In the autumnal hush of upstate New York, a silent procession unfolds. Legions of woolly bear caterpillars, their russet and black fur a harbinger of the coming cold, embark on an instinctive pilgrimage. Local lore whispers of their weather-predicting powers, the ratio of brown to black fur a barometer for the winter’s severity. Yet, beneath this folkloric charm lies a perilous journey. Each fall, these creatures, driven by an ancient imperative, seek hibernation. The asphalt arteries, the humming metal behemoths, and the relentless pulse of human activity pose a formidable obstacle to this timeless cycle.

This poignant pilgrimage was documented in the fall of 2013 by Justin Allen and Peter Klinkon on the quiet country roads of upstate New York. Their lens captured the quiet determination of these tiny travelers against the backdrop of a changing landscape.

Film: Justin Allen and Peter Klinkon