Woolly Bear: first hairy caterpillar of the 2012 season

Today on my way to the design studio, I practically stumbled upon a banded Woolly Bear caterpillar. I only learned their proper name last year, thanks to the wiki article.  You might also know this spiky creature as a “woolly worm”, depending on where you grew up. A member of the moth family Arctiidae,  we seem to have examples of the Isabella tiger moth’s caterpillar here in Portland’s West Hills. Folklorists believe you can predict the severity of the coming winter based on the ratio of brown to black. More brown than black equates to a  mild season, with more black than brown suggesting a harsher winter.

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