Awww, look. A butterfly.
When I took this photo my camera wasn’t aimed at the butterfly though, I had spent ten minutes aiming it in the direction of the big spider curled up in the bottom corner of the photo.
Eeek, right? (Sorry to you arachnophobes, maybe you should stop reading now 😉 )
This guy is a Wolf Spider and, unfortunately, we have plenty of them living in the garden. They live in burrows, so digging a hole always brings the chance of an unexpected attack. I think that is all the more reason for more of those raised garden beds!
They love a bit of sun, often seen soaking up some rays in the mouth of their burrows. They can be quite hard to get close to, your shadow or the vibrations from your steps sees them dashing back down their hole to safety. This is good. I don’t want them thinking they can scare me off by standing up to me, although they definitely could.
Wolf spiders have excellent eyesight and aren’t wait-in-the-web kind of spiders, they will hunt down their prey.*
Now we come to the big problem I have.
Unfortunately his (or hers, but I’ll go with his) burrow is right where I need to dig the level for a new garden bed that is in the shed awaiting assembly.
He is pretty big, as you can see in comparison with the butterfly, and I have seen him stomping about his front garden of an evening without being wary of me at all.
I don’t really want to have to introduce him to the flat side of the shovel but my attempts at moving him on so far haven’t been successful at all…
Just for those of you who haven’t already run screaming away because of the horribleness of the spider, any spider, here is some video from a person who is more patient and far braver than me. Once my spider started getting a bit active I was happy to wander off and take some pictures of things that were less scary… and hairy.. 😉
*Some years ago the Man was doing a late afternoon car repair that ran into the evening. He was lying out on the driveway underneath the car and I was holding a torch for him. Every now and again we could hear scuttling in the gravel near us and, shining the torch around, we could see three of these guys, big ones, hunting the critters attracted to the light. Terrifying.
As you can imagine there was never a car put back together as quickly as that one….
As I was reading this my hair tickled my arm and then I shaved my head and moved into a new house just to be sure it wasn’t a spider.
And even now you are still feeling their little tap-tappy feet walking all over you aren’t you? *shudder*
While I was standing there with my camera I could feel imaginary spiders walking all over me. Horrible.
I was standing well away while I was taking these pictures but when he came out of his burrow and turned around it was all I could do not to just cut and run. I was metres away and it moved a single body length. It was embarassing, but still, I nearly ran.
Spiders, man. Remember when you were driving me home from work and a spider was in your car and I jumped out in terror and banged your car door on a pole? Fun times.
Gawd, you must be loopy. If I had something like that in my garden I’d move Country never mind move house. Do they bite, are they poisonous? I’d be filming and photographing the thing from another County. Please tell me son #2 doesn’t collect them.
xxx Huge shuddering Hugs xxx
Yes, they do bite, sorry. They won’t kill you but their bite might give you a reaction. All the more reason to be well-armed when you are gardening if you ask me! 😀
And no. Number 2 doesn’t collect them, phew. They are the kind of thing that sends him racing inside to safety, not for a jar!
That looks a very big spider. I don’t know how you cope in Australia!
Because they are generally so wary of people and are quick to race into their holes at our approach I guess most people don’t even know they exist. Lucky them….. 😉
There has been the odd one who hasn’t taken repeated hints to move away from a high traffic area and stop freaking us out, unfortunately the Man takes over then and we don’t see them again. Don’t want to know what he does, I just know that it works.
Apologies for the brief reference to fungus, I was just trying to get out of here as quickly as I could.. lol
I’ve now minimized my screen and can’t see those very clear beautifully captured shots of that monster spider with drumsticks for legs!
I once heard that they were quite dangerous if they chomped you, though recent evidence has shown that sometimes, people do not even to get medical attention! I;m not sure what I would do in your position, perhaps an alternative is moving house – to a 7th floor apartment with concrete veranda’s and no plants for them to burrow holes in?
The whole time I was watching him my internal voice was shouting “it’s moving! JUST RUN!!”.
