Banded Woolly Bear Caterpillars

Back on October 2nd when we went to Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge near Olympia, WA, we saw many banded woolly bear caterpillars (Pyrrharctia isabella).  And can you believe it?--we only heard of woolly bears for the first time this year! This is also the first year we saw them.

The first one we ever saw was when we went hiking up near Mount St. Helens.  We only saw one there, though.  At Nisqually Wildlife Refuge we felt surprised at how many we saw.  My children were counting how many we saw.  I'll have to ask them to see if they remember how many we reached.

Some we saw on the ground while walking on the wooden boardwalk.  We saw one on a leaf along the way.  We saw a lot of them on the grass between the two huge twin barns. We tried to be careful and watchful while walking to try and avoid squishing one on accident.

Woolly bears are such fuzzy, cute caterpillars, and don't you love their name?   When picked up, they immediately curl up into a ball that is very still. If you wait patiently it will uncurl and start crawling on your hand.  It's tiny feet tickle a little as they walk around. We had so much fun gently holding the sweet little caterpillars.

For more information about banded woolly bear caterpillars, you can visit Wikipedia's page about them.

Patiently waiting for it to uncurl

♥ I thought they looked like hearts as they started to uncurl. ♥

My little boy loved to feed the wooly bear he was holding.

There were woolly bears on the boardwalk.

I also wanted to share that we 
saw a lot of "hearts" on the boardwalk!
Walking along the boardwalk. 
♥ The hearts are shared in honor of Guest Heart Thursday.♥


  1. WOW, This is awesome. I'm not fan of caterpillars, but these are just super cute. You feel you want to hug them. And they make hearts, wow...Wonderful pictures. You and your family are great.

    Thank you, dear friend.
    Happy heart day!

  2. I got some pics of one a couple weeks ago & forgot to post them, thanks for the reminder.

    I love that boardwalk

  3. How very precious--I LOVE the name. I didn't realize they were called that--it is the perfect name for these caterpillers!

    LOVE the photo--it's perfect for Guest Heart Thursday!

    Happy GHT!

  4. I've always loved woolly bear caterpillars. But have never noticed UNTIL now, that they do indeed turn into hearts when they are unfurling!

    I have seen so many of them this year - and in fact rescued several from the road where they seem to be drawn. Now I will have to hold one for a while to see the hearts they create!!!

    I love that boardwalk as well, and all of the hearts you found there.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. WONDERFUL little woolly bear caterpillars... What a great day on the boardwalk!

  6. These are such nice pictures, and the little woolly heart is so sweet :)

  7. such lovely hearts of discovery and connection to nature!


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