Argiope aurantia, the Black and Yellow Garden Spider or the Writing Spider. I found this critter in my yard on Saturday evening, and didn’t get a chance to photograph her until well after the sun went down. One of the things I learned about these spiders is they don’t like flashing lights aimed directly at them when it’s dark. Because she kept moving and it was really dark, I didn’t get a single shot with decent focus. So I woke up early on Sunday and went out to see if she was still there, fortunately she was and I managed to get a couple interesting (and in focus) shots, including this one.
Hat tip to wikipedia for providing me the scientific name.