This is Charlotte. Isn't she beautiful? She's a garden spider, or Argiope aurantia if you want to be technical. Not harmful to humans, only to bugs, I love having garden spiders around.
When we lived on Ellsworth Air Force Base, SD, I had to grow my tomatoes in pots on the deck because we weren't allowed to have vegetable gardens in base housing. One summer, a garden spider took up residence in one of my tomatoes. Over the course of the summer, we watched her grow from a small spiderling to a very large adult. We named her Charlotte, after the main character in Charlotte's Web. In our house on base, I had a big, open kitchen/dining area that exited out to the deck. When the weather started getting cooler and the tomato plants were starting to suffer, I brought them inside and had them under grow lights in the dining area until the last of the tomatoes ripened. And Charlotte came inside too. It just seemed rude to kick her out of her home, and we'd grown kind of fond of her. I watched her carefully, and she never left her web. We tossed in bugs for her from time to time. She actually lived another few months, then one morning, I found her in the pot where she'd fallen when she died. She'd simply come to the end of her life cycle. So, through the years, we have called all garden spiders Charlotte, and we are always happy to see one making a home somewhere in our flowers.