This was in my back yard an hour ago.
Yes, they really are that big. That's a tarantula hawk. It's a critter that eats nectar and pollen, but lays its eggs in tarantulas.
And no, that is not my hand. I've seen a lot, and even held a hissing cockroach, but I'm not that butch.
At first, I was terrified. Then I came around to the idea that this incredibly large critter, which kinda hops around in flight, is pretty cool. I just don't go outside when she's around. Luckily for me, they're not a communal species.
So, yeah. Tarantula hawk in my back yard. Friend La Belle Dame Sans Merci posted to my Facebook page, "This means you either have lots of tarantulas in your back yard, or a lot of tarantulas with hatching T-Hawk eggs in them."
I thanked her for being such a fucking comfort in my time of distress.