You can place your faith in your modern weather app or even the old school Farmer's Almanac, but the truth is nature will tell you how harsh this winter is going to be.

Long ago, before the age of meteorology and science, folks looked around at nature and saw signs that the impending winter was going to be severe.

88 year Dick Goddard is a long time weather man from Cleveland and he kept track on some of the ways of the woods. here are some of the old signs that people looked to to see if there was gong to be a hard winter on the horizon, which one have you noticed?

 

  • The Early Departure of Geese and Ducks (It seems the geese in Riverside Park are in no hurry to stop pooping all over the walking path, so I think we're good on this one)
  • Thick Hair on the Nape of a Cow’s Neck 
  • Raccoons With Thick Tails and Bright Bands (The Raccoons in my backyard are fat from eating out of the Burger King dumpster, but I'm not sure what that means)
  • Spiders Spinning Larger-Than-Usual Webs and Entering the House in Great Numbers (I'll be honest with you -- I have seem A LOT of spiders in my basement, but we have a working understanding, they're there to eat bugs, not bite me)
  • Pigs Gathering Sticks (How did that work out for the Second Little Pig? Not very well!)
  • Unusual Abundance of Acorns (Ever step on an acorn with bare feet? It's worse than stepping a LEGO)
  • Muskrats Burrowing Holes High on the River Bank (If they DON'T burrow a high hole on the Grand River, they're dead)
  • Squirrels Gathering Nuts Early (again, the squirrels in my backyard eat at the local dumpster, so they're fat and have given up on healthy foods like nuts)
  • Frequent Halos or Rings Around the Sun or Moon Forecasts Numerous Snowfalls
  • Thicker-Than-Normal Corn Husks

Want some more things to look for? Dick's complete list of the signs of a hard winter are here.