The wooly bears are here!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by deberosa, Oct 11, 2004.

  1. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

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    Saw my first two wooly bears today. One was in the hen house! The other in the duck yard. Both colors the same. Two equal wider stripes - black on the front red in the middle, then a narrower black stripe on the back.

    What do your wooly bears say? :)
     
  2. Dawndra

    Dawndra I'm back

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    the ones here are all black.
     

  3. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

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    That's not good is it? A long cold winter....
     
  4. Ed in S. AL

    Ed in S. AL Well-Known Member

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    I saw 5 or 6 last week. All were solid black except the very tips. What does that mean for the south?
     
  5. Dawndra

    Dawndra I'm back

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    I'm afeared that it's gonna be cooooooold
     
  6. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

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    Black is cold, red is moderate. The size of the band on on the head is the start of winter, middle is mid winter and tail is the end of winter. Sounds like AL is going to go in and out like a lamb but for the major part of winter watch out.

    White wooly bears mean lots and lots of snow!!!

    At least this is what my grammie taught me, many years ago.
     
  7. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Deberosa,
    So that's what you call those caterpillars. :haha: I've noticed them around for a couple of weeks now, but haven't 'analyzed' their color band sizes. I notice a black band in the middle..I think :confused:
    Well, I'll just have to pick one up next time and have a closer look.
    The weather forecasters are calling for a mild late fall and winter. So far,so good. It was about 75 F today. The average generally for this time is about in the 40's. Keeping my fingers crossed that the wooly bears give a good prognosis. :haha:
     
  8. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Most of the wooly worms I see are on the east west blacktop that goes through our farm. They are most often southbound. That must mean something.
    As for what they say, I picked one up the other day and I thought he said, "There's a car coming you big Dufus!"
     
  9. soaring

    soaring Member

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    Gramps always told me if there are a whole lot crossing the road (southbound) it means a long, hard winter. I trust his old ways. He was a very successful farmer for almost 90 years!
     
  10. SHELBY

    SHELBY Well-Known Member

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    Ours must be congfused them cause I say about 20 of them crossing the road yesterday while on my way to town and they were going every which way. :rolleyes:
    Isn't it supposed to mean something if you accidently :eek: kill one of those little wooley's. I remember hearing my grandma say something about this but can't remember...
     
  11. ginnie5

    ginnie5 wife,mom,taxi driver,cook Supporter

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    seen a few around here too. they're all black and very thick wool on them. I always heard that the bushier they were the colder it was going to be.
     
  12. Tater'sPa

    Tater'sPa Well-Known Member

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  13. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

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    That would mean winter starts out mild but is nasty in the middle with a mild spring. :) Sounds like the weatherman is checking his wooly bears too. ;)
     
  14. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

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    Well, look at that will ya? :) And its this weekend too! Too bad I'm on the other side of the continent. :(
     
  15. coalroadcabin

    coalroadcabin Well-Known Member

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    I saw some here on Saturday morning. They were all black. We had fog just about every morning in August and I've noticed that the squirrels here have grown really big bushy tails...............3 'old wives tales' I know, but I'm getting ready for a cold, snowy winter.
     
  16. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    I ws taught that the width of the brown stripe was the cold long indicator- the wider the brown, the harsher the winter- and the ones I've seen are SOLID BROWN :eek: :eek: :eek:
     
  17. Cheri in NY

    Cheri in NY Well-Known Member

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    Well, my 8year old son has one living in a class bowl in the kitchen...He picks milkweed leaves for him and has given him a stick to climb on. We have put about 150 leaves in the freezer for him this winter. His front and back parts as well as the middle brown section are equal sizes. This wolly caterpiller has a name...Spike. Spike gets to ride in a Matchbox some days. :haha:
     
  18. ovsfarm

    ovsfarm Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We, too, will be hosting a woolly bear this winter. Since dh found one for dd yesterday evening, we had to do a brief nature study for homeschool this morning and found these fun facts:

    -Wolly bear caterpillars spin cocoons in the spring and pupate into Isabella Tiger moths.

    -There are two generations of woolly bears per year, so all the ones we see in the Fall are from the second hatching this year.

    -The color bands on the caterpillar are directly related to the age of the individual, not necessarily to the coming weather. I think the more brown they have, the older that one is. So...if warmer weather hangs around for a while, then the caterpillars will be older and have more brown, which may also be related to a milder winter. If the weather starts closing in early, then most of the caterpillars would not remain active long enough for us to see them get much brown, so they would be mostly black. And if it is getting good and cold early, then that might bode for a long, severe winter. I can kind of see the connection.

    But who knows, maybe the caterpillars know something that goes well beyond our scientific explanation. I kind of believe the science explanation though, since on the same day I have seen mostly brown and mostly black caterpillars in the same yard.

    Lori
     
  19. Kathy in MD

    Kathy in MD Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I just saw the thickest blackest one I have ever seen. He was as thick as a big black magic marker. He was about 3 inchs long. I do not recall seeing an all black one before. Long cold winter OH my....
     
  20. debitaber

    debitaber Well-Known Member

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    we have all black ones, and some that have very wide black stripes at both ends, with just a small amount of brown in the middle, and they are really wooly this year!!!!!!!!!!might just have a cold long winter. we shall see. they say , maybe snow mix, for this week end.