Should I say… Lions, Tigers, and bears???? We knew these as woolly buggers when I was a boy growing up in the Blue Ridge mountains of the Va. Appalachian mountain chain. What I am talking about here is the lowly woolly bugger or woolly worm and to some the woolly bear catepillar. Its a fuzzy little worm seen most often in the fall that eventually pupates and emerges as a moth. Interesting huh? Hang in there and you will understand. First heres a description for those of you who have never met this little weatherman of Appalachian mountain folklore. The catapillar is about a inch and a half long and usually has one color on each end and another contrasting color in the middle. A good example is the ones above.
The way this weather prediction works is to look at the woolly buggers middle band of color. The wider the band the milder the winter will be and conversely the narrower the band the harsher the winter. As you can see in the picture above its very easy to look at one and make a judgement on the upcoming winter! Hey it cant be but just so wrong, someone once told me thw weather service is only right 5% of the time on whether or not it will rain! LOL
Now look lets understand this mountain folklore wisdom. First off you cannot expect a wooly bugger in Va. to predict Conneticut weather. You have to look at your local situation and signs. This also applies to the Groundhog Day prediction. We called them whistle pigs cause they whistled right sharp when startled!
As an example several years ago I moved my horses to Pa. so I could lose a leg. They were all raised here in NC. and had never been through a northern winter. I moved in June and by October they had a awesome wooly long haired winter coat that was twice as long as here in the Carolinas! How did they know how to do that? I maintain they are like the woolly bugger catapillar and can predict the weather. Let me show you what a true winter coat looks like on a equine running out in the weather all winter.
This is Weechee a 4 year old mule I raised. The hair stands out and forms air pockets that insulate the body. By the way thats why you dont blanket a animal that is haired up for the winter, the blanket mashes the hair down and the animal loses the insulation factor.
I would like to point out now that yall understand how to acurately predict winter weather that I knew we were in for all that ice and the snow and extreme cold we are having here in Southeastern North Carolina. It was easy, the wooly bugger and Weechee the mule told me. Nearly all the woolly buggers I saw last fall were solid!!! No middle color at all and worse still they were pure smut black! What else did Weechee tell me???? Before the storm even got close this week weeche and the critters were talking to me! On the day before the ice storm Weechee was down in the woods where the brush was thickest and most protected. That night when I fed up Weechee and the mares in with him were comeing to the barn running in circles and bucking and chasing each other! When the critters get way more frisky than normal and sashay around like that something is gonna happen weather wise.
Simple things can speak volumes. Uh oh somebody else said that….While we are on that somebody else thing I got the woolly worm pics off the net. It said share in the caption!
I could tell you lots more about old folks tales but this blog is supposed to be about my Great Western Trip so I better wrap it up. Here I leave you with a very good reason I havent left on my RVing trip yet…. Going by the picture below Sadie Mae appears to have come down with the Swine Flu and the doctors estimate it will probably be March 1st before she is recovered enough to hit the road with me. Isnt that something, why its a perfect timing situation. I probably should of known that by some old sign right? LOL Yall be warm, well fed and dry and see you next post!!!