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On Conducting (Not) Very Scientific Wooly Bear Studies

It seems like fall is when we see tons of wooly bears, and this year has been no exception.

(Those are Riley’s hands. I’d never noticed how long his fingers were until I took these pictures.)

So, wooly bears are big excitement around here. We all go out to see the fuzzy little guys any time someone comes to the door announcing they’ve found one. (Though salamanders and toads rank highest in the I-have-to-go-outside-right-now-to-see-it category, most everyone wants to pet or hold a wooly bear.)

But over the weekend, Riley found a baby wooly bear. BIG excitement!

Have you ever seen anything so tiny, perfect, and cute? It was. It really, really was.

Just for even better perspective here, a full shot of Riley with that little tiny caterpillar in his hands. Can you believe how tiny it is?

Now, if we were going to predict our coming winter based on these two little wooly bears, it looks like we’re leaning toward a harsh winter, but not terribly harsh. (A wide brown band = mild winter. A narrow brown band = harsh. These two appear to be somewhere in between, but closer to harsh.)

This is scientific, people. We canvassed two wooly bears to find out what our winter will be like. In fact, it’s practically a study.

Do you have wooly bears where you live? (And if not, how in the world do predict the winter season?) :-)