This post contains a close up image of a spider. If that kind of thing creeps you out, turn back now.
Sometimes I enjoy walking around my yard and paying attention to the little things, like mushrooms, toads, insects, and spiders. As the rain cleared one morning in August, the time seemed right for just such a backyard wildlife adventure.
My pollinator house was buzzing, a few squirrels and chipmunks were darting around, and the last of the summer flowers were blooming. I took a few photos and was returning to the house when this Rabid Wolf Spider and I crossed paths. It’s not clear whether I almost stepped on it or it nearly crawled across my foot. Either way, I was able to get a few decent photos before it scurried off into the nearby leaves and stones. When I opened this picture on my computer I was really pleased to notice a catch-light in one of the spider’s eyes!
There was a time when such a spider encounter would have really disturbed me, but those days are long gone. Spiders play an important part in our ecosystems, and are rarely of any danger to people or pets.
In March 2017 The Science of Nature published a study estimating spiders consume 400-800 tons of insects annually. As a comparison, humans consume about 400 tons of meat and fish a year. They might not be cute and cuddly but spiders really deserve our respect.