Wednesday, January 28, 2015

January Woolly Bear Catepillar

Washington State is enjoying San Diego-like weather. This has been particularly true above the lowlands where cold air tends to settle. On Monday, Bob and I investigated a debris flow which entailed making our way up a steep drainage to a ridge summit at 2,800 feet. It was a very steep climb.
During a short break we found ourselves in a small cloud of mosquitos at 2,000 feet. Just below the summit ridge we came across this woolly bear caterpillar.
Bob noted the woolly myths/folk tales ( This particular woolly was traveling northward indicative of a mild winter and the color pattern suggests a cold first half of winter a warm spell and a late short cold bit. Of course another way to take this since this woolly is a January woolly. As such due to the northward travel direction the spring will be warm but the coloring indicates that the first half of spring will be cold.

Busted myths aside, seeing a caterpillar at 2,800 feet in January where normally there would be snow is rather remarkable.

Another side effect of the warm weather is how thirsty I became from sweating heavily in January without carting a bottle of water.

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