Why do you like spiders so much?

I get asked that question a lot. So how could I love a creature so often despised and feared by others? Because they're so fascinating and beautiful, that's why.

As a child, I remember flinching at the sight of a huge yellow garden spider hanging upside down on her orb web at my great-aunt's home in Wimberley, Texas. She just looked so SCARY. When I grew a little older, though, I befriended small jumping spiders that would live in our mailbox on the street. Now and then, one would appear in my bedroom. With its big eyes, she'd watch me walk around the room with rapt attention. I must confess that I'd even talk to my eight-legged friends. Sometimes I named them, too.

My interest in spiders continued into adulthood. Several years ago, I decided–since I enjoyed spiders so much–I'd read and learn all I could about them. In the time since, I've accumulated an extensive spider reference library of books. In my spare time, I photograph them. As a result of my spider studies, I've learned enough to consider myself a spider naturalist. I also give presentations on them.

So just ask. I'll be more than happy to tell you why I like spiders so much!