The cold winter weather has returned to New York State! The warm days and sunshine may be a memory, but it is expected to be back within the next few days across the Empire State.

The on again, off again winter has been tough on humans and, as it turns out, has been strange for wildlife as well. Animals and insects alike, the weather has has a major impact on the nature we see around us.

But there is one bug/insect/worm that you should not worry too much about if you see it before the real spring arrives. In fact, experts suggest you stay away from it and certainly NEVER bring it in too a warm building.

Woolly caterpillar

According to at least one report, the warm interior of a building is the last thing these beauties of nature need in the winter or early spring.

If you find a Woolly Bear caterpillar or a silk moth cocoon in the winter, do not bring it inside. If it warms up during the wrong season there will be nothing for it to eat, or in the case of the silk moth, no other moth to mate with. Odd as it sounds, the best thing for these amazing insects is to leave them out in the cold.

I found this one in our backyard on a patio block in the sunshine. I thought it may have been dead? In true 2023 style, I quickly did an online search of them and found out they enjoy the cold.

This one has some neat coloring of orange and black and I was hoping a bird wouldn't grab it for a snack.

Orange and black "worm"

The weather is calling for a blast of cold air and snow before another warm up and then bitter cold again. It is one of the worst winters for outdoor fun in years. But it has been good for some exploring with the kids in the yard and the woods.

But as the weather gets better and the spring arrives, that may spell the end of the line for our furry, creepy-crawler, friends.

The cocoons may be wrapped in group of leaves, attached to a branch or on the ground. In the spring a beautiful moth hatches out, but it will only live a few days. These moths do not even have mouth parts to allow them to feed.

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