Thursday, October 19, 2023

Woolly Bear

Appropriately for this Halloween-ish time of year, I recently discovered a black-and-orange fuzzy caterpillar in my backyard.
Being from Hawaii, I had no idea what it was (even though I've been living here in Vancouver, WA for over 23 years now, this is the first time I've seen one of these). So I looked it up, and apparently it is called, in very adorable fashion, a "woolly bear." According to Wikipedia, it eventually turns into something called an Isabella Tiger Moth, which has to be one of the most epic moth names ever. Legend has it that the orange section of the caterpillar predicts the severity of the coming winter - a wide band indicates a mild season, while a narrow band portends the next Snowpocalypse. I don't know what this particular one was trying to say; its orange band contracted and widened as it crawled along. So maybe a little of both? I wouldn't be surprised.

If you've read Joel Suzuki, Volume One: Secret of the Songshell, you may recall that there was a creature called a ratworm, which was described as a "thin, foot-long, furry snake" that reminded Joel of "pictures of furry caterpillars (that he'd seen) in science class." When I wrote that part, was I foretelling my eventual discovery, many years later, of a furry caterpillar in my backyard?

Eh, probably not.

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