Wolf Spiders are very common in Missouri. I have hundreds of them all around our farm and see them frequently. Some of them get quite large, in fact we had one we dubbed "Hairy", that resided in our hog farrowing house. She was easily the size of my hand . She was straight up creepy! I was terribly afraid of spiders back then and had trepidations about going into the hog house. I would open the door and look around on the floor making sure she was no where in sight. Occasionally she would be sitting right inside the door looking up at me with those 8 beady eyes. I would carefully reach for the shovel (when spiders come the size of small dogs, a shovel is an apt weapon) by the time I had my hand on the shovel she would skitter under a crate or nearby table. DRAT! Now I had to feed those pigs, knowing that darn spider was on the loose. I would get visions of this huge "hairy" spider crawling up my pant leg. I started tucking my pant legs into my slop boots to prevent that from ever happening.
This little scenario played out several times....open door, find spider staring with beady eyes, reach for shovel, spider scrams! I never did succeed in smashing that devious spider. I am convinced this was a game she played to intimidate me....and let me tell you, it worked. Many years have passed since those days when we farrowed hogs. Now looking back I'm glad I did not succeed in offing that spider. If truth be told I guess I kind of admired her swiftness and ingenuity. She seemed to possess an uncanny ability to read my thoughts, and acted accordingly (or perhaps that is my fanciful mind getting the better of me).
My phobic-like fears have subsided over the years and now I leave spiders in peace. I guess there is truth in the old saying "that you must face your fears, in order to overcome them". I have certainly been tested to that end many times over where spiders are concerned. Now I just appreciate the insect control they are providing.
The wolf spider pictured here was found near our Koi pond. I had never before seen one so dark, almost black. She was truly a beautiful spider. I managed to capture a quick picture of her in retreat mode. Perhaps she talked to Hairy, and decided it was time to scoot!