Woolly Worms

Growing up, I loved fall for a variety of reasons. One of those was catching woolly worms (as we called them). I think the reddish-brown and black caterpillars are better known as woolly bears. Either way, they were one insect I didn’t mind crawling on me!

This fall I’ve seen lots and lots of woolly worms on the back roads where I live. Additionally, with Hurricane Sandy and a cold front approaching the area, things could get interesting Sunday through Tuesday. Talk of snow (yes, we had snow last October) got me pondering what type of winter we will have. If I’m not mistaken, our local almanac is calling for a hard winter. But, what do all these woolly worms have to say?

They are known as winter weather predictors in lore; although, I couldn’t remember the particulars of the legend. Thanks to www.almanac.com I got a quick refresher. According to their site, the wider the reddish-brown section, the milder the winter will be. Pretty simple; however, I don’t know how accurate it is.

I’ve included a picture of a local woolly worm. I had to place him on my pant leg for him to stop moving. He was having a good ole time crawling up and down my arm. Made it a bit difficult to take a photo! Thankfully, he didn’t see to care for my wool pants and stayed still. After the photography session, he was released back into the wild unharmed.

If we go by his coloring, it looks like we should have a mild winter. Guess time will tell…


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