Saturday, November 21, 2009

Are We In For A Bad Winter? Ask the Animals!

Brace yourself, winter is approaching quickly. How bad will it be? Will we suffer through multiple ice and snow storms, or will we see a mild, pleasant winter?

You can ask the animals to predict the winter season – well, at least according to old-timers. In olden times, people had to use something besides a local television weatherman to tell them how much food to put away for winter, and how much wood to cut. They came to depend upon the actions and appearances of animals. Handed down over generations, these signs of a bad winter were fairly dependable.

You will have a bad winter in your area if…..

The squirrel tails are bushier than normal.

The squirrels build nests low in the trees, rather than near the tops.

The squirrels gather nuts early – in mid to late September.

Birds finish up all the berries on the bushes early.

Animals grow a short, fuzzy coat under their regular coat.

The fur on horses and mules is thicker than normal.

The fur on the bottom of a rabbit’s foot is thicker than usual.

Crows group together and stay together.

Wild hogs gather up corn shucks, straw and sticks to make a warm bed.

The north side of a beaver dam has many more sticks than the south side.

The beaver homes have a lot more sticks and logs than normal.

Owls hoot late into the fall.

Screech owls sound like they are crying.

Birds huddle up on the ground.

Now, I don't see many wild hogs in Oklahoma City, so if they are making their beds I don't know about it.

And who would pick up a rabbit's foot while it was still attached to examine how thick the hair is? How would you know whether it was thicker than last year - ask the bunny?

However, you can observe what's around you, which, for me, is a bunch of wily squirrels and some huddled-up birds. Since the squirrel tails seem a little fuzzier this year, I think we're going to have a baaaaad winter season.

How do you predict the severity of the winter? Please comment and let us know!


  1. I think you need to have trees in order to have squirrels. Down near Elgin, OK, we have neither! But these posts are really interesting. Thanks!

  2. Well, I can't say I would miss the squirrels, Kaiwat, thick fur or not. Visiting my mom in Clarita today, I spent more time than I wanted trying to keep the squirrels out of my SUV. Thanks for your comment!