Can nature still predict what kind of winter we will have?

For years I have referred to the farmers almanac, and nature around me to know what the weather will bring.  I’m wondering if with the crazy weather I can still do that?

“Want to  know if it is going to rain?  Look at the leaves, they will curl up to catch and hold the rain long before you see the first cloud.

Want to know if it’s going to be a harsh winter? One of the ways we get an idea around here is to look at the caterpillars.  Black bands mean harsh, brown bands mean mild.  Check out this caterpillar my grand-daughter found.

I can’t find a spot of brown!

This isn’t the only all black caterpillar we have found, I have only found one so far with a small spot of brown, but it wasn’t even a band which is what we look for.

I was raised a city girl, but my heart was never there.  I’m still learning to watch nature to learn about the weather and I know I have a lot to learn yet.  I know to watch the flocking of birds or the disappearance of butterflies and bees to know rain is coming. I have always been attuned to the smells in the air and so on, but I’m wondering if I can count on nature to tell me something now.

What do you catch yourself noticing and realizing it’s a sign of something to come?  What do you look for when trying to determine how to plan for winter?  Do you think we are expecting a return to a more normal season or something else?

6 thoughts on “Can nature still predict what kind of winter we will have?

  1. Wow! I’m impressed. The weather here in Denver is soooo unpredictable that I’m pretty attached to my favorite weatherman. The only signal that’s reliable is that windy warm weather in the winter means a BIG storm is on the way!

    • I hadn’t heard that one. I will have to see if windy warm weather brings a winter storm here too. Our weather may be different in that Colorado is mostly at a higher altitude and I live near water, but it will be an interesting thing to watch for. As for the weathermen here, well I think they are over-paid as they can’t seem to predict our weather this year within a few hours. :-)

      • I think it’s due to the mountains. My knowledge of physics is sketchy at best, but I think that when the storm is blowing in from the west it blows down from the mountains so it compresses the air making it warmer? Does that sound right? Anyhow, I don’t think it works unless you’ve got mountains in the path of the storm.

        And there’s only one weatherman I trust… the fabulous Mike Nelson. he’s like an actual scientist, not one of those glammed up idiots who just reads advisories from the national weather service. He’s even written a book about climate change and how it will effect our weather in the future, and regularly talks about the changes we’re already seeing… it is SOOOO refreshing to hear at least some truth on the news.

        Last time we had a major storm the tornado sirens started blaring at midnight. I was flipping channels wildly trying to figure out if I should be taking cover or if it was no big deal. All the other channels were playing infomercials and the “news radio” station had (not kidding) Psychics for World Peace! But then I turned on my beloved channel 7 and there was Mike, live at midnight, telling us exactly what was going on and who was and wasn’t in danger. I LOVE that man!

        • We have one left but he gets his information from the radar in the next state so it’s not really accurate until they are sure it’s coming our way. Yes, I lived in Arizona, New Mexico and California. The mountains really do make things different. I couldn’t believe the force of the wind as it rushes down the mountains, it was amazing.

  2. Now I’ll have to start looking out for the caterpillars. I’m curious. We haven’t been seeing many leaves turned in this year – we used to look for silver maples turning their leaves over to the fuzzy side to predict rain. That, and houseflies start biting. Or so the lore goes.

    • Oh yes the biting flies! That’s one thing that will chase me out of the Little Cove seating area fast. It was so dry this year, that the leaves have started to change and fall as early as the beginning of July too.

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