Wooly Worms and Other Malarky
We as a species and society are prone to making things up, superstition and wives' tales. It shows just how primitive and gullible our thinking can be (e.g., human sacrifice to appease the gods). Ignorance and pure bullshit! I devote 20 pages (chapter 4 in my book, Rantings of a Mad Botanist) addressing this problem. The chapter is entitled Plant and Gardening Myths--I occasionally give a presentation on the topic to groups, then titled Gardening Under the Influence (of Myths). One of the entries (#56, there are 89) in chapter 4 covers wooly worms (aka tiger moth caterpillars) and the width of the middle red-brown section as an indicator of impending bad weather. I call it there and do so again here, LAUGHABLE AND USELESS. Another classic example of prediction by correlation between independent events or things. I also cover other climate and weather myths in chapter 4, and devote a chapter (12) to other specific weather and climate matters--a must read for anyone interested in sane and rational behavior and good gardening. I use lots of relevant quotes in my book and will repeat one here, "Never let the facts stand in the way of a good story."