As gardening in zone five begins to wind down, I keep an eye out for the first woolly worm. I usually find them among the fallen leaves or crossing the road. The hairy caterpillar of the Isabelle Tiger Moth is part of weather-predicting folklore. Native Americans believed the size of the black and brown "bands" predicted what kind of winter lay ahead. More brown means a fair winter. More black than brown means a harsh winter. Studies have shown this method of predicting winter is 85% accurate.
This year, I have seen several woolly worms with smaller black bands on both ends.
Not being a fan of winter, I hope this means a cold start to winter, followed by a long, mostly mild period, ending with more cold.