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Unusual Animal Encounters

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junglehair,

 

the spider you photographed is a Fishing Spider.  pretty common along rivers and streams in N.C.  absoulutely no danger to people.  pretty neat to see such a large spider, hunh?  -harry

That's a cool pic! What size is that? Hard to tell from that photo without anything to compare it with.

I think that someone mentioned it was around 7 inches or 18 cm.

It is such a cool pic because it does look so deceptively large.

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I think that someone mentioned it was around 7 inches or 18 cm. 

It is such a cool pic because it does look so deceptively large.

Oops, you're right, I missed the size. :P I'll make up by showing a picture of a rhino we once found when caching: :P

5068f263-eb2d-45f1-ac87-faf6e0d7cebe.jpg

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Can someone help identify these little critters?  I took this picture while hunting a cache recently.  They were small and there were thousands of them clustered on a tree branch.  They seemed to be waving or twitching  that little fluffy thing.

 

825fffea-f4dc-4971-a64c-a575ab4ed7fd.jpg

 

Thanks,

    John

They are called "woolly aphids".

They suck the sap out of the tree branch and excrete a honeydew. If you look on the ground or the branches under them you will see a grayish coloration that will eventually become black as a sooty mold fungus grows on the honeydew. Then another fungus will grow on it that looks sort of like a clump of coral, only soft, called "Scorious spongiosus" ( I'm not sure of the spelling on that.)

As a protective device tha woolly aphids are not only covered with a waxy coating, but when disturbed will wave their tails in an attempt to make the group look like one bigger animal.

They are also known as Beech Blight Aphids, as they are killing beech trees by the groves in New England and much of the midwest. I found many trees infested with these in Brown County Indiana this summer. They look really neat in the tens of thousands, and if you breathe on them, they dance and amusing frenzied jig. I shot a quicktime video of them on my digital camera, but I'm not at home to attach it here.

 

Excellent website about them. Lots of pics here.

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six-spotted fishing spider (dolomedes triton) male 3/8 -1/2 in. (9-13 mm), female 5/8 -3/4 in (15-20 mm) with up to 2 1/2 in (64mm) legspan. the total length of a fishing spider female would be in the neighborhood of 5-6 in. they really are impressive to see all stretched out on a limb as shown in the picture. they prey on insects and sometimes tadpoles and small fish. -harry

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junglehair,

 

the spider you photographed is a Fishing Spider. pretty common along rivers and streams in N.C. absolutely no danger to people. pretty neat to see such a large spider, hunh? -harry

Oh ya, neat - that's what I was thinking at the time (as I was high tailing it out of there!)

 

Divine - the spider was approximately 7" end to end.

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well now, that rat snake sure looks like a common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis). nice pics. -harry

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During our walk to Kromme Rade (GC41FE) we saw this small lobster near a lake just a few minutes after it stopt raining. Unusual, and we problably never have seen this creature without geocaching ;) . We didn’t find the cache that day, but were successful in a second attempt.

 

b99d4f2a-6c55-4efc-a007-d02c34c060ca.jpg

Edited by Dutch-Locutus

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... but not without carrying a big stick with me to fend off the killer squirrels.

What you have to remember is that squirrels are basically just rats with a pretty bushy tail and good PR!

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7a19803b-e101-477e-999f-a37b3caca27d.jpg

 

Not the greatest photo -- I was close enough to really enjoy this with the naked eye, but the camera shot was a little further. I tried to enlarge it as best as I could. I thought it was pretty neat to see one of these near a cache! And I actually saw another a few minutes later!

 

Bec

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7a19803b-e101-477e-999f-a37b3caca27d.jpg

 

Not the greatest photo -- I was close enough to really enjoy this with the naked eye, but the camera shot was a little further. I tried to enlarge it as best as I could. I thought it was pretty neat to see one of these near a cache! And I actually saw another a few minutes later!

 

Bec

That's too cool. Where were you at?

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This Cache

 

Actually, I saw two bald eagles near this cache. It's in Northern Wisconsin -- sort of close to our cabin in Phillips (a beautiful area!) The porcupine I saw and posted a photo of a few months back was also in this general area.

