The Wooly Worm Cometh

I don’t usually see its kind around these parts. Most years I’m in my car, swerving to avoid these tiny crawling rugs in a foolish game of road roulette way off where the flat fields of harvested corn and beans have blown their covers. However dangerous the mission, they are determined to carry the weather forecast out there for us. You know the drill — the wider the middle stripe, the milder the winter.

But in my mind, there are always signs that don’t fit. What if there is no stripe! What if they’re all the same color! Is that the thinnest stripe, the widest stripe or worse than a stripe? Holy wooly mammoth, what if it means an ice age? Or a meltdown? How many degrees of misery are predicted per millimeter?

Alas, there is no answer when I ask aloud these questions and pile on all of life’s mysteries while I’m at it. The wooly worm is only the messenger.

11 thoughts on “The Wooly Worm Cometh

  1. What do you know! These were part of my bug collection in Kentucky when I was a tomboy busily collecting jars full of spiders and caterpillars.
    So we’ll have a mild winder, maybe?

  2. Crawling rugs and road roulette! Very good indeed! You will not be surprised to learn that I did not know that the middle stripe was the purveyor of the forecast. I don’t even know which end is front. Too much city life, I guess, for me. But I do understand how one mystery leads to another and how the stripe could lead to endless pondering.

    Great photo! I had no idea wooly worms dressed in technicolor.

    1. Hi Maureen! This one was very cooperative while I took its photo. And I’ve seen a good many solid color ones in the past. My father has seen ones with narrow stripes this year, so who knows. Mostly, I think it means that we had a lot of tiger moths this year, which is what these turn into.

  3. Stumbled across this in the reader. I enjoyed your rendition of the ‘messenger’! We don’t even get those in my parts of the world. Maybe they prefer to live where the cold climate doesn’t prohibit them from widening their stripes.

    Had a glance through your archives and like the photos! Will have to stop by for a more thorough read in the future! Consider yourself followed.

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