9 of the spookiest spiders you’ll find creeping through Alabama right now—from a Samford professor

a tarantula is one of the spooky spiders you can find in Alabama
A tarantula just hanging out on a leaf. Photo via Bham Now

Move over ghosts and goblins—spiders in Alabama can be even spookier than imaginary creatures. We reached out to Dr. Drew Hataway, an arachnologist at Samford University, to find out about 9 of the spookiest spiders you can find in the Birmingham area this season. Keep reading for all the details.

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Spelunking + exploring some of Alabama’s underground caves

Can you believe Stephens Gap is just a short drive away from Birmingham? Photo via Outdoor Alabama on Facebook

Have you heard of spelunking? I hadn’t until a few weeks ago, but now that I’ve taken a deep dive into everything underground, I’m fascinated. Here’s a look at this adrenaline rush of a hobby and some of Alabama’s most awe-inspiring caves.

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Ruffner Mountain wins nation’s highest abandoned mine land reclamation award

Abandoned mine portal gate at Ruffner Mountain. Photo by Bob Farley, provided to Bham Now by the Alabama Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program

A project at Ruffner Mountain has won the nation’s highest achievement in the field of abandoned mine land (AML) reclamation, thanks to efforts to protect residents along trails and bats living in abandoned mines.

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15 environmental nonprofits who need your support now, including Alabama Audubon

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Our outdoors enrich life for everyone. Photo via Cahaba River Society

Our local nonprofits need our support now more than ever. With the weather warming up and social distancing continuing, people are spending tons of time in our stunning Birmingham outdoors. These local environmental nonprofits are making sure it stays beautiful—but they need your help. Check it out!

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Look at Birmingham’s urban wildlife with Michelle Reynolds (PHOTOS + art)

Michelle Reynolds outside. Photo via Bob Farley
Michelle Reynolds where she’s happiest. Photo via Bob Farley

If you love the natural world and its creatures, you need to know Michelle Reynolds. Among other things, she’s a regular explorer of Birmingham’s urban wildlife, often posting gorgeous photos of her surprising discoveries so the rest of us can armchair travel with her. Keep reading to find out what I learned during our Q+A.

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Birmingham Zoo receives special gift from Birmingham Barons

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Happy flamingos. Photo via the Birmingham Zoo

Vibrant, long-legged and oh-so unique, flamingos are one of the raddest birds ever. Recently, the Birmingham Zoo received a gift for their newly renovated flamingo habitat from the Birmingham Barons—and it’s almost as unique as the birds themselves. Can you guess what it is?

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Meet the newest additions to the Birmingham Zoo + support local animal welfare nonprofits today

Those quarantine naps just hit different. Photo via Birmingham Zoo

The Birmingham Zoo just welcomed some new(born) additions. We’re celebrating by sharing a preview + letting you know how you can support eight animal rights nonprofits in Birmingham today. Check it out!

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How to keep your kiddos safe while at home, from a poison control expert

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6 weeks of social distancing has me feeling like this, too. Photo via Unsplash

Kiddos are spending more time than ever at home right now. With many parents working from home, 24/7 attention can be a challenge. Ann Slattery, Director of the Alabama Poison Information Center at Children’s of Alabama, weighed in on how parents and caregivers can minimize risks and keep their kids safe inside the house and outside of it. Read on to get her tips!

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Take a walk through Birmingham Botanical Gardens—virtually, of course!

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We couldn’t let you miss cherry blossom season! Photo via Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens

We’ve been cooped up for a while now, and one of the worst parts of that means not getting to fully enjoy the beauty of spring. Birmingham Botanical Gardens is one of the most stunning spots in the state, and it’s especially glorious this time of year. We teamed up to bring you a virtual tour through the Gardens that will hopefully provide a much-needed mental break. Join us, Birmingham!

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Birmingham nonprofit spotlight—here’s how you can help 50+ local nonprofits today

Every kind of help matters right now. Photo via Jimmie Hale Mission

Our local nonprofits need our help, Birmingham. We’re making it easy. Check back once a week and see who we’re spotlighting—we’ll be adding more nonprofits as the COVID-19 response continues. Learn how you can be a part of important work serving our community.

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Alabama State Parks are going virtual—why it’s awesome

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My face when I see people not social distancing. Photo via Alabama State Park Division’s Facebook.

Just about the only thing, we CAN do right now is go outside—at least it’s spring. However, not everyone is able to travel to Birmingham’s beautiful state parks in response to COVID-19 precautions. Luckily, they’ve worked hard to bring the park to you with virtual resources like park tours, online animal encounters and more.

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