It’s Woolly Bear Season
Posted on October 14, 2018 Posted by John Scalzi 12 Comments
Woolly bear caterpillars, that is, which are apparently supposed to tell you by their pelt whether it’s supposed to be a warm or cold winter. This one suggests it will be a mildish winter, which I am perfectly fine with. However, there’s no actual scientific grounding, so, you know. Don’t blame the Woolly bear any more than the groundhog.
This particular Woolly bear was on my front porch; I relocated it before one of the cats tried to make a snack of it. I wish it good luck in becoming a tiger moth one day.
My father is the toughest man I’ve ever known. No question. This is why I was delighted when my folks came back from a bike ride many years ago and my mother informed me that Dad had brought his bike to a screeching halt upon seeing a wooly bear on the road, so he could pick it up and carry it across to safety.
Even tough guys know the appeal of the wooly bear.
It’s a bad idea to handle a woolly bear caterpillar, e.g., to save it, because its spiny hairs can trigger dermatitis. But transporting them using a piece of paper would work.
Also, similar-looking critters eat lots of alkaloids, hence touching them can have nasty effects. And, as usual with nature, the more flamboyant the critter looks, the more you need to be wary.
I haven’t seen one of those in years!
Rick ~ That puss caterpillar looks kind of like deTrump’s hair. And I had no idea there were SO MANY horrible caterpillars! Yeep!
Every the horrible caterpillars need saved! All, well most, critters need a chance
I know it’s a tiny thing, but I feel compelled to clean off my boots now – it looks so much like a boot scraper.
Yup I had to maneuver the car 4 times on the last mile going home on Saturday to avoid hitting woolly bears.
@john Ridley, I”m so glad I”m not the only one that does that. :D
A woolly caterpillar was crossing the Staten Island Half Marathon yesterday around the fifth mile marker. The runner ahead of me veered and pointed down, alerting me just in time to veer and point down for the runner behind me. Hopefully the chain of concern continued long enough for either the caterpillar or the mass of runners to finished crossing the other’s path. Perhaps ignorance is bliss, though.
Do any of you have June bugs where you live? I haven’t seen one of those in years, either.
Cat health questions: Do cats really scarf up caterpillars? Can they do so without feeling sick for days afterwards? I don’t remember my family cat ever chowing on caterpillars.
Peter — I have no idea about caterpillars, but one of my former cats used to love catching and eating moths whenever they’d get into the house. She never seemed to have any ill effects from it, and it gave her exercise and protein, so I never stopped her. Of course, it also helped control the moths that got into the house.