Winter :(

I won’t beat around the bush and I am sure I have mentioned it before. I HATE WINTER. I HATE COLD. Yes hate is a strong word, but it is fitting in this circumstance.  Unfortunately it is the time of year when we have no choice but to accept the fact that old man winter will soon be here. We have been lucky up until now and have enjoyed an amazing fall but it seems to be quickly coming to an end.  It is also time for the winter forecast predictions to come out.  The Farmer’s Almanac is calling for a cold and stormy winter; AccuWeather says it will be approx 3-4 degrees colder than normal with lots of snow. Environment Canada seems to agree with colder temperatures and more snow. So, does this mean they are all copying each other or do they really know something we don’t. Along with the forecast Farmer’s Almanac also has a list of some signs of a hard winter so we can make a decision on our own. Have you seen any of these signs:

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 hank
“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.

Ok so maybe it is not much help. But I can tell you that there are no acorns here and the muskrat holes are not that high on the banks.  Now, I have no intention of checking a cows neck  to see how thick it is. Nor do I have much desire to go searching for a hornet’s nest either. I have noticed that the ducks and geese are still hanging around and have not departed early.  I just don’t even know what to says about the pigs.  Has anyone ever seen a pig gather sticks? All in all I gotta say that these signs seem to contradict the ‘experts’.

Here’s my uneducated prediction for the upcoming winter:

I have analyzed all the signs, studied the facts, checked the historical data, dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s and say it will be a late first snowfall, coming  just in time for Christmas; it will be a cold, cold January;  and an early spring with the snow gone by April 1. (Ok some wishful thinking involved)

Anyone else want to share your predictions, post a comment with your best guess.

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