Tiny flies(seen in 2nd. shot) landed on spider and it's prey with impunity.
It rained the day prior and while walking around Briones Park I could see quite a few webs glistening in the morning dew. I spotted at least 6 individual spiders on their own webs in 2 separate fields about 1/4 mile apart.
I saw this web two days ago. It was occupied by a banded garden spider, but in an area that was poorly accessible for macro photography. At the time, the web was ringed with the seeds of the thistle - an apparent attempt to make it visible. Today, the stabilimenta (ladder pattern) had been added but the spider was no where to be found.
I have never heard of a spider decorating their web with seeds. But the seeds are in a ring around the center where the spider would sit so it looks like this decoration is intentional.
Argiope trifasciata (also known as the banded garden spider in the United States) is a species of spider found around the world. It can be found in certain areas of Europe, namely the Iberian Peninsula, the Canary Islands or Madeira. The similar looking Argiope bruennichi is common in the Azores. Considered a pest in some areas, they typically begin to appear during autumn from early September to late October as temperatures start dropping.