I don’t know about Wolf spiders in the rest of the world but the bite isn’t really dangerous although it can give you a reaction. There are funnel web spiders in Australia too, they live in holes as well and some of them are much more dangerous. Spiders in holes in the garden are all just bad to me! 🙂
I did have a friend who lived nearby and who, after a few too many encounters with scary critters, moved back to the suburbs with a sigh of relief. 🙂
I lived down in Singleton for a few years (Just out of the Hunter Valley). I was bitten on the bum by a Red Back who was curled up in my pyjamas that were sitting on the floor.
I’ve seen a few Funnel Webs. Not something you would want to be chomped by at all!
Redback in your pj’s? Not nice at all! 😦 I bet you still check them each night after that, I know I would. Eeeek!
I have had some living in the engine bay of my car in the past (I say in the past but they could still be there, shows how long it is since I checked the oil, doesn’t it?). They stayed on the outside and I left them alone. If they moved though, well then I would be straight down to the steam cleaner and they would be cooked!
I’ve not ever left them on the floor since (pyjamas)!
I live in the Northern Territory now and we get Souse Spiders and Huntsmans, Canetoads, snake here and there.
Enough to make any person from another country not want to come here! lol
Love the clearness and details of your photographs 🙂
Wow, that is one awesome spider. It looks a bit scary, but he seems to have made a nice little home for himself. Shame he is living where you want to dig your new garden bed, hope he takes the hint and moves. Don’t know that much about Spiders, is this one very dangerous to people as well? Lets hope it works out ok. We don’t have very big spiders here in UK, nothing poisonous. We do have a tiny spider, think its called a Wolf Spider as well, that moves in little jumps. We see them in the summer. Other than that its just ordinary house spiders really that tend to come in during the winter. I remember seeing a big spider in a web on marshland on a school trip once, but I can’t remember what it was called. As for your story about three of these spiders scuttling around under the car, EEEP! I bet you fixed it quickly!! Hope you can sort out your problem with the Wolf Spider and move him to a new home.
Even though they terrify me I think they are pretty awesome too. It is a pity he is living in the wrong spot, I have dug the bed as close as I dare, ruining his nice view down the hill and am hoping he decides to move to a nicer neighbourhood before the next time I am out there with the shovel.
These spiders can bite you but aren’t supposed to be dangerous, you might have a reaction to them but they won’t kill you. I have to say that if one was on me I would probably do more harm to myself trying to get away than any bite would actually do.
You are lucky there, not having very big spiders but I know that there are places in the world where he spiders are much larger. I guess it is all perspective isn’t it? It doesn’t matter how big the spider is that is on you right now, getting it off is the only thing that matters! 😀
Yes, we don’t have spiders like those here in the UK. I don’t think I would want to get close to a big spider either. Lets hope your Wolf Spider decides to move on now you have dug away his view. It is a fantastic looking spider though, fingers crossed he has moved for you.
Just watched the video as well! That spider is fast! Great clip, always enjoy watching things about nature and wildlife. Cheers!
I’m really glad you watched it, I wasn’t sure anyone would!
It is great camera work isn’t it. 🙂
Cheers, I love watching anything about nature and wildlife. I’m always watching stuff on Nat Geo and Discovery channels. I know lot of people don’t like spiders, but I think they are really interesting to see how they hunt in their natural environment. Awesome camera work as well.
Oh…so those smallish holes aren’t for mice… -shudder-
I can’t tell the difference between a huntsman and a wolfspider, but I intend to be much more careful where I dig from now on.
Btw the wind has suddenly picked up to gale force here again. 😦 What the hell is going on with our weather? I’m just praying this phase blows itself out before January and the worst of the fire season.
No, sorry about that…. But before you go pouring boiling water down all the holes in the garden remember that some of them might be hiding land yabbies, we don’t want to kill them!
Huntsmen are flat but wolf spiders are more primitive looking and their bodies and head are more dome shaped. The ones we have here are mainly greyish with black and kind of stripy, but huntsmen are usually shades of brown.
