Woolly Bear

This is the time of year you can find Woolly Bears, AKA Woolly Worms. They have also be called a Hedgehog Caterpillar because of how they will curl into a ball and play dead when disturbed. Despite the name, they are not worms at all. Woolly worms are actually caterpillars that turn into an “Isabella Tiger Moth”.

While we were taking a walk the other day I looked down and saw this little fella.


According folklore, the woolly worm can predict the severity of the Winter coming. But wait, there are actually two versions to this story. 
The first one says that the woolly indicates how severe the Winter will be by looking at the color bands on its coat. The longer the black bands are the more cold and snowy the Winter will be.  On the other hand the wider the brown band in the center means a mild Winter. 

The other version of the Folklore is to depend on the direction it is crawling. If it is crawling Southerly, It is escaping a cold wintery conditions from the North. So if the caterpillar is crawling a Northern path, it is expected to have a mild winter. 
If you see one that is all black, do not think we will have a Winter apocalypse. This type of worm is not even related to the woolly worm.

The popularity of the woolly bear caterpillar has resulted in several festivals honoring them. Not far from me, in Banner Elk North Carolina, they have a woolly worm festival every year 3rd weekend in October. They have worm races all day until they crown a champion at the end of the day and declare the official winter forecast. 

According to the little woolly booger I found, It looks like we will have a mild Winter because of the smaller black bands. 
He was crawling West, but I think he was just lost.  


5 comments

  1. I see quite a few of them. Will check out those black bands next I see one.

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  2. Thanks for the weather forecast, I have been wondering. LOL Enjoyued the read and folk lore. Have never visited Banner Elk during the festival, sounds ike fun.
    Love from down here,
    Sherry & jack

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  3. Praying that works for my area, too! lol
    My brother was so allergic to those things. One time one crawled up his arm and he broke out in these huge welts that itched and stung like crazy. xo Diana

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  4. aahhhhhh sooo cute! I love caterpillars! I don't know if that sounds weird, but some green baby caterpillar has that cute little peets too, I just love them!

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  5. oh by the way I love your blog, I'm following you and hope to see more of your posts!

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