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Wild Sunday: Where are the woolly bears?

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How in the world are we to get a hokey way to forecast the winter? There are no woolly bears. This photo is from late last summer.


Last year in early September, I started doing my count of dark, light and mixed woolly worms or woolly bears on back roads.

No, I don't particularly believe they are a way to forecast how bad the winter will be, but it is one of those things in the wilds I have noticed since I was a kid.

We are well into the first week of October and I have yet to see a single woolly bear. Not one. I still drive the same back roads as much as I did last year, maybe even more this fall.

And I have not spotted a single woolly bear.

Is is the cool summer we had this year? Or the brief spurt of summer that came late? Insecticides?

If you have ideas, let me know below or at I am curious.

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Jeff Knor found a woolly bear. And snow showers are forecast later this week. This is not the woolly bear he found, but an example of what they look like.... Read More


Normally, they're all over my garden...I haven't seen one all year either.

Is there yet another unidentified invasive species killing them off? This has certainly been a year of seeing non-native species in the Midwest. (example - all the pacus that have been taken recently).

All joking aside, there has to be some explanation. To have not seen a one yet is unbelievable. Maybe something exotic is the explanation, though I bet it has to do with the weather.

I have seen two. One at Silver Springs and one Aurora. Both last weekend.

There are here.

Here in Central Pa. (Hershey) there are no woolly bears either. On another web site someone thought that it was due to a late spring freeze. But I don't remember one here.

Perhaps it's the Apocalypse??

I'm out by Boston and haven't seen any in several years, nor have any of the friends I've asked. I hope it's just one year of bad weather out where you are, and not some invasive species making it's way west.

My count for the fall was exactly 0. It is odd enough to concern me. And I spent enough of my usual time on back roads that i should have seen many.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on October 4, 2009 6:58 AM.

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