All summer long my youngest child and I have been keeping track of the signs of the weather. We wrote down several weatherlore predictors then kept track of them. Here are a list of some of the things we kept an eye on. Katydids sing in the cold weather so six weeks after they start singing will be the first frost. He wrote down the date of the first time he heard them which in our area was July 23, putting the first frost at September 3. the first frost didn’t come on September third though. However six weeks from when we could hear the katydids loudly during the afternoon is when we had our first frost.
If spiders spin larger webs and/or come in the house earlier then the winter will be a rough one. We named a little orb spider who lived above our door Charlotte. She was a beautiful and rather large spider. Each night her webs got bigger and bigger. Every evening we would come in the house, walk by her and her web and tell her goodnight. Her last web was the biggest one I think I have ever seen! She laid her eggs and died. Wyatt was sad, so was I. We had gotten attached to her. We had spent time watching her create her webs and seeing her catch and wrap her prey.
Leaves that fall or turn color later in the season indicate that the winter ahead is going to be a severe one. Many of our trees are just now beginning to turn. Several are still green. Our most reliable weather man in the area has told us that this winter will be worse than last year.
We spent the summer and fall watching squirrels, rabbits, crickets, birds, ants, cornhusks, onion skins, flowers, fog, and more. Nearly everything we recorded points to it being a long, cold, snowy winter! With all this information Wyatt was certain it would snow by Halloween. Our family began to prepare for that. All of our winter clothes were taken out of storage and refreshed. We have plastic for the windows going up this week because I procrastinated when I found out I could get several pieces of my great-great grandmother’s furniture (more about that next month). Flashlights, batteries, candles, hot chocolate, tea, and all of those winter storm essentials have been stocked up on. I even have ice melt for the sidewalks already.
Last night, we got our first snowfall. Nearly two inches of snow fell soft and wet during the overnight hours. The drive to work this morning was absolutely beautiful! Snow covered trees with their red, yellow, orange, and green leaves were everywhere. The drive home from work was equally as beautiful as the leaves began to fall off the trees due to the weight of the snow. So now our snow covered lawns were covered with beautiful leaves. I wish I had been able to get a picture but this day has been so busy, I didn’t have a chance to stop and grab one.
The town is quickly arranging for trick-or-treaters to have a safe, warm place to dress up and gather candy since we have another system coming through Wednesday through Thursday, into Friday that will bring anywhere from another 3 to 8 inches of snow. Initial predictions had indicated possibly 12 inches of snow but the storm shifted to the east a little (though they said it could shift again and we could still get that larger amount of snow).
This morning when my youngest went to school he had on all his winter attire; snow boots, snow pants, coat, gloves, scarf, and hat. The school cancelled outdoor recess because none of the other kids were prepared for the winter weather. They only had hoodies. Nobody believed us when we said it would snow in October, nobody wanted to believe the weather guys either.
We’re planning a quiet Halloween inside. We’ll watch the snow fall as we bake cookies, drink warm drinks, eat the candy that we had planned for trick-or-treaters, and maybe watch Casper or Its the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (possibly both). We still have plenty to do to get ready for this winter, we believe it is going to be a harsh one.
Do you pay attention to any of the old weatherlore?
What are your winter storm survival essentials?