Take a fall hike through the woods and you may find that familiar-looking brown and black caterpillar. Some call it a Woolly Bear or a Fuzzy Wuzzy, or it's lesser-known name, the Isabella Tiger moth. Yet some call it a hedgehog caterpillar. Whatever you call it, studying this fascinating creature can bring some prediction to how the seasons will progress in your area.

For example, the woolly bear has 13 segments to its body, some say to coincide with the 13 weeks of winter. When you spotted it, which direction was it crawling? Folklore says if it's crawling north it could be a sign of a mild winter. If it's heading south - like most of us would like to - it could be a sign of a harsh winter.

According to weather.gov, the longer the woolly bear's black bands, the longer, colder, snowier, and more severe the winter will be. Therefore, the wider the middle brown band could be a sign of a milder winter.

If you see one, gently touch it and you'll see it curl up and "play dead." I do that when my wife wants me to vacuum.

We've still got some great hiking weather before winter sets in for good. In that time, check out Newton Hills, the Outdoor Campus, Blood Run, or take a stroll on the bike trails. You're sure to spot them - and it gives the kids a super fun scavenger hunt on the hike. Check out this Guide to Fall Foliage in South Dakota.

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Life on a Cattle Ranch in Western South Dakota

Life is different out in the country. One look at the photo from Robin Bickel and you quickly realize that a workday is quite different as well, after all, she lives out west in South Dakota Cattle Country.

Robin Bickel took time to tell KIKN Country a little bit about her life out west and life as a woman, working outdoors with animals and nature in God's Country. Bickel lives and works on a cattle ranch operated by herself, her father, Jack, and his brother Keith. How far out in the country is she? How does 50 miles west of Mobridge, South Dakota sound? Yep, mountain time out there.

Life is so different in Sioux Falls, South Dakota compared to what our friends on the farm and ranches deal with. It's a half-mile to the grocery store for our family. For Robin, it's 17 miles. However, it's a quick step out her door and she's right in the middle of where a lot of the groceries come from.


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