On his next slide down the banister he repeated, "I think that's a black widow spider."
On his third slide (and third pronouncement) I got up to take a look.
The spider was tiny, but I could clearly see the red spot on its back. The spider was busily working on a small web at the intersection of the banister and the porch railing. I captured him (or her) in a jar, and took a look through a magnifying glass. The spider is small, and the glass jar is thick and irregular, but I'm sure it's a black widow. Unfortunately I can't get a good photo, but I found this one on Wikipedia by "Trachemys":
Now I'm wondering what I might find if I haul out the old windows under my house...or even the lawn mower or power washer!
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of our island Post Office. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042113.htm.