Wooly Bear Caterpillar

Wooly Bear

Wooly Bear Caterpillar


A short detour from Sweet Lake…and a prolonged detour from sales talk, for that matter. 

I stopped at Sunfish Lake Park in Lake Elmo today, a favorite of mine.  Tucked away off of Highway 5 in Lake Elmo, this park rarely attracts more than another explorer or two.  It is a favorite with local horseback riders and the employees of the county highway department. 

For my part, I like the quiet trails that wend through woods and fields along little ponds and wetlands.  An old wire fence divides part of the southern boundary of the park from an old farm that is now — sadly — being developed.  Usually at this time of the year clusters of wild grapes grow along the fence line, but this year the crop does not measure up to much.  A big disappointment.  Wild grapes are a real treat.  

I did see some wildlife including something that either was a small fox or a very healthy squirrel, a hawk, and deer that just wanted to be left alone; my walk seemed homed in on the poor deer’s location.  It would just get up and lope off into the woods again.  If a deer can look annoyed, this deer looked annoyed. 

Then I saw the Wooly Bear Caterpillar.  I love Wooly Bears.  And this Wooly Bear looked especially healthy and robust.  You can find many, many professional photos of Wooly Bears on the net.  (See above.)  But I, naturally, thought I could get a better one.  I learned that isn’t so easy.  First off, try giving stage directions to a caterpillar.  When I saw the caterpillar it moved with bold and beautiful determination.  When I found a place for it to move on a more flattering stage…well, look at the picture. 

Sleepy Wooly Bear


The next thing learned about Wooly Bear Caterpillars is something about patience.  Wooly Bears have more patience than I do.  That thing stayed curled up for five minutes, long enough for me to go into the woods and visit Mrs. Murphy, but I opted to stay and wait instead.  Bad idea.  I waited and waited and waited.  The caterpillar?  I am convinced he fell asleep.  Looks comfy, doesn’t he? 

Back to Sweet Lake and Sweet Lake Part 2 next… 


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