Do the natural signs tell the story of winter?
Tuesday, October 08, 2013 10:00 PM
Earlier this week Mary Fischer at Alamo gave me a packet of persimmon seeds from a tree at their place. A week or two earlier, we had talked about weather lore and if persimmon seeds could predict the relative amount of snow we could expect in the coming winter.
Frank Phillips has been fascinated by the weather, especially winter weather, his whole life. He also keeps a snow shovel by the back door in case all signs fail. Frank has reported on the news, events and people of west-central Indiana for years. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Persimmon seeds have one of three images on them. They either have a spoon, a fork or a knife.
According to the belief, if the image is a spoon, get your shovel out because you will be scooping a lot of snow. If you find a fork in the persimmon seed, relax we're going to have an easy winter. If there is a knife, the winter is supposed to have a few heavy snows and quite a bit of light snows or no snow at all.
Mary's persimmons were full of scoops!
"I didn't find a knife or fork in any of them," she said.
Another old time predictor of snowfall is the hornet's nest.
A few years ago I was called by a man in Cory, down in Clay County, who wanted me to see a nest hornets had built in his back yard. I drove there and took a picture of him bent over next to his hornet's nest that was just a few inches off the ground. He told me hornets will build their nests high or low, depending on how deep the snow will get in the coming winter.
The hornets must have been right. We had little snowfall that year.
Some people put their stock in woolly worms. Supposedly their coloring indicates how bad the winter will be. If they are light colored or striped, it will not be a bad winter but if the woolly worms are all black -- look out! I believe the last time I saw many all black woolly worms was the year the wind chill was 40 below zero on Christmas morning.
Some people also check out the local squirrel population. Supposedly, the fatter the squirrels the harder the winter is going to be because they are storing fat for the long weeks when food will be scarce.
What other weather indicators are there? Send me an e-mail at email@example.com and we will share the most interesting ones with our readers.
So, what do persimmon seeds, hornet's nests, woolly worms and squirrels say about the coming winter?
Nothing. Those things can't talk!