Ever wonder how people, before the advent of modern day weather forecasting, made their daily and long range weather predictions? Well, they mostly relied on nature and the observations they would make over a period of time. If they saw squirrels with large, bushy tales collecting nuts early, when spiders spun larger webs, or even if they found crickets hiding in their chimneys (YUCK!!!), they would predict a long, hard winter. If they saw a red sky in the morning, sailors take warning, they would predict a storm would soon arrive. Modern times don’t rely on the old fashioned weather lore. But, should we play closer attention? My Mom says to just watch the acorns.
There is a huge Oak tree outside my Moms house in New Haven. Every year since before I can remember, my Mom uses it as her winter weather predictor. As the August month approaches, my Mom starts counting how many bags of acorns she has to pick up and the sizes of the acorns. Based on that, by September she has her yearly winter weather prediction. I swear she has never been wrong. Last year, after picking up her 20th bag of unusually large acorns, she announced the winter would be the worse we had seen in a long time. Well, we all know about last winter, which was one of the snowiest in recorded weather history. This year was one of NO acorns. Seriously, my Mom did not pick one up. So she announced her prediction of an unusually mild winter. And here we are, the year without a winter.
Now there are many people who will say that this is just coincidence. Acorns cannot predict the weather, but merely follow a natural fluctuation in the growing cycle of the tree. But there are others who will say that the weather lore of old is more reliable than modern day equipment. All I can say is that the acorns on that old Oak tree in front of my Moms house were really bad in 1977-1978, 1992-1993 and 2010-2011 and in each of those years, the winters were awful and included a major blizzard. So, when this August acorn season starts, I will be waiting to see, what will the acorns predict?