Next time you want to dig just make sure you stomp around and clang your shovel a bit, I’m sure they will run for their lives! If you have lots of grass and alpacas pooing everywhere I’m not sure they will be as quick to colonise your place. I think they like our hill because it is quite open and there are lots of juicy insects wandering through the undergrowth.
If it is any consolation to you some people keep them as pets. No? Not a consolation? No, not for me either…. 😉
The wind is terrible isn’t it? The kids and I have pretty much spent the entire holidays inside, it is too dangerous for them to play in the garden under the ferociously swaying trees, and the bike ride we want to go on is along the heavily treed Warby trail. The power has gone out a few times too. All in all not the best holiday weather we could be having!
I noticed yesterday that one of the small beetroot had actually come nearly completely out of the ground. I can only imagine it was the wind because it was on the end of a row, hadn’t been nibbled in any way and they have nice big leaves like sails…. Now I’m scared the chickens might get blown away! 😉
I’m hoping that it is using up all the blowiness before fire season too. A day like this at 40 deg and I would be packing up and finding somewhere else to be.
I am sick of the wind! Well and truly over it! It seems to have followed us around the state and up into NSW over the last month. (Whoops, shouldn’t say that, because now you will think I have brought the wind back from my holidays…..It wasn’t me!)
*points accusing finger* “It’s YOUR fault!” 😉
When we went to Alice Springs a few years ago it rained all the way from home there. Flooding in the desert, Coober Pedy was flooded, we felt like it was all our fault!
I have noticed the weather all around the lower half of the country has been pretty wild lately, not the best time to be caravanning, although I guess it is far better than tenting it! 😀 I’m not sure it is going to get any better in a hurry either.
I’m totally over the wind too, we haven’t been able to do anything these holidays because we can’t go outside! We don’t go shopping down the line for entertainment so we have had to find things to do inside. I’m very lucky the boys get along so well. 🙂
It sounds like you should hire you and your family out as drought busters.
It is a definite fact, known by all teachers, that children get really ratty on windy days. I do hope your lovely boys didn’t have their brains, and good sense, scrambled by the wind. At least it seems to have died down today.
Ahem… in order of importance [to my paranoia] do wolf spiders come inside??? It’s just that some of the huntsman spiders we’ve had in the house can be quite aggro. Given that we give them a very wide berth until the Mortein and the broom can do their work, I’ve never really seen them up close and personal…
Yeah this is truly lousy holiday weather. You and the boys must be getting cabin fever I’ve been taking Mogi out the front for our evening pee walk because there’s a big gum out the back with not one, but TWO massive branches broken and ready to drop. I’m terrified she’ll get smooshed.
I went out this morning before the wind started up again and felt like crying – I’ve spent the last couple of weeks collecting piles and deadfall and burning it off. Now it’s all back again. It’s worse than vacuuming.:(
Yeah, I haven’t been this tense at this time of year in a while. I hope a lot of people follow your example Metan. I think we’ve become a bit complacent the last couple of years.
I have never seen them inside and they seem to prefer their holes so I’m not sure one would intentionally come to visit you. The only one who would make it inside is probably saying “Oh my god! It’s so bright and the ground is so hard! What’s that noise? Aaargh! A giant!!” Then there are no more thoughts and Meeks is banging a corpse off the broom on the back verandah. 😉
The boys are getting a bit of cabin fever. They turned the dining room into a kill zone today and it was the kitchen vs the hall, battling it out with Nerf guns. I had to go to town so I left them to it and returned twenty minutes later expecting to find something, or someone, horribly broken. Fortunately all was well and I was received with open arms when I showed them the (very cheap) bows with foam arrows I had bought for them in the hopes they would stop shooting at each other and take my suggestion to find an inanimate target. It was a success and we ended the day without any real injuries. Phew. 😀
Sorry to hear about the leaves, that is massively annoying. 😦 I have given up worrying about it for now, once the weather starts warming up, and the wind dies down, we can have a big burn off. Then we will be out there collecting all the sticks, but until then I am going to pretend all is well and not let it bother me otherwise I’ll go mad. Maybe you need to get a fortnightly green waste bin from the council, that way you can ship it off to be turned into mulch and not have to worry about having to burn it off yourself.
