|Woolly bear- Bob Moul|
|Woolly bear playing defense|
While having a warm and fuzzy image, this caterpillar phase of the Isabella Tiger Moth, (Pyrrharctia isabella), is built for winter. On a WOLF School march through Wilson's Creek Battlefield, the were a lot of bears on the trail, out searching for the perfect patch of duff for a winter home.
|Adult Isabella Tiger Moth - Bob Moul|
|P. isabella pupa - Britannica.com|
|Head - Wikimedia|
The Weather.gov describes how the woolly bear got its reputation for weather forecasting. Folklore says that the wider the orange band, the warmer the winter. It turns out that the caterpillar does indicate the length of the winter, but the previous winter. The longer the previous growing season, the wider the black bands. A mild winter lets it get out and start eating early, giving the caterpillar a head start that year and a longer time to feed.