Dark Fishing Spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus)
An unusually early find for the date. Something (raccoon?) had taken the lid off one of our three compost heaps and this chap, who had probably overwintered in the compost, was sitting on the top looking a little puzzled. The adults can grow to have bodies up to an inch long and legspan some three and a half times that but this fellow was junior and his whole legspan was under an inch so no need to scream yet if you visit our garden. We do often see the large ones in summer – but they are harmless and rather fun. Despite their names they prefer dry garden logpiles to being anywhere near water.