-grin- You’re a good mum but how on earth did you get them not to shoot at each other???
I know it’s silly to obsess about the branches just yet. It’s just that with an acre and a half I know I don’t have the energy to to do it in one hit. Ihave to do a bit at a time. But you’re right, doing it now useless.
We do have a green waste bin but it’s the smaller one, ok for leaves but not much good for anything but the tiniest twigs.
Well, the secret is to tell them not to shoot each other then find something to do far enough away that they can do it a few times. I then catch them shooting each other and tell them they’ll lose them if they do it again. They get it out of their system and I maintain my authority. 🙂
I understand that you want to keep on top of the leaves with an acre and a half of them. We never seem to catch up and we only have half an acre. Oh well, keep loading up the green bin with what you can and the weather will clear soon enough.
lol – there speaks an experienced mother of boys!
This is more dead fall than leaves, although I do try to keep them away from the house for obvious reasons. Anyway, I’ve given up for the moment. I just don’t have the energy to face such a hopeless task. It really is like housework but on a grand scale. Bleh…
That you have been watching, taking photos and hoping Wolfie will move along of its own accord is a hint that you are getting soft and coming over to the spider loving dark side. I liked the clip – fascinating, although I wanted to drop a spider onto the narrator to infuse an infelction into his tone. I can’t suggest how to move Wolfie along permanently, and I’m not into violent solutions… perhaps a trail of grasshoppers or crickets. Love the 3 spiders story… priceless 🙂
Maybe not going soft, more of a grudging respect…. 😉 The only spiders I actually like are the jumping spiders who watch you with their big puppy dog eyes. They have no interest in walking on you either, the perfect arachnid! 😀
The narrator was trying to sound suitably serious I think. At least it was better than the usual home made clip where there is too much background noise and somebody just saying “Oh my gawd! Look at this! Oh my gawd!!!” 😀
I have tried a few things to move on Wolfie, clear felling his garden, no joy. A high pressure hose in his front door didn’t do anything but make his doorway bigger. Seeing him out surveying his domain one evening and using a long (long long long) stick to try to make him run off so could destroy his house when he was safely away just made him go flat and cling on to a plant….
I’m thinking of a bucket of soapy water poured down there might annoy him enough to get him out but not do him any harm. I’d better get on with it though, the Man is ready to enter the ‘terminate with extreme prejudice’ phase….
Did the butterfly succumb?
Your pictures make me feel much happier about our own British garden spiders, which a quite cute by comparison!
No, the butterfly managed to flit away safely. I think that the spider was a bit distracted by me, luckily for the butterfly! Then again a butterfly can’t be much more than a powdery mouthful. Maybe they aren’t usually on the menu unless times are tough. 🙂
I’m pleased I could help you appreciate your own cuter spiders more, these guys could clean my house and make me dinner and I would still be scared of them. 😉
Strangely, I quite enjoyed the video. I was reminded of Miniscule, the difference being that the real spider got the prey. That never happens in Miniscule. It is one of my favourite shows, and always makes me laugh. Watching the French countryside helps too.
You’re right, I t is quite Miniscule-ish. 🙂
I have never seen the wolf spider from this point of view so I really liked it. I. Still scared of them, but I really liked it. 😀
Wow! What a marvelous MONSTER!
Sometimes the real life monsters are just as scary as the made up ones! 😀
Hey, are you alright as you’ve gone very quiet. Just a break from blogging? I only ask what with the big fires in Australia. Hope you’re all OK.
I was wondering the same thing — hoping that you have won Tattslotto and are off somewhere wonderful.
Nothing from you for three weeks… hope the spiders haven’t got you… or the fires 😦