Predicting Winter

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.

Only spring will tell!

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