My caterpillar ID is rusty, to say the least, so a Flickr user helped me identify this caterpillar as a Yellow woolly bear or Spilosoma virginica — destined to become a tiger moth. I posted about a different variety of woolly bear after a trip to Bodega Head last year where we got some close ups of woolly bear mandibles at lunch.
This yellow woolly was crossing a populated path at Nisqually Wildlife Refuge near Olympia, Washington. Hugh and I are in the habit of helping a critter or two across busy roads, and we’d already seen a few woollies who’d succumbed to the hard-soled shoe. This one was keeping smartly to itself along the grass perimeter, no intervention needed. In Berkeley, this was also the season we had to look out for commuting newts on the trails, a bit tougher to see than a woolly bear.