 

Bec

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HoneyMoon Island State Park off the Gulf Coast of Pinellas County Fl - home to several caches, all now either archived or disabled due to hurricane damage - we saw many many many Osprey nests, and a few Great Horned Owls. The owls were making at least part of their living by eating Osprey chicks. I got a shot of an owl with a chick in its talons. Don't have enough zoom for this to be real good.

a9d83608-db69-4351-b4ee-a1d9d1cb036b.jpg

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Here is a cache log from Gary & Vicky cachers from Folsom, CA about there encounter with a Bull Elk

 

Many of you are familiar with the Delorme Challenge (GCHANH). Vicky and I cleared several pages on Sunday and Monday. The following is our log from the "Looking into the Whale's Mouth" cache (GCKE5K) located on the "Lost Coast" of California.

 

_____________________________

 

This was an unforgettable cache. We’ll not forget the anticipation of going to the Lost Coast for the first time. We’ll not forget the unbelievably winding road down to Needle Rock. We’ll not forget the rustic Visitor Center at Needle Rock. We’ll not forget the beautiful hike to the Whale’s Mouth. We’ll not forget writing in the log book that we wish we would have seen a few Elk on our way to the cache. We’ll also never forget to be careful what you wish for.

 

We were about 15 minutes into our return hike along the narrow trail as it goes through the trees. As we were going around a blind corner we came face to face with a 1000 pound Bull Elk. The elk immediately charged at us. The huge antlers were coming right at me. I don’t normally carry a walking stick but I’m sure glad I did that day. I swung the stick wildly at the great beast while yelling at the top of my voice to “Get Back”. The huge Elk stepped off the trail a few feet but started displaying the aggressive behavior of clanging its antlers in a nearby tree. A few moments later, the Elk started vocalizing its displeasure with strange elk bugling. All the time the elk stood between us and our only way back to our car. He continued to stare us down for 20 minutes or so. To one side of us was a steep ravine, the other side was thick forest, behind was miles and miles of the infamous Lost Coast. With no way around the bull, we hoped he would move up the trail so we could slip by.

 

Needless to say, we were definitely worried about our predicament. We’ve been hiking in the wilderness for decades. We have come across all manner of wildlife before. Without fail, the wildlife was always as interested in getting away from us as we were in it keeping our distance from them. But, not this time. The Bull Elk continued to stay just down the trail from us. Slowly we would tip-toe down the trail only to see the Elk was still there. After about an hour of playing this hide and seek game, we could no longer hear or see the elk. We moved down the trail a little further. We peeked around a blind corner, only to come in full view of the elk again. Once again the elk came charging at us. We backed off the trail a short distance and a stood behind some short manzanita bushes (hardly protection from a charging bull elk), all the time we were backing up, I was swinging my hiking stick and yelling at the beast. He backed off a few feet. I picked up a nearby stone to throw. When I threw the rock at the animal’s rear-end, he saw it coming and moved quickly up the hill a short ways. Seeing that the rock throwing was moving the animal in the right direction, I tossed another in its directions. Again he moved further up the hill and away from the trail. Finally, we saw an opening. We ran as quickly as we could down the trail, looking back occasionally to see if the elk was going to hold a grudge over the rock throwing incident. Fortunately, that was the last we would see of that particular animal. As Vicky ran through the nearby stream (not worrying about wet shoes this time), she did not see the elk just on the other side of a tree just 15 feet off the trail. This elk probably wondered why the two strange humans were in such a hurry. We walked cautiously and quickly for the next mile and a quarter. We came to a ravine that we needed to cross. On the other side of the ravine was another bull elk a short distance up the hill from the trail. Since this elk was sitting down and was not startled by our presence we moved carefully across the ravine and down the trail.

 

That would turn out to be the last elk we saw that afternoon. But, not wanting to be surprised while going around blind corners on the rest of the trail, we began announcing loudly at every corner that we were there and all nearby elk should be ready for our presence and we mean them no harm.

 

Finally, around one last corner, we saw the Needle Rock Visitor Center. A sight for sore eyes if there ever was one. A cache we will not soon forget.

 

Oh, yeah. Thanks for placing a cache on the infamous Page 62, we sure appreciate that. Took only pictures. Left with our lives.

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During our walk to Kromme Rade (GC41FE) we saw this small lobster near a lake just a few minutes after it stopt raining. Unusual, and we problably never have seen this creature without geocaching :P . We didn’t find the cache that day, but were successful in a second attempt.

 

b99d4f2a-6c55-4efc-a007-d02c34c060ca.jpg

Over here in the States, we call them crayfish or crawdads. Lobster is reserved for large saltwater dwellers. Very tasty though. I used to catch a bunch and make some cajun style mix. Lot of work though shelling them.

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I was quietly and happily scouting around, looking for a place to hide a new cache when I got the feeling I was being watched.

