So many spiders

Spider nest in tall coneflower

What you see here is a very large web in a tall coneflower plant.  Within the web are two spider egg masses which have hatched.  The spiders are already dispersing from the upper egg mass.  If you look closely at the lower group, you can actually see individual spiders in this brown blob.

Spiders

A few days prior to this I was able to photograph the mother spider.  The size of the spider caught my eye initially.  I was not able to get very close due to a ditch between the two of us and the height of the tall coneflower.  Of course, I also was not interested in getting too close because I did not want to scare her into movement which might cause me to move (fast!) away from her.

Tall coneflower with spider

She is huge!  Does anyone know what kind of spider this is — or anything else about it?

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