Here’s a question I’ll bet you haven’t considered lately: How many insects and arachnids are there right now within a 50-foot radius? The answer depends a lot on where you are — for example, there will be a lot more if you’re reading this in the middle of a grassy meadow than if you’re on an airplane).
But no matter where you’re at, I’d be willing to venture there are thousands of little beasties crawling and climbing and hopping around in your general vicinity (and that’s not even including the millions of Dermodex mites living in your skin pores). These types of animals are extraordinarily abundant, and most of them are so tiny that we never even recognize they’re there at all.
I like paying attention to that sort of stuff. I don’t know why, but I find it immensely satisfying to take note of a tiny spider in a tiny web tucked under a leaf, or to watch a near-microscopic fly frantically hopping from stem to stem among the flowers. A lot of them are too small or too fast for me to photograph with my Canon 180mm macro lens — but a lot of them are not.
Most of these photos were shot in my yard, which is just your standard quarter-acre lot in Port Charlotte. If I have these critters living around me, there’s an excellent chance that you do also. Now, whether that creeps you out or fills you with a sense of wonder is entirely up to you.
Capt. Josh Olive is a fifth-generation native Florida Cracker and a Florida Master Naturalist, and has been fascinated by all sorts of wild things and places since he was able to walk. If you have questions about living with wildlife, contact him at Publisher@WaterLineWeekly.com or 941-276-9657. For (almost) daily photos of local wild things and places, follow florida_is_wild on Instagram.