HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — Officials of the nation’s second-oldest almanac say the markings on woolly bear caterpillars suggest a relatively mild winter in the Mid-Atlantic region.

The Hagers-town Town and Country Almanack announced the results Monday of its annual woolly bear contest. Area children collected 274 of the brown-and-black caterpillars for judging and analysis.

Business Manager Jerry Spessard says the caterpillars had black bands in front that were generally wider than their black rear bands. He says folklore suggests that those markings indicate a mild early winter, possibly turning colder in the second half of the season.

The woolly bear forecast conflicts with the almanac’s official prediction of a cold, snowy winter.

The Hagerstown almanac has been continuously published for 218 years, four years fewer than the Old Farmer’s Almanac of Dublin, N.H.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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