Eyes at Night

Two summers ago, I had the chance to go backpacking in Virginia, in the Appalachian mountains. One night, it got pretty late, and I hadn’t managed to make it to camp yet. I had to night-hike the rest of the way there. It was dark, especially inside the forest, and I used my headlamp to make sure I didn’t trip. Every now and then, I would pass by what looked like specks of glitter on the ground. They were green, and very small.

I passed them a couple of times, and eventually curiosity got the better of me. I set my pack down and had a look. They turned out to be wolf spiders, less than an inch long. They were sitting on the trail, looking up at me. The green glitter turned out to be their eyes reflecting the light from my headlamp. I had never seen anything like it before. They were so small and because it was dark out, there is no way I would have been able to see them otherwise.



Wolf spiders don’t spin a web, unlike other spiders. They are solitary hunters, which is why I saw them out and about on the trail at night. I suppose this is why they are called wolf spiders: not only their lifestyle, but also their reflective green eyes.

Image: http://svmedaris.com/farm/spider_next_night.jpg


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