Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author Marty Essen

Wolf spider on the prairie

Marty’s photo of the day #3761: Whenever I’m out photographing nature, sooner or later I will end up on my hands and knees capturing an image of something small. In this instance, Deb, Nellie, and I were hiking the American Prairie Reserve, in a dry area that overlooked the Judith River. The ground beneath my feet had deep cracks in it, and something that looked almost like a large shrimp pulled itself into a crack and disappeared. The incident happened so quickly that I wasn’t sure what I saw—surely shrimp didn’t live on the prairie! Then on our return I saw the animal again. It was a spider. And another spider and another spider and another spider and another spider. They were everywhere! I shot the photo you are looking at now and several others. Later I identified it as a Tigrosa grandis, which is a species of wolf spider.

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