Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Approach of Winter

I'm going to change the topic a bit now. Summer is almost gone, and we've had a little frost already. The leaves haven't really started turning yet, but the soybeans have begun to turn brown, and the farmers are getting the corn out of the fields. It's even dropped to 41 degrees at night. Won't be long till winter is upon us again. Time to finish the outside projects (too many) before it gets cold. Wish I had some pictures to share with you, but I don't have a way to download them from my phone yet (no cable). I'll have to get one soon, and post some pics.

It looks like it may rain today, even though the sunrise looked promising. That's ok, I've got enough work in the garage to keep me busy.

One interesting thought concerning winter. I've read that our weather may be affected by El Nino, which is forming in the Pacific. According to those forecasts, we will have a mild winter. However, I was raised in the country, and always heard the old timers talk about predicting the weather by the color of the "wooly worms". If you don't know what a wooly worm is, it is "the larval stage of the Isabella tiger moth, according to a site from the University of Illinois, "The Green Line". According to them, there is no truth to the story that wooly worm colors predict winter. Well, I do have a degree in technology, and have an interest in science. However, I have been around enough to know to listen to the old-timers. They were often right more than wrong.
According to the lore of the old-timers, a wolly worm with light colors means a mild winter. One that has brown on one or both ends and black in the middle means a mild beginning or end, and a rough winter in the middle. All black means a bad winter. You get the picture.

As I said, I have an interest in science, and know about scientific principles. However, I have to believe what the old-timers say, as their knowledge was gained from years of experience, and from what their fathers and grandfathers passed on. In those days, knowing what the weather would be was the difference between surviving the winter, and possibly starving or freezing to death.

I've seen years when the worms were all black, and we had a bad winter (I think the winter of 77-78 was one). I've also seen mild winters preceded by brown worms. I have to think that the old folks knew what they were talking about.

As for this year, my wife and I were on our way home from church a few weeks ago, which is located up in the hills. On the way down the hill, we saw three black wooly worms crossing the road. All black...not a good sign.

I certainly hope that the old-timers weren't right...(sigh). We'll be digging out all winter.

Let's hope not.

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