Nephila clavipes is a big spider. This one wasn't though, probably about half the adult size. Their webs can be 2 meters in diameter in their native habitat, southeastern USA. They're also the lab rats of many a scientific spider silk study, which explains how I got a picture.
I went up to Laramie, Wyoming the University of Wyoming's Molecular Biology Lab. This is the place where they have sequenced tons of spider silk genes. I met with Shane Nelson a graduate student there in the hopes that we could work together for some project -- perhaps investigating the structure of the silk molecules.