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Friday, October 28, 2016

Miscellany

I've seen this little bit of natural dyeing on the sidewalk at the library every year, for many years. I've taken pictures from time to time, but never come up with one as nice. I'm guessing that where the brown is a streak, someone stepped on the wet oak leaf and moved it.


Woollie Bear caterpillars grow black  and orange "fur." The black is on both ends, the orange in the middle. The more orange, the milder the winter.

Not looking good.



I've read this winter is forecast to be bitterly cold and the reason is the continuing shift of the polar vortex. The vortex is a band of air that corrals the arctic cold and keeps it where Santa lives, close to the North Pole. Now the vortex is shifting toward Europe, but still has a long way to go across the Atlantic.

Do your Woollie Bears have orange vests over there?

30 comments:

  1. Winter felt really close at hand today! UGH!

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  2. I first heard of this polar vortex a few years ago when Chicago suffered through a tough winter. I wonder if they just came up with a "cool" name for nasty winter weather.

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  3. That Wollie Bear probably is as good a weather predictor as any.

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  4. Ouch. I hope your woolly bear is a stranger to the truth.

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  5. I saw a totally orange fuzzy caterpillar a couple of days ago... but, then, we live in Mexico....

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  6. Apparently Central to Eastern Canada is due a cold, cold winter. We lie just a hair below the cold/snow line, and we get to look forward to snow/rain/ice/repeat. I wonder what our caterpillars are wearing??

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    1. Okay, I checked, and the one I saw had on a parka and rainboots, with some of those removable ice cleats ...

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  7. I love the leaf patterns you captured there. One of nature's little paintings. I haven't seen a single caterpillar here this fall--wonder what THAT means!!!! xo Diana

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  8. I remember the ol' Polar Vortex. That was a FUN winter

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  9. Yes our Woolly Bears have orange vests, more of a tan colour really, a burnt orange is you're a painter. I don't think I've ever seen a fully black one, and of course we don't have the winters you have with the ice and snow.
    The leaf patterns on that floor are so pretty.

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  10. I don't think we have Woollie Bears here. I'm not sure what to expect this year weather wise in Phoenix. We had 100 degrees yesterday, the first time in years it has been 100 degrees this late into the season. I hope you guys are spared and don't have too harsh of a winter!

    betty

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  11. I shall try and find some here, that is very interesting.

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  12. Over here I say if there are masses of berries on holly bushes it will be a harsh winter but usually it's just wet x

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  13. I read that we are about to enter into another mini ice age. But then about the time they predict something like that the weather goes the other way.

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  14. I had pictured a woollie bear caterpillar in my blog a while ago. I knew there was a way to have them "predict" the weather but wasn't sure what it was. Now I will go back and check. I really hope there was a lot of orange!! Here in Ontario, we remember the whole Polar Vortex thing. They use the Great Lakes as a snow predictor here. If they don't freeze early, there will be a lot of snow due to the winds picking up more moisture... or something like that. The only thing I know for sure is we will get snow. -Jenn

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  15. To be honest Joanne, I am not sure whether or not we have woolly bears. I really do think that much of this stuff about holly berries etc. is just folklore and therefore not necessarily to be believed. This of course might be 'famouse last words' on my part!

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  16. We in Hawaii don't have to deal with icy cold winters. Lol.

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  17. Let's hope Joanne, that the wooly bear and vortex are wrong. Severe winters are awful.

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  18. It's the end of October here and we are still having highs in the 80s. I've seen those leaf stains too but the ones I really like are the ones that fall on wet cement and get stuck and when they rot away you can see the impression of the leaf in the concrete.

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  19. I quite like the natural leaf dyeing photo.

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  20. In Georgia, where I grew up, we called them wooly boogers. We had them in Minnesota, too. This is the first I have heard of their color indicating the severity of the coming winter. I haven't noticed any in Belize. The leaf painting is lovely. Glad you were able to get a good photo of it.

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  21. Joanne, I had to google *polar vortex* and see what everyone was talking about since as Ellen said, it's still in the *80's plus* here and it's almost November. From what I read it sounds like we (Texas) may have a warmer winter, but some possibly real dips in temp due to the polar vortex... and possibly the winter will go hang around further into Feb and March. Since I really dislike the cold, I'm hoping for a *mild* winter! And definitely pray that climate change doesn't bring on another ice age - although I do believe it is a possibility. We do have wooly bear caterpillars, but I haven't seen any yet.

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  22. I haven't seen any caterpillars here at my place. I am hoping it will only be cold. No snow and ice would suit me just fine.

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  23. How well I remember woolie bears in Maryland. The local almanac had a woolie bear contest every fall and the woolie bears helped create the forecast. Our most recent winter was so warm that I will welcome more cold, but I don't have to deal with ice and snow.

    Love,
    Janie

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  24. Bitterly cold? Oh no... It's probably going to be miserable in Chicago too. I love your leaf patterns on the sidewalk. So pretty.

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  25. I haven't seen any caterpillars yet this year. Not sure what that means.

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  26. Hari OM
    No woolly caterpillars round here - no pillars, full stop. They'sa spring thang... having just got back from the big road trip up the North end of the Bonny Land with the Canada blogpal, I can tell you we have had a very mild autumn and the colours have only really come through this week as we were travelling. Glorious. Even in the deep grey day we had today. A GREAT many berries are in evidence though and I recall grandad saying that was a sure sign of a heavy winter. So we shall all stock up on thermal wear and hope for sunny spells, eh?!! Love the pavement patterns - great shot! YAM xx

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  27. Haven't seen wooly bears since Iowa. Here, we go from summer, a brief period of rain, and then back to summer. that's the desert for you.

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