Animals the best weather predictors

Although the best weather predictors have several college degrees in meteorology and fifteen kinds of ground mapping radar, still, the onlyest way to tell if its raining is to stick your head out the window and see how wet it is.

Although the best weather predictors have several college degrees in meteorology and fifteen kinds of ground mapping radar, still, the onlyest way to tell if its raining is to stick your head out the window and see how wet it is.

Telling the weather is something most animals do naturally. You look at a bunch of cows out in the pasture on a cool windy day and theyre all lined up with their butts headed northwest and there you have it, the winds out of the northwest.

Baby geese, if it starts to rain, will run right out of a dry building to hold their little yaps open up to the wet sky and drown themselves. Theyre pretty good at telling you that its raining right now-because theyre all out there right now turned into up-raised funnels-or that it has rained sometime in the past-because theyre all dead.

Geese are also pretty good wind indicators. Ma had this batch of a hundred contract geese that got bigger and bigger that summer, got to the point where theyd run around in their big pen flapping their wings and trying to fly their big corn-fed butts away. One day this hard wind comes up out of the unprotected south and much to their amazement, they all find themselves flying out into dads 40-acre cornfield. That was a sight to see, although finding all those geese in six-foot-tall corn ranks pretty low on the list of things anyone would like to do.

There are lots of other ways to tell the weather. For example, if a deers coat is dark in the fall, that means theres going to be an easy winter. Using deer for weather predictors is the best reason I can see to have a limited season on them; otherwise, everytime KWXZ needs a 30-day forecast, thered be a huge slaughter north of highway 10.


Im not sure, when one says the coat is darker than usual, exactly what that means. Some kind of racist projection triggered by Yankees, maybe? Whatever. The bottom line is, if you want to use deer for long-range weather prediction, start shootinem early, get some kind of base line established that you can use to do this with.

One of the local Finnlanders once told me that if you see lightning during the winter-in other words, lightning on ice-theres going to be one more month before the suckers start running. This assumes a couple of things, it seems to me. One, winters almost over; and two, you care about whether or not a bunch of suckers do anything at all, much less run for it.

The height of a bees nest is supposed to be a good indicator in the fall of how long and hard the winter is going to be. This one would appear to be common sense, because they store more honey for a harder winter when some worker bee looks out one day and says: Hey, guys, Bambi just went by and that coat looks pretty dark.

Six months after a hoar frost, therell be one inch of rain for every tenth of an inch of the thickness of the hoarfrost. An interesting part of this weather parable is that the trees themselves learn from the weight of the frost on their branches how much rain is coming the next summer, and leaf out accordingly.

Counting the acorns on an oak tree is supposed to indicate how hard the next winter is going to be, although, come to think of it, I wasnt ever told whether a lot of acorns means its going to be a hard winter, or vice versa, so about the only good this is going to be is for the squirrel.

But then, this messes up the weather predictor hooked to how many nuts a squirrel puts away, doesnt it? Its like this: The tree puts on more nuts because it knows theres rain coming from the hoar frost, but there happens to be a couple of wasp nests hanging from its branches, and trees cant see, so that tips the weight scale off a bit, because about then, Bambi runs by and the bees arent in the house, so its light. Add to all this some lightning, suckers in the creek beneath the tree, and a bunch of addled weather predictors shootin deer left and right for their hides, and, well. Thats the art of weather prediction.

Some that got left out, because I dont know what they

mean: Amber days are the first three days of each season, each of which is about three months long. The first amber day predicts the weather for the first month; the second amber day for the second month, etc.


Thunder on ice in the spring means a long cold spring.

The first Friday of each season sets the wind for the next three months.

The moon holds water. (Exactly when isnt clearly written in my notes.)

Me? Want to predict the next winter? I just look around and see how big the neighbors wood pile is.

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