Seasons Ahead

August 25th, 2008

So the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting “above average snowfall for the Greal Lakes and midwest” this winter?  I haven’t read the publication yet, but the news article says they believe much of the nation is in for a long, cold winter with a lot of January and February snowfall.  But not the National Weather Service- they’re predicting a more mild winter.   Either way, as we head through the tail-end of summer, many folks are already planning for the winter season.  

If the cool summer temperatures and moisture indicate anything, then maybe we will see a colder winter here in Missouri.  I was trying to remember some of those rural “signs” that people used to predict the coming season’s weather.   You know, like lots of acorns or nuts on the ground with squirrels running about more than usual?  Do you look for any particular signs in your area?

Of course the woolly worm caterpillar comes to mind, and wouldn’t you know it the town of Banner Elk, North Carolina has a Woolly Worm Festival each year in October.  We’ll have to wait and see what they find out this year.  Maybe the woolly worm will become the “groundhog” of the autumn season!?  

I haven’t seen any woolly worm caterpillars yet (I think it’s too early), but we should compare stripes or something when we find them. Supposedly the predictions of a cold or mild winter are based on the length of the black stripes versus the brown middle stripe.  My reach for a scientific explanation imagines that stripe length has more to do with the species type and growing season length or something.   But hey, I’ve learned never to understimate the mysteries of nature or human intuition!   And if the Farmer’s Almanac is right, getting a little extra firewood cut may be in order.

By the way, we finally picked our little apples.  They were a little chewed up because a squirrel beat us to them. But we sliced them up and tasted our first home-grown apples.  Yum! Maybe next year we’ll have a few more.

2 Responses to “Seasons Ahead”

  1. I’ve given up on looking for predictors of winter. They never seem to be right. I think hindsight it best. :)

    After a long hard winter last year, I’m not sure I’m ready for two in a row.

  2. I was outside in the evening last week and it just felt like fall. I have a sneaking feeling it’s going to be a rough one. This is the first summer I can remember where my grass is still green and growing in August and where we haven’t had a couple of weeks of 100+ degree weather.


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