Does nature know what’s in store for the 2013-2014 winter? Some people believe that nature has a way of telling us if a harsh winter is just around the corner. They turn to the behavior of plants and animals to determine how much wood will need to be chopped or if this is the winter to buy a snowblower. There are countless ‘Old Wives Tales’ that have been past down from generation to generation to help determine the veracity of a approaching winter. Here are 20 of the more widely known indicators.

20 Earthly Signs of a Harsh Winter Ahead

  1. Thicker than normal corn husks
  2. Woodpeckers sharing a tree
  3. Early arrival of the Snowy owl
  4. Early departure of geese and ducks
  5. Early migration of the Monarch butterfly
  6. Thick hair on the nape (back) of the cow’s neck
  7. Heavy and numerous fogs during August
  8. Raccoons with thick tails and bright bands
  9. Mice eating ravenously into the home
  10. Early arrival of crickets on the hearth
  11. Spiders spinning larger than usual webs and entering the house in great numbers
  12. Pigs gathering sticks
  13. Insects marching a bee line rather than meandering
  14. Early seclusion of bees within the hive
  15. Unusual abundance of acorns
  16. Muskrats burrowing holes high on the river hank
  17. “See how high the hornet’s nest, ‘twill tell how high the snow will rest”
  18. Narrow orange band in the middle of the Woollybear caterpillar warns of heavy snow
  19. The squirrel gathers nuts early to fortify against a hard winter
  20. Frequent halos or rings around sun or moon forecast numerous snow falls.

How do you predict a harsh winter ahead? 

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32 Comments

  1. WhaWha says:

    If I get a boner every morning except on 11/1

    Reply
  2. scrotie mcboogerballs says:

    If Conan O’Brien does the string dance in his opening monolog on September 3.

    Reply
  3. ------------- | ------------------ says:

    If my ball hair grows beyond 3″

    Reply
  4. Anonymous says:

    Pigs gathering sticks. What about hippies looking for firewood?

    Reply
  5. Bugbear says:

    With all the fuck’in spiders in my house the east coast will be like Baker according to this.

    Reply
  6. Sowers says:

    Saw a giant ring around the moon during the spring time and some halos every now and then. Spiders are also trying to get into my house more than usual recently. F#$@! you damn spiders are everywhere!

    Reply
  7. tony montana says:

    Cocaine has more fish scales

    Reply
  8. Anonymous says:

    Multitudes of Yellow Jackets!

    Reply
  9. Aaron says:

    An extended Unicorn mating season.

    Reply
  10. J Rad says:

    When my matchstick tan has barely gotten the chance to wear off.

    Reply
  11. rubyrampaige says:

    Chipmunks & squirrels have been VERY busy!!
    I saw halo around the moon tonight~~ I think it’s gonna be a great winter!!! imho

    Reply
  12. Brandon Walsh says:

    If Unofficial posts an article hyping the winter

    Reply
  13. chronamous says:

    all that shit happened last year an we got nothin..

    Reply
  14. jawflappin says:

    unofficial posted this exact post (almost) last year hyping up the winter. dont jynx us again by predictong a huge winter just because you see some squirrels burying pine cones. no more winter hype please, leave that to tahoeweatherdiscussion

    Reply
  15. Anonymous says:

    Bears breaking into the Jigga Dome

    Reply
  16. Captin Kook says:

    Above average alchohol consumption in a population

    Reply
  17. Hella says:

    Spiders are good for winter and medical crops!

    Reply
  18. Sandwich Queen says:

    I have not purchased any powder skis, so we should be in for a big winter.

    Reply
  19. Anonymous says:

    on the west coast here we had a REALLY great winter 2 years ago and last year sucked. It is always known that here 2 la nina (name of weather pattern)years together, the first is awesome snow fall and the second is crappy for skiers/boarders but then the winter after those 2 years will be at least back to normal snow falls. maybe not awesome but at least a good base with some decent powder on top from time to time. [I only know this from working at a resort and from my college degree so hope it helps]

    Reply
  20. anonymous says:

    if i wake up with a massive boner august – december

    Reply
    • Anonymous says:

      Well I guess we are safe!! If you are boasting about something being massive its probably as big as your thumb and fantasizing makes you feel better about it! Good luck wit dat! lol

      Reply
  21. Anonymous says:

    I have been watching a groundhog outside my work window for the last week gathering grass, sticks and what ever it can to insulate its burrows under my office. Is this a sign of the midwest being colder than normal this year?

    Reply
  22. shaun says:

    Not enough alcohol for this winter

    Reply
  23. shaun says:

    Duhh of course it is

    Reply
  24. Tj Morthland says:

    Thicker coat on horses

    Reply
  25. curmudgeon says:

    21. Your girlfriend stops stops shaving her junk.

    Reply
  26. steve says:

    wife buying a lot of winter coats

    Reply
  27. DanneyB says:

    The squirrels are playing with their nuts!

    Reply
  28. Ski2Fly says:

    Changing from bongs to spleefs, makes for a harsh winter.

    Reply
  29. geriatric Skier Gurl says:

    21. Unofficial “weather” webpage not updating since late July, 3 months ago, causing cranky old people to wonder why their bookmark keeps showing the same summer weather loops…. effing Mudder of Sod, would you all FIX that page before this incoming storm hits us Sunday night ?

    22. Dogs shedding out summer haircoats all over house as winter coats grow in, leaving fuzzballs everywhere in corners 5 minutes after the last batch was sucked or wiped up.

    23. Spider webs show up on ceilings, ants try to invade houses via water pipes and cracks in walls.

    24. Sudden urge to eat ridiculous amounts of fattening foods, cook hot soups and stews, and do taste tests of Halloween candy.

    Reply
  30. JI says:

    I live in Florida and love it – we are winterless.

    Reply

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