 

Looking around, I could see nothing untoward, so carried on. Walking up a steep earthen bank I noticed fresh tracks in the surface and realised that there was a distinct possibility that I was in BIG trouble.

 

Sure enough, heading back to the landrover, I discovered that my initial feeling was spot on. I WAS being watched.

 

In the bush at the end of the clearing, stood a rather large and extremely curious African buffalo, regarded as one of the most dangerous animals of the big five.

 

He was a straggler, coming along the trail behind the rest of the herd, whose tracks I had seen on the bank.

 

Fortunately, he decided that today was not a good day to become angry with frail humans who dared to tread on his turf, and waited patiently for me to get back into the landrover before ambling past on his way to join the rest of his herd.

 

Adrenaline pumped, I can tell you, big time!!!

 

I managed to get his picture, so if anyone can explain to me how to include an image in a post, I'd be happy to share......

 

Needless to say, there is a warning on the cache page that buffalo HAVE been seen in the area!!!!!

 

Ahhhhhhhh - the pleasures of geocaching in Africa!!!!!!

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I was quietly and happily scouting around, looking for a place to hide a new cache when I got the feeling I was being watched.

 

Looking around, I could see nothing untoward, so carried on. Walking up a steep earthen bank I noticed fresh tracks in the surface and realised that there was a distinct possibility that I was in BIG trouble.

 

I had an indirect experience while hunting this year. My collegues and I were walking down a forest road hunting deer. It was lightly raining so there weren't any old tracks around. We were looking at the sides of the road looking for fresh deer tracks and we didn't see any. On the way back to the truck we noticed some fresh deer tracks followed closely by what appeared to a big cat. We were in an area where mountain lines are prevelant so needless to say our senses where hightened at that point considering that we were only on that road for about a half an hour. I was telling a friend later about the tracks and he mentioned that I should have taken casts of the tracks. Well when you are hunting, you don't think about packing plaster of paris with you but when I go caching, I think I will add that to my back pack as required gear :P .

 

Have a Blessed day!!!!

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Hmm, which side of the white line should we be on?

This fellow was on the drive up to Almaden Quicksilver Park in south San Jose, CA.

b326a3e0-c9ad-410e-9be4-3c525dc4f551.jpg

Edited by geobrowns

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Over here in the States, we call them crayfish or crawdads. Lobster is reserved for large saltwater dwellers. Very tasty though. I used to catch a bunch and make some cajun style mix. Lot of work though shelling them.

Tanks for the correct translation evergreenhiker, never to old to learn :lol: .

In the Dutch language it is an lobster, and we put the Dutch word for salt or fresh water before it depending to the place he lives.

 

In Holland this is not a everyday encounter, and since I enjoy this topic a lot I thought it was a nice pic to show.

 

Locutus

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Thanks to all who responded with info regarding the posting of images.

 

This is the buffalo who took a long hard look at my cache hiding techniques! I'm not sure whether he was impressed or not!

 

I have been informed that "DiscoDriver" will be going to look for my cache this weekend.

 

Ask the buffalo, DiscoDriver, he knows exactly where it is!!!!! :huh:

 

buffalo.jpg

 

edited to move the smiley to where it belonged! Catches me every time!!!!

Edited by Azaruk

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In one of the "chicken soup for the soul" books (couldn't tell you which one) there's a story where a child caught a nasty high fever and was recuperating in her rural home. At the same time, some wildlife biologists had come accross some orphaned wild turkey eggs. (This was in ye olde days, apparently they had no electric hatchers)

 

Long story short, the biologists knew the mother of the kid, and realized that if they wanted to save these rare turkeys, they had to get innovative. So they gently packed the about-to-hatch eggs in with the fevered kid. Her body temp matched that of a wild turkey mother, so they could survive that way.

 

The next day, the kid woke up to a lot of cheeping, cute baby turkeys all around her.

 

They ended up imprinting on the kid, so guess who got to raise a family of gobblers after she got better! :huh:

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Great pics Logscaler! Would like to see that bull hunting...good shot opportunity there.

 

I saw a cougar this summer back of hte Spada reservoir, but we weren't able to get the camera out in time. The big cat crossed the road right in front of us. Only one I've ever seen all my years in the outdoors.

 

Never seen a bobcat.

