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I used to be terrified of spiders. 

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It wasn’t just pure terror every time I saw a spider–it was continual preemptive horror that I might encounter a spider. I avoided going outside whenever possible, I made family members check my shoes before I put them on, and occasionally I slept with the lights on because I was so desperate for some relief from my fear that I convinced myself that the spiders wouldn’t come out at nighttime if it was too bright for them.

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Sometime during Indonesia, I managed to finally put a stop to my arachnophobia. Maybe I’ll tell you about it sometime. For now, all you need to know is that it had something to do with the regularity of seeing giant golden orb-weavers; these are the kind of spiders that are so big, they’ve been known to eat birds and snakes.

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Eventually, I started to appreciate all spiders, especially the other orb-weaving varieties who all made beautiful, intricate spiral webs.

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Recently, I had a chance to explore the Circle B Bar Reserve near Winter Haven. It was early in January, I was not prepared for the cold, and I forgot to pack breakfast or coffee, but I lingered as long as possible, because it’s foggy mornings like that one that bring a touch of magic to the webs that are usually dangling invisibly from every other branch.

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For those of you who have never taken a walk in nature on a foggy day, might I recommend that as an activity on your next misty morning? You’ll see that everything glistens from the moisture in the air, the wildlife seems stiller than usual, and the fog makes you feel even more distant from the modern world. It’s a lovely way to enjoy Mother Earth.

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So though I’m still working on my photography skills, I wanted to show you a few of the spider shots that I like best. I hope that even if you’re in the majority of people who finds spiders gross, you can feel a little bit of the magic in them. Enjoy!

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Love, Elizabeth

What are your thoughts on spiders? Have you ever overcome a fear? Tell me in the comments below!