Saturday, November 22, 2008

Do You Believe the Caterpillars?

I found Mr. Caterpillar outside in a bunch of leaves I was sweeping off my porch this morning. I thought he had 'expired', but he has been moving a little bit on my desk here. In the meantime, I have been researching the meaning of the stripes.


What I have found, is that most people say they mean nothing as a weather predictor, but my sweet hubby says he chooses to believe the stripes. I didn't see which direction he was moving either, but hubby says if you see what direction he is crossing the road, that means warm or cold too. According to hubby, we WILL have (just ask him!) a cold start to winter, then a long warm spell, then just a small cold spell at the end.

Here is one of many articles I found.
The wooly bear caterpillar, which turns into the tiger moth, Isia Isabella, is the source of a common superstition. Some people believe that the coat of a wooly bear caterpillar can be used to predict how bad the coming winter will be. There are many wooly bear caterpillars in the United States and Canada. They can be seen anytime from May to October.

They believe that if a wooly bear caterpillar's brown stripe is thick, the winter weather will be mild and if the brown stripes are narrow, the winter will be severe.

One experiment showed that the color bands might tell where the caterpillar grew up. Some think that the wide black bands mean the caterpillar was living in wet conditions while the wide brown band means the caterpillar was living in dry conditions.

The coloration may also show how near being an adult the caterpillar is. At full growth, fall weather signals the wooly caterpillar to seek shelter, as ladybugs do.

In the late 1600s, farmers relied on weather history to predict weather. For that reason, they looked for something in nature to help them. They found the wooly bear caterpillar. Reports about the weather, along with a comparison of wooly bear stripes, made people think that the wooly bear's coat was a good signal about weather. Some people still believe the wooly bear caterpillar can be used to predict weather.

So what do you think?

How Soft A Caterpillar Steps

How soft a Caterpillar steps --
I found one on my Hand
From such a velvet world it comes
Such plushes at command
Its soundless travels just arrest
My slow -- terrestrial eye
Intent upon its own career
What use has it for me --
Emily Dickinson


2 comments:

Amelia said...

We have not had any caterpillars (that we have noticed anyway) but we have many, many Lady Bugs coming in for the winter. They will form a cluster - like they are hibernating or something. Since they are "good" bugs we just let them be.

Sue said...

I believe your sweet hubby. It sounds like things my grandmother used to say...brings back good memories. My granddaughter loves catterpillars, butterflies, Lady Bugs, worms...no spiders though.

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