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Here in the deep woods of Mississippi, we call BFE (Bum F*** Egypt...I don;t know why the boonies are called that :) ), I have had my share of animal encounters, most of the animals listed here are routine, save for the buffalo, elk, etc... Snakes, spiders, and snapping turtles abound, and deer and turkey are at every turn! I even had a VERY close call with a painter (panther), though they say there are none left around here...that's BS!!! Scary, scary stuff, there. The strangest encounter, however, is of a species that I never saw. While searching for a cache (in the wrong spot, I later found out), I saw a hole in a bank that I knew hid the cache...Until I started to peer in the hole. The low, gutteral growling convinced me that wasn't the spot, and I didn't stick around to find out what was in that hole!

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Here is a cute little critter we caught in Idaho.

 

e0828ab0-151a-41b6-9bd7-461885cfff40.jpg

 

Or these little guys on the Snake River near Lewistone.

 

40a37406-f9ff-4626-b888-684c40ba6587.jpg

 

Ever seen a Mulie Buck stuck in a fence?

 

cc5cef03-6020-4bc9-9a89-dcddbdd5e79d.jpg

 

And I bet this little guys bite is worse then his bark.

 

21c436e6-ab03-4d7d-a0be-57bbcba6222f.jpg

 

More?

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Here is a cute little critter we caught in Idaho.

 

e0828ab0-151a-41b6-9bd7-461885cfff40.jpg

 

Its nice to see Sparky-Watts safe and sound ;) .

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If I wasn't such an arachnaphobe, this might have been a cool sighting.  I did manage to stick around long enough to snap the picture, but then I was out of there!  That cache had to wait for another day.

 

1587251_200.jpg

Ok, I just gotta know -- what kind of spider is this??? We sure don't have these things around in the Ozarks. Where did you find this thing?

 

Jim

Wolf Spider

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More will be upcoming as soon as I get them ready. (And I remember too)

 

As for the Cub, I wanted to skin and tan it and make it into a slipper but seeing as I only had one foots worth, decided that it would be best to return it back across the road in the puckerbrush so momma could find it and not the grill of a Buick.

 

Besides, could you imagine what it would be like to stumble across a slipper made of one of those things in the middle of the night? Stitches more then likely.

 

Lets see, More Kamiak Cat, More Snake, More Pronghorn, throw in a couple more Elk, Golden Eagle, some more Mulies. Where to start?

 

I'll get to it as soon as I get my furnace up and running. I hope anyway.

 

logscaler.

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Found this fella a little while ago whilst searchin' for a cache.

 

snake.jpg

If you took that picture, wht does it say "c. Virtual-Cyberspace.com" in the corner? ;)

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I was caching in the woods in the northern part of the state when I stumbled across a bear cub. Knowing that cubs are never too far from their mamas I decided to get going before I encountered the sow. Too late! The mother was charging right at me.

I climbed a tree in a big hurry and the bear started to come after me. I broke off a branch and started swatting the bear and soon she climbed down and proceeded to shake the tree. Being that it was a good sized tree she couldn't do much and finally left.

Thinkink it was safe, I started down, but before I could make it, I heard the bear returning. Back up I went as the bear showed up accompanied by another bear. The 2 of them shook the tree but again the tree held and soon they gave up and left. Again I started down only to hear them returning as I was nearing the bottom. Back up I went. The bears had returned and when I looked down I knew I was in trouble. Each bear was carrying a beaver. :D:unsure::huh::huh::D:unsure:

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I was caching in the woods in the northern part of the state when I stumbled across a bear cub. Knowing that cubs are never too far from their mamas I decided to get going before I encountered the sow. Too late! The mother was charging right at me.

I climbed a tree in a big hurry and the bear started to come after me. I broke off a branch and started swatting the bear and soon she climbed down and proceeded to shake the tree. Being that it was a good sized tree she couldn't do much and finally left.

Thinkink it was safe, I started down, but before I could make it, I heard the bear returning. Back up I went as the bear showed up accompanied by another bear. The 2 of them shook the tree but again the tree held and soon they gave up and left. Again I started down only to hear them returning as I was nearing the bottom. Back up I went. The bears had returned and when I looked down I knew I was in trouble. Each bear was carrying a beaver. :unsure::D:unsure::huh::huh::D

that's just wrong! :D

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I posted this in the off topic forum but for all of you without a premium account...enjoy! Check out this polar bear after a tough day of caching! I've felt like this sometimes! :lol:

 

Tired bear

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We've seen lots of wildlife in our caching. The most memorable is an eagle roosting on a tall pole, out in the water, at Jordan Lake in central NC. He/She was beautiful. I wish that we would have had the camera with us at the time. We've since put an even dozen caches in the Jordan Lake Forest area and have looked repeatedly for the eagle but haven't seen it again.

