I always heard that the hairier the caterpillar, the worse the winter would be. That woolly bullies somehow knew what was coming and focused their natural hair-growing talents to force out lot of hair.
I got this picture early in November, and let me tell you, he looks pretty hairy to me.
The woolly bully, or woolly bear, is a moth caterpillar, so the fuzzy little friend in fall is the sweater munching sweetheart in spring.
The Old Farmer's Almanac has an interesting article about how a famous series of forecasts gave the woolly bear his fame as a fearless forecaster, but neglects to tell us whether these predictions were accurate. Curse you, Almanac! Is this your secret method of predicting weather? Looking at bugs? Are you being coy?
It would appear that the Old Farmer's Almanac has about a 50-50 shot of being right in its weather forecasting, as it turns out, which may not be that much better than common sense and throwing darts. "January 5... snowy, clear, foggy, et cetera..." Whish! Thunk. "Snowy. Okay, January 6..."
Well, the Farmer's Almanac and my woolly friend both seem to be predicting another strap-your-pants-up-'cause-your-butt-is-about-to-freeze-off winter, same as last year. Which would be three really exceptionally cold New York winters in a row. But last year we got about six inches of snow on Thanksgiving, and [knocks on wood] nary a flake yet so far this year.
But I can give you about a 100% accurate prediction that the above caterpillar, which I turned loose, will return in moth form next year and be found amid my wife's sweaters, for which I will be to blame. As with so many things.