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Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Original Society of the Friends of the Woolly Bear

Sounds like a group I'd like to join. But I'm about 40 years too late! There really was an Original Society of the Friends of the Woolly Bear founded by C. H. Curran, curator of insects at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. In 1948, he started studying the wooly bear caterpillar to see if there was any truth to the folk legend that says a long orange stripe on the caterpillar means a mild winter. The "study" was conducted somewhat tongue-in-cheek with the underlying purpose of having an excuse to take a fall outing up the Hudson, from New York, with his family and friends.

They traveled each fall to Bear Mountain, NY. I only had to travel part way down my driveway to find this one.

wooly bear caterpillar

This one seems to have 5 orange segments. When I blogged about this caterpillar in 2009, that one had 6 orange segments. See link.

Who can resist? It's so much fun to pick them up and watch them curl into a tight ball.

wooly bear caterpillar

Have you seen any this year? How many orange segments did they have?

See Wooly Bear- Six Months Late
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Secondary Roads said...

I'll have to keep my eyes open. Haven't seen one yet.

Rebecca said...

I saw one in July and was shocked. I have never seen them that early. Is this an anomaly? Haven't seen any since.

Sharkbytes said...

Chuck- this is the first one I have seen, but I haven't been hunting or anything.

Rebecca- I see them other times of year pretty regularly. They do move in mass in the fall, but there always seem to be a few out of sync.

RNSANE said...

They really are kind of cute. I'm such a coward, I'd have been afraid to pick one up, figuring it might sting!

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