holly branchBack in the fall we noticed the holly trees in the area were absolutely burdened with berries. And I could imagine the old folks back home commenting that it meant a hard winter coming. Now, in late January, I’m pondering the truth of signs. Cause it’s COLD and the old folks would have been right.
It occurs to me that a lot of what we call signs in Appalachia are nothing more than God doing His thing. Hard winter coming? Here are some extra berries for the birds. Signs aren’t mystical, they’re just a matter of paying attention.
Here are a few others I heard when I was a kid:

  • When leaves flip up to show their underbellies and animals get frisky, it’s going to rain.
  • Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; red sky in morning, sailor’s take warning. (Storm’s coming.)
  • Lots of acorns and squirrels busily storing them indicates a hard winter coming.
  • Wasps nests built high in trees is another sign of a hard winter. (Hmmm, saw one in the tippy top of a tulip poplar recently.)
  • If a rooster crows in the night, expect rain by morning.
  • If cows lie down near shelter and refuse to move, a storm is likely coming.

The fun thing about all these is that they seem to be pretty accurate. The result, I suspect, of people simply paying attention. So brace yourself for more winter. Cause I saw a wooly worm that was mostly black and the horses next door had heavy coats back in November. Forget the groundhog, take it from me, more winter is on the way.