Well, we’ve been skiing already but it’s Indian Summer now and of course everyone is wondering what kind of winter in will be in Telluride. When will we ski next? People have their theories, but I for one like to believe some old farming wives tales about the winter. I had a friend tell me the other day that it is a great sign there are so many bees, big snow year. I didn’t really get this one though. There are a lot of old winter wives tales that I believe whole-heartedly though, and maybe you should too. Nature has its own way of preparing for a big winter. If the migratory birds are still hanging around, you may want to start worrying. If your dog has a thicker coat or the squirrels are scurrying around already, start getting exciting. Here are a few wives tales I dug up, and I have italicized and * the ones I have already spotted locally…
Old Wives Tales for a ‘Bad’ Winter:
* squirrels begin gathering food in September-black bugs about in the fall.
* woolly worm tell of a bad winter if there are a lot of them crawling about he has a heavy coat, you see him crawling before the first frost, if he’s black in the
front, the bad weather is coming
-hogs gather sticks, straw, to make a bed.
-birds eat up all the berries early
-birds huddle on the ground
-muskrat houses are built big.
-beaver lodges have more logs and the north side of a beaver dam is more covered with sticks.
-squirrels’ tails grow bushier
*fur or hair on animals such as horses, sheep, mules, cows, and dogs is thicker than usual
-squirrels build nest low in trees.
-hornets and yellow jacket nests heavier
-an ant builds its hill high
*crows gather together
I came up with a personal theory as well after seeing these trees loaded with pinecones up top…
A tree will produce more pinecones before a severe winter to ensure some of the seeds will make it through. Squirrels were dropping them from above, hoarding in September for the winter months, which enforces one of the other myths as well.
So what do unofficial viewers think? Load of