Woolly Bears and Rose Hips


“Wooly Bear” by By Gerry Dincher from Hope Mills, NC (Uploaded by GrapedApe), via Wikimedia Commons


You could opine that leaves burnished too early,
too hot this summer, too dry, the drifts
of wildfire smoke cured garden plants
like old tobacco. Then the woolly bears
seek sun-warmed cement, roses force
dwindling charms to make hips on forked canes,
last tomatoes announce they will only get green,
and powdery mildew silvers up the cucumber vines
like a harvest moon. Then it is fall.

—Tricia Knoll


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Tricia Knoll’s most recent book is Broadfork Farm, a series of love poems for the creatures, family, and gardens at a small organic farm in Trout Lake, Washington. In a time of urban disturbance, retreating to the farm brings a measure of peace.


Website: triciaknoll.com


(Note on wooly/woolly bear from the photographer on the Wikimedia Commons page:
“Legend in my part of Pennsylvania states that you can predict the winter weather by looking at the coloring of a wooly bear caterpillar (Pyrrharctia isabella). This guy says that Pennsylvania will have a cold start and finish to winter with a mild period in between. Either way I am glad I live in North Carolina. This critter was photographed at

Cowanesque Lake in Lawrence Township, Tioga County, Pennsylvania.”)—SK

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Filed under Garden Writers We Love, Green Poetry

2 responses to “Woolly Bears and Rose Hips

  1. triciaknoll

    If you are a fan of woolly bears as I am, here is a wonderful blog. The top photo keeps me laughing.

    • That is a hilarious photo! Thanks for sharing, Tricia. We don’t have many of these caterpillars here, but through some research I noticed that they seem to almost always give pretty much the same “forecast” in regard to their bands of “wool”. 🙂

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