Wooly Worms and Other Omens

Not our actual wooly worm. Although he's probably kin.

I saw my first wooly worm on Wednesday. I was walking Thistle and she wanted to examine it pretty closely, so we stopped to consider it. I can report that he had four black rings on his nose, a brown middle and two black rings on his tail. That’s four weeks of harsh weather to kick off winter starting on December 22. After January 12, we should enjoy a stretch of seven weeks of mild weather taking us through March 1. Those first two weeks of March will be harsh again and then we’ll be in the clear after March 15. So says the first Wooly Worm.

In The Memory of Drowning, the main character writes a children’s book titled, Fred the Christmas Caterpillar. I tweaked the wooly worm legend so that each worm predicts the weather over the course of a single day (this explains why there are so many different ones!). Fred’s day is December 25th. Through his struggles with being different he comes to appreciate the wonder of Christmas.

I love folk wisdom like predicting the weather based on caterpillars. And I’d like to point out that a light acorn crop this year seems to back-up my wooly worm’s prediction of a relatively mild winter.

Here are a few more:

  • When it snows while the leaves are still on the trees in the fall, it’s a sign of a long, hard winter.
  • The number of snows in the month of December subtracted from 31 give the total snows for the winter. You can count it as a snowfall if you can track a goose on a board. A duck would work, too.
  • The number of fogs in February will equal the number of frosts in May.

What folks wisdom do you have to share?

One thought on “Wooly Worms and Other Omens

  1. Mom

    Onion Skins very thin
    Mild winter coming in
    Onion skins thick and tough
    Coming winter cold and rough!
    A green Christmas means a white Easter (and vice versa.)
    A tough winter is ahead if:
    corn husks are tight and thick
    apple skins are tough
    berries and nuts are plentiful
    bees and hornets build nests high in brush or trees

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