If you’re a podcast listener and on the lookout for prairie-related content, I’m a guest on two different podcasts that came out this week. The first is The Prairie Pod, a terrific podcast sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. On the episode I was part of, Megan, Mike, and I talked about habitat heterogeneity – why it’s important and how to create it. The second podcast is called Science for the Rest of Us and host Alex McKiernan and I covered just about everything you could imagine related to prairies in an hour and a half.
In other news, my wife Kim is training for an ultramarathon later this fall. Last weekend, I drove her to and from southeast Kansas so she could do some long training runs on the rocky trail the race will take place on. While she did her obscenely long trail runs, I wandered much more slowly around with my camera, trying to find something to photograph. The dense woodland along the trail and the weedy, brushy habitats nearby didn’t provide much for flowers or pollinators, but spiders were all over the place. That was ok with me, I like spiders just fine.
Below, you’ll see photos of some of the little friends I ran into. Kim ran into many more – literally – while she was running the trail. She had to comb all the silk and detritus out of her hair afterward (her reward for being the first out on the trail each morning!) My encounters were much less dramatic, both for me and the spiders. I know not everyone is a fan of spiders, but I think they’re beautiful and fascinating creatures. I can’t identify most of the species, but I’m guessing some of you will be able to.