Spider Tales — Part Two

The Mother of All “Oh.My.Goodness.” Spiders

So.  I had an hour to kill while the car dealer did his thing.  I’d seen a couple of yellow butterflies fluttering above the overgrown area just beyond the parking lot. I headed that way, camera in hand.
The butterflies were gone when I got there.

Not to worry, I was sure there were plenty of other things to train my lens on.  I was right, but nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to see.

Discovered a Spit Bug's Lair. I've just found out that there's more to this bug than the Spit!

I noticed a rolled up leaf with some webbing. Hmm. Somebody must be in there.

Time for closer inspection.

Oh wow. It has legs, but I've never seen anything walking around with a bumpy rear like that!

The side view didn't yield much information. Another leg ...

I saw another leg poking out as I approached the front of the Leaf House.

Resting with a leg out. By now, I'd decided these were spider parts.

Guess I got too close. A leg shot out at me!

And the legs went back in. Whew! That was a close one!

A (blurry) face! Cute. Love the mustache!

I returned to the rear and got a better shot. Still curious about that bumpy back side!

My work done there, I turned my attention to a nearby flower.

Buds. What still hasn't bloomed?

THEN I saw her.

At over 2" long, The BIGGEST SPIDER I'VE EVER SEEN IN THE WILD. In the grass. IN my hometown!

And I noticed movement on her lumpy part.  BABIES!  A plethora of BABIES were crawling around on their Mama.  BABIES who would GROW UP!  In the grass!  IN my hometown!!!
A passing dragonfly (perhaps a damsel, I don’t know.) caught my attention, and I turned to fire off a few shots at it.
When I turned back, she was GONE!

Found her! Hiding under leaves that frame her quite nicely

I really hadn't been sure about the babies, but this shot proves that's what they are.

I turned away once more and she was GONE.
I took my sandal-shod feet to a spot about a yard away to continue my photo shoot.
I never did get to shoot the butterflies.  They reappeared as I was getting in my car to leave.  And I saw one at each of the 3 traffic lights on the way home. :~p
And the Mama Arachnid?  Wolf Spider.  She doesn’t look quite like the one that’s most prevalent in this area, but she’s a wolf spider for sure.  In the grass. IN my hometown!