What kind of spider is this?

Brooklyn, NY

This, big spider turned up in our window, near where our indoor garden is. Does anyone recognize it? It looks like a female orb spider? Any ideas? So beautiful!

Thank you!

Thumbnail by daddylonglegs
Minot, ND

This is indeed a female orb weaver. Specifically, it is Araneus diadematus, very common and widespread species that often is called the cross spider/cross orbweaver in North America and the European garden spider in Europe - http://www.spiders.us/species/araneus-diadematus/

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