I saw my first true sign that winter is on its way to Virginia this past weekend – the wooly worm. I am fascinated every year to see them and note their weather indicating black and tan markings. I heard the wooly worm story when I was a kid from my grandma and never gave it much thought until the first winter I lived in Connecticut (2002 – 2003). The wooly worm that year was completely black tip to tip. The amount of black is said to predict the severeness of the coming winter. That first winter in Connecticut I saw an astounding 90+ inches of snow. That was more snow than I had ever seen in one winter, even more than Colorado. It was a beautiful and snowy winter that made me a believer in the prediction of the wooly worm.
So this year’s wooly worm is heading up the photo in this picture. I read that as a miserable extended first part of the winter and not so bad middle and a harsh but brief finish to the season. Just read the wooly worm by the bands of black and tan. Black tells of the harshes parts of the season and the tan are the milder ones. Every season the markings are different and in my opinion fairly accurate.
There are other great animal weather indicators among us everyday. I find them fasicnating….
Hornet’s nest predict the amount of snow. Depending on how far from the ground a swarm of hornets build their nest will accurately predict the depth of the snow in the coming winter.
Crickets can tell the temperature.To convert cricket chirps to degrees Fahrenheit, count number of chirps in 14 seconds then add 40 to get temperature. Example: 30 chirps + 40 = 70° F. To convert cricket chirps to degrees Celsius, count number of chirps in 25 seconds, divide by 3, then add 4 to get temperature. Example: 48 chirps /(divided by) 3 + 4 = 20° C. (thanks to the Old Farmer’s Almanac for this example)
Ants let us know when rain is on the way. Dogs always sense the thunder storm. Livestock gather before a storm. The groundhog is one of the most famous spring predictors…. I could go on.
So for 2008, the wooly worm has stated its forecast. Time for me to go grab the thick socks. ~K