Well, it took several months of searching, but we finally captured a tarantula on camera!
Sonja found it in our backyard this evening around 11:15pm as she was letting the dogs out. Figures that after months of carrying our camera with me whenever we go for a walk we would see one next to our front step as we're getting ready for bed. He looks much prettier in real life, actually. The picture got kind of washed out because it's so dark outside. And our camera doesn't like trying to focus using our porch light.
I'm assuming that this spider is a male, since female tarantulas spend most of their lives within a couple feet of their burrow. The males, though, leave their underground homes about the time they reach sexual maturity at ten years of age. The spend up to two months roaming around looking for females to mate with, until they either starve or get eaten by something or captured by a tarantula hawk (Here's a video of a tarantula hawk dragging off a paralyzed spider).
Anyway, this was a really cool spider. I tried to coax it onto my hand, but it looked a little on edge and we didn't want to stress it any further than he already was. Got a cool video, though.