A wonderful friend of Ray Geiger, ( Cleveland weather guru, Dick Goddard) put together a laundry list of “signs” of nature. We featured these in the 1978 edition and it is still relevant today.
Here are the 20 Signs of A Hard Winter.
- Thicker than normal corn husks
- Woodpeckers sharing a tree
- Early arrival of the Snowy owl
- Early departure of geese and ducks
- Early migration of the Monarch butterfly
- Thick hair on the nape (back) of the cow’s neck
- Heavy and numerous fogs during August
- Raccoons with thick tails and bright bands
- Mice eating ravenously into the home
- Early arrival of crickets on the hearth
- Spiders spinning larger than usual webs and entering the house in great numbers
- Pigs gathering sticks
- Insects marching a bee line rather than meandering
- Early seclusion of bees within the hive
- Unusual abundance of acorns
- Muskrats burrowing holes high on the river bank
- “See how high the hornet’s nest, ‘twill tell how high the snow will rest”
- Narrow orange band in the middle of the Woollybear caterpillar warns of heavy snow; fat and fuzzy caterpillars presage bitter cold
- The squirrel gathers nuts early to fortify against a hard winter
- Frequent halos or rings around sun or moon forecast numerous snow falls.
I have heard from several parts of North America about what folks are seeing. Example:
Just reading on AOL that you predict a very harsh winter. We have lived on the Lake at Big Bear Lake, CA for 10 years. We are retired so we have time to watch the wildlife. This is the first year that we have had so many baby ducks that we can’t count them all. They started hatching very early and are still hatching. We have never seen so many. Every mother it seems has from 4-9 little ducklings. We have been wondering why so many. Thanks for your good work. – BJ.
So what signs of nature are you observing?