If you've lived in the Western New York area all your life, chances are, you feel like you've seen most of the wildlife that live here.  But what would you do if you saw one of these?

I ran into one yesterday.  And yes...it made me jump at least a little bit.  It was such a beautiful day out, I was walking around my pool and found one of the biggest spiders I've seen in this area. And it wasn't a wolf spider. Those can get big. But I've seen them before. This thing was about 3 inches long...black and yellow...and looked scary.

I know there are a lot of people who would just immediately set fire to their house.  Burn the thing down!

(Photo by Brett Alan)

I actually like stuff like this.  Wildlife has always made me curious.  I always want to learn more.

Glad I didn't set fire to the house. It's called a yellow garden spider...turns out it's harmless...and loves to eat flies. Which I hate...so we are gonna get along just fine. And yes...they live in the Western New York area.

They're also called "orb weavers" or  "writing spiders" because it appears to be writing when it creates the zipper, or zigzag.

(Photo by Brett Alan)

So what should you do if you see one?  The answer is simple - leave it alone.  Just let it be.  It won't hurt you.  What it will hurt are the harmful insects that may want to eat your plants.  They don't eat plants.  See where it might be beneficial to have them in your garden now?