Cars, Science

Woolly Bears Unleashed

This past weekend we enjoyed what can only be described as a summer extension. Sitting by the sunny warm shores of Lake Michigan, we were delighted to find a fuzzy little friend, the Woollybear caterpillar.

As I have been deeply involved in authoring another book, a time-consuming project, I am shamelessly reprinting a story first published by the Toronto Globe and Mail, September 21, 1985.

“As we approach the end of another summer, we can look forward once again to sanity on the roads– but not quite yet.

“Any day now, drivers will be rattled by the wanton and reckless onslaught of woolly bears, those brown furry caterpillars that churn across the roadway like runaway locomotives.

“At one time I cultivated the notion that these creatures were compelled by nature’s dictates to make the near-suicidal break for the other side of the highway — in search of food, a mate or something mystically greener according to their multimodal instincts.

“This is not so. In fact, the woolly bears do it for a lark. They hear the oncoming cars and then dash for the pavement like surfers in search of the perfect wave. As the car whooshes over them, they are scooped up in a pocket of turbulence and tossed head over tail before they tumble harmlessly to the road like an old sock. Then they unfold themselves, and with antennae twitching and fur bristling, await the next car.

~ Phil Brown, Brampton, Ont.”

Thanks for reading and sharing! These little fellows are mythically said to foretell the winter coming soon. Mean time, they traverse the road for recreation. Drive carefully!


2 thoughts on “Woolly Bears Unleashed

  1. Brian Mawhiney says:

    Some people have gone over Niagara Falls in a barrel just for the adrenaline rush so I guess the Woolly Bears are doing something that makes no sense to we timid folk. Well , how many of us got up into a tobacco kiln at 5:00 AM to empty the kiln when we were in a severely hung over state. You might look back and ask if did it for the rush or just because we knew what would await us at home for not doing the job we were expected to finish.




    • Brian, to even think of missing a day hanging kiln would quickly find us hanging in the kiln, next day. Someone brings in a couple tons of leaves, you better be there to hang ’em! Besides, it was worth twenty bucks for a good day’s work! Thanks for writing! Watch out for those woollybears!


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