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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Can Acorns Predict a Rough Winter?

While many of us in the 21st century may think weather lore is more whimsical than wise, it’s hard to hard to discount all of these “natural forecasters,” especially when most of them are based on years of observation.

The challenge becomes in the handing down of the weather wisdom. Remember the game of telephone? One person would whisper something into the next person’s ear and so on down the line, and when the last person has to repeat what the original whisper was, it’s most often not anything like the original statement. Well the same goes for many of these weather sayings. They’ve been handed down from generation to generation, so perhaps in some of the handing down, some of the lore has been altered slightly. But some have remained the same and often times prove to be quite accurate.

The following are some Natural Signs of a Rough Winter that we’ve collected over the years. Check them out and let us know if you have witnessed any of these signs or have additional weather wisdom we should add to the list.

* Very thick onion skins or corn husks

* Woodpeckers sharing a tree

* Early arrival of crickets on the hearth

* Spiders spinning larger than usual webs

* Lots of acorns

* A small rust/orange band on a wooly worm caterpillar

* Trees are laden with green leaves late in the fall.

* Hickory nuts having heavy shells.

* Tree bark is heaviest on the north side of the tree.

* Crickets are in the chimney.

* Hoot owls call late into the fall.

* Raccoons have thick tails and bright bands

* Squirrels gathering nuts early in the year

* Pigs gathering sticks

* Frequent halos/rings around the sun or moon

– Heavy and numerous fogs in August

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.