Woolly bears overran the farm about a month ago. They were absolutely everywhere! And you know what? They all looked like this:
Black head and tail with a lot of brown in between. That allegedly means a nice, gentle winter. Maybe I was just seeing what I wanted to see because if today is any indication of how the winter will go, woolly bears lie! It snowed. Not just a few flakes mixed it with some drizzly rain. Real, honest-to-goodness, stick-to-the-pastures snowed.
While they make awful meteorologist, they are pretty cool bugs. They hatch in the fall, but don’t turn into tiger moths until spring. They basically cryo-freeze themselves to survive the winter. I’m not making that up. They actually produce a cryoprotectant that preserves their tissue even though their hearts stop for months. This super-power allows them to thrive in otherwise uninhabitable places, like the Arctic.
I wish I was a woolly bear and could cryo-sleep through winter.
Another interesting observation: chickens won’t eat them.