European Garden Spider my friend found in Petaluma, California.
Photo By Tamar Ingber
The European garden spider (Araneus diadematus) is a very common and well-known orb-weaver spider in Europe and parts of North America, in a range extending from New England and the Southeast to California and the northwestern United States and adjacent parts of southern Canada. Individual spiders’ colouring can range from extremely light yellow to very dark grey, but all European garden spiders have mottled markings across the back, with five or more large, white dots forming a cross. Since this tends to be a passive animal, it is difficult to provoke to bite—but if it does, the bite is just slightly unpleasant and completely harmless to humans. (wiki.)