Caterpillar in Winter
I live in northern New York on the shore of Lake Ontario.
The temperature today is 20 degrees. Last night it was 10 below. I found
a woolly bear caterpillar walking across the snow. My question is should
I leave it there or bring it in for the rest of the winter? How do I
take care of it if I bring it in? Why would it come out of hibernation on
such a cold day? Thank you.
Why would it be out? Who knows, but it was, and was moving, so I suggest
(belatedly of course since this was several days ago) leaving it alone.
Small creatures have many remarkable characteristics that allow them to
survive, most have been around a lot longer than humans and will probably
still be around long after we are gone, and all the help they need from us
is to be left alone.
p.s. I don't mean this to sound flip, as if there are no human-caused
problems for small creatures - but those problems are a major subset of "not
leaving them alone" - i.e. destroying their habitat, adding foreign things
to their environment, etc.
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Update: June 2012