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I little while back I was in Riverside State Park in WA and I was walking back to the car with my wife and son. We saw that something up the trail was moving and wondered what it was. We had not seen anything like it before and it was a bit up the trail and in some scrub, so we walked slowly up and saw that it was a squirrel.

But this squirrel had something that looked odd in his mouth, and it was about the same size as him, thus the earlier confusion. We asked ach other "what the heck does he have"? and we slowly walked up. He then bounded for a tree and we all distinctly saw that it was a severed human hand.

Gross.

Well, we thought that we had better track this little guy and see where his hiding spot for it would be and noted the direction he came from, so we could report it. The little fellow scampered up a tree and we hurried over to it and the critter came around to our side and we got a good close up view of the hand. It was obviously bloody at the stump and stiff. Then we all became aware of one thing.

It was one of those Halloween props!

Man, did we have a good, relieving laugh. :D

 

And me without my camera. Funny how things like this only happen when I don't have it with me.

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If I wasn't such an arachnaphobe, this might have been a cool sighting.  I did manage to stick around long enough to snap the picture, but then I was out of there!  That cache had to wait for another day.

 

1587251_200.jpg

Ok, I just gotta know -- what kind of spider is this??? We sure don't have these things around in the Ozarks. Where did you find this thing?

 

Jim

Wolf Spider

Yeah definitely a wolf spider. They can grow to about 6 inches, they are incredibly fast and don't build true webs. They hunt by stalking, and are as scary as hell (in my opinion) You'll find them by streams, woodpiles, rockpiles, cellars, etc.

 

God that is ugly spider!

 

*shiver*

 

Lynx

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seems some folks want to persist in calling the fishing spider a "wolf spider". please look at my previous posts and expand your arachnid identification library. this is certainly not a "wolf spider". -harry

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It looks exactly like what we always called a wolf spider where I came from (Western NY). Quick check around the net reveals a number of different spiders called a wolf spider including the type pictured above. My guess is that, like local names for herbs and flowers, spiders may also have local names.

 

The fishing spiders of my area, were smaller, very hairy, and all black. They also would only be found near streams, creek and ponds.

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perhaps, but the spider she photographed is a member of the family Pisauridae, either a six-spotted fishing spider (dolomedes triton) or perhaps a brownish-gray fishing spider (dolomedes tenebrosus). we too have wolf spiders (family Lycosidae) in N.C. but they are not even close to the size of a fishing spider. the carolina wolf spider (Lycosa Carolinensis) is the largest wolf spider in the U.S. with males being 3/4" and females ranging from 7/8 to 1 3/8" i agree that they look a bit the same, especially the brownish-gray fishing spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus), but there are enough differences to make the i.d. easy enough. i became interested in these just because of the "oh my god!" size of them when i'd see one while out fishing my local streams -harry

Edited by shawhh

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Ok. Where do you people live, that you see spiders like this? I have to make sure to cross that place off my list. Most critters don't bother me, but huge spiders? NOOOO WAYYY! :D The little ones are bad enough in Michigan! I think the biggest spider I have ever seen in the U.S. was only about 2 inches from the end of it's sticky little foot to the other. I don't wanna see anything bigger!

Edited by GeoMom

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don't worry. you're too big to eat! the fishing spiders live all over the country east of the rocky mountains. the brownish-gray fishing spider is at home in new england and the southern parts of canada and the six spotted fishing spider is widely distributed over the eastern and midwestern states. both live along slow moving streams and lakes. -harry

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I am used to finding and being able to identify most forms of wildlife however this one really threw me for a loop when I found it at this cache:

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...82-a6f204430e48

 

In florida. I thought it was a prehistoric monster fish that would make me rich by finding it, but alas the locals seemed to know what it was. They called it a placostamas (sp?) the same as the sucker fish you'd have in your fish tank.. Only bigger. Much bigger!

 

oddfish1.jpg

Oddfish.jpg

Edited by Berserkr

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Ok. Where do you people live, that you see spiders like this? I have to make sure to cross that place off my list. Most critters don't bother me, but huge spiders? NOOOO WAYYY! :rolleyes: The little ones are bad enough in Michigan! I think the biggest spider I have ever seen in the U.S. was only about 2 inches from the end of it's sticky little foot to the other. I don't wanna see anything bigger!

The ones I used to see were in Western NY (Buffalo and south towns area) But I wouldn't worry about them crossing the lake to your area. I'm with you, I don't like 'em, I don't go out of my way to kill 'em, but I seriously don't like 'em.

 

But they are great for pest control.

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