-shaped web on the ground.
It then woefully decides to find a new home in people's shoes but unapologetically injects a potent dose of venom when agitated. I expect it wouldn't be too anxious to share its personal and private space with some toes.
I have since been faithfully knocking out my shoes every morning - before putting them on - in anticipation (or not) of one.