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Field Guide: Mystery holes

Cheryl Bartz

As the weather gets colder, vegetation dies back and reveals holes in the ground.  Big or tiny, you might wonder what made the hole?


Cheryl Bartz, a producer for Red Pine Radio, recently staked out a new hole that appeared in her garden.  It was perfectly round and about a half inch in diameter.  The rim of the hole appeared to be reinforced with grass and wood fibers. The resident of the hole was elusive, but eventually she snagged a photo of a wolf spider. 


Are you finding “mystery holes” in your backyard?  Email us a picture and we’ll try to help you identify what dug that burrow. The address is


Credit Cheryl Bartz
Wolf spiders excavate burrows to protect themselves and their eggs. This is the spider described in the audio. They’re fast-moving and hard to capture with a cell phone camera. Enlarge photo to find the spider.