Photo of the Week – May 17, 2012

It’s amazing what you can find when you’re crawling around on the ground…

A wolf spider stares at me as I take its (her?) photo. The Nature Conservancy’s Platte River Prairies, Nebraska.  The leg span of this spider was only about 1.5 inches.  Certainly not the biggest I’ve seen, but plenty big to intimidate people who are already squeamish about arachnids!

As I was on my knees counting plants inside a square meter plot frame last week, this little (big?) wolf spider came crawling out of the litter.  I managed to corral it into the handy little ziplock bag I carry for just such emergencies, and a half hour later when I returned to my truck, I let it back out to see if it would pose for photos.  Not having my wheelbarrow photo studio handy, I had to make do with just blocking its repeated escape attempts with my hand until it got fed up and decided to sit still and consider its next move.  It gave me about 30 seconds to squeeze off a few shots. 

Then it dashed off again, and I let it go.  I had plants to count, and the spider had a meal to find.

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About Chris Helzer

Chris Helzer is the Director of Science for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska. His main role is to evaluate and capture lessons from the Conservancy’s land management and restoration work and then share those lessons with other landowners – both private and public. In addition, Chris works to raise awareness about the importance of prairies and their conservation through his writing, photography, and presentations to various groups. Chris is also the author of "The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States", published by the University of Iowa Press. He lives in Aurora, Nebraska with his wife Kim and their children.
This entry was posted in Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Photo of the Week – May 17, 2012

  1. rudy parnell says:

    Pretty Cool Spider……thanks

  2. James C. Trager says:

    Yep, it’s a girl, reconizable by its relatively slender pedipalps and relatively bulky abdomen.

  3. Karen Hamburger says:

    SHE is beautiful…thanks Chris. She is now my desk top backround…for at least until you give us another amasing photo!!!!

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