The woolly bear caterpillar! These fuzzy little guys are all over the place. I haven’t seen one in ages – not since we last lived in Roanoke, I think.
It always cheers me to see one undulating its way across the road; something about the brown-and-black coloring makes it look as though it’s “rippling,” like an eel gliding through water. They’re quite large, too – I can usually spot one from my car in time to steer around it.
According to folklore, if a woolly bear’s coat is mostly black, then there’s a bad winter coming. Judging from the ones I’ve seen around here, winter will be mild. Meteorologists seem to be saying the same thing, though their predictions are based on El Niño forecasts rather than caterpillar-spotting. Even so, after 3 successive Michigan winters, I doubt our first winter back here can seem anything but mild.