Whenever I think of the weather, I am reminded of an old joke I heard years ago about an old hill woman and her grandson, who was doing homework on the correct usage of prepositions. After doing his homework, the boy was expected to go out and hoe up the garden. Just as the pupil thought he had finally grasped the concept, he closed his book, but not wanting to go hoe the garden he looked at his grandmother and said, “I wisht it would rain cats and dogs.” Not knowing (or caring) about the grammatical rules for the uses of prepositions, she responded to her grandson, “Why would you call weather that you’ve got to come in out of up for?” Hearing this, the boy opened his textbook again in bewilderment. I don’t know why, but that has always stuck with me, and I still find it humorous.
I thought of this again today when I was planning a new post about forecasting the weather. I grew up with many ways to foretell the weather by watching the animals. My Grandmaw Mary always said to pay attention to the animals, they will tell you things. That is true enough.
We all know about the wooly worm, and I’m sure you’ve even heard about Granny Clampett’s weather beetle. Even I have included some other time honored folk methods to making an accurate weather forecast in a previous post. Laugh all you want but you’d probably be shocked at just how accurate some of these methods tend to be. Included below are a few of the lesser known folk methods of forecasting weather by watching animals.
When bears store food in autumn, it is going to be a bad winter.
The chattering of squirrels in midwinter indicates an early spring.
If beavers build their lodge’s higher than normal, it is going to be a bad & long winter.
If you see bear tracks in the first snow of the year, it will be a mild winter.
If a cat warms itself in the February sun, it will warm itself by a fire in March.
If there are a lot of herons in the fall, a cold winter is in store.
When woodpeckers leave an area, expect a severe winter. If you see a woodpecker pecking low on a tree trunk, it is a sign of warm weather.
If field birds flock together, it is a sign of a bad storm coming your way.
After the purple martins appear in the spring, no killing frost will occur.
The color of a deer foretells the winter, the darker the coat, the harder the winter.
If fish are seen congregating in deep water, that is a sign of a cold winter to come.
If you hear no birds singing or animals scurrying in the woods, it is a sure sign of a bad storm coming your way.
If there are very few squirrel dreys (nests made of leaves), it is a sign of a cold, hard winter to come.
I’m sure there are more and more of these folk methods of forecasting weather. Also, I’d say there vary from location to location. Do you know of any other ways animals can forecast the weather?