As expected at this time of year, there are very many garden spiders to be found. Yesterday, I was thrilled to observe a male and female performing their mating ritual. The smaller male was tapping on the much larger female’s web (so it appeared to me), having spun a strand to her web from a wooden post. Her web was in and around some crocosmia in a pot near to the post. Several times, he approached the female and for whatever reason (fear of being eaten?), he quickly moved back when she got closer to him and certainly while I was watching, mating did not occur and he retreated completely.
The first photo was a quick one before I realised what was going on.