It’s furry. It’s fuzzy. It enjoys plants, and it can predict the upcoming winter. No, it’s not a groundhog. It’s a woolly bear caterpillar!
Did you know the name “woolly bear” is not just a coincidence? The caterpillars are able to survive extremely cold temperatures by generating an antifreeze chemical known as cryoprotectant. It helps them retain a normal body temperature and keeps them from freezing.
Their black and brown bands easily identify them. The width of the bands turns the caterpillar into a puffy prognosticator.
How can woolly bear fuzz can “determine” the forecast?
If the caterpillar is more black, then there may be more snow to track. If there is more brown, snowfall numbers may be down. If there’s more black near the head, winter will start harsh, then turn mild instead. But if there’s more black near the tail, the season will start mild, then turn bitter without fail.