woolyIt definitely feels like summer today in the mountains of Western NC. But even as I sweat, I’m noticing signs pointing toward a rough winter. Last week I saw my first wooly worm.

All black.

This morning I saw another just the same. Acorns are already falling and the walnuts are abundant this year as well. Add to that the Farmers Almanac prediction and I’m afraid there’s nothing for it. This winter is going to be long and cold!

“Our extended forecast is calling for yet another freezing, frigid, and frosty winter for two-thirds of the country,” shares Farmers Almanac Editor Peter Geiger. (Not to be confused with the OLD Farmers Almanac, which is predicting a milder winter.)

There are other ways to foretell a cold winter. If you kill a goose and it’s breastbone is thin, that means a mild winter. A thick breastbone means bad weather. Animals fattening up is a sure sign of a rough winter. Then there are more complicated omens like the number of fogs, how high the hornets build their nests and so on.

I’m an optimist and will continue to hope for a pleasant winter. But folks, the signs don’t look good!