Woolly Bear Predicts Winter?
This woolly bear predicted a cold snowy winter for 2015/16. So did Farmers Almanac. We had cold weather because this is Maine and you know…winter. We had little snow though, never enough at once to snowshoe in the woods and deep enough for the snowmobiles only one weekend. About half the normal 100 inches of snow fell. There were a few days below 0° but there were more days in the 40°s and 50°s than 0°.
Oh Woolly Bear! How did he get it so wrong?
Genetics and environment determine the woolly bear’s looks. The better its diet and longer it’s been eating the narrower its orange band will be. Woolly bear tells us about its diet and genetics, not the weather. The one in the photo must have been eating well. I can related to that. The more I eat the wider my middle gets.
Does Nature Predict Winter?
I love folk lore. The ground hog? I’m amused by grown men (who might be drinking heavily because why else would they do this) who pull a ground hog out of a box, shine lights in its sleepy eyes, and expect it to see or not see its shadow. Six more weeks of winter? Boooo. Same six weeks until spring? Yeah!
Are the wasp and hornet nests high or low? Find them and you’ll know how much snow we’ll have.
Are the geese heading south early? (Or have you, like I tend to do, forgotten when it is they usually leave?)
Look at the pigs. Are they gathering sticks? Heavy winter if they are, or they like to play with sticks.
Lots of pine and spruce cones in the tops of the trees tell us there’s going to be a harsh winter…or mild winter. Two winters ago the trees were loaded and winter was horrible. Last year the trees were loaded and winter was mild. Flip a cone. Or a cone.
Nature reliably predicts winter…except when it doesn’t. It’s still fun.
What folk lore stories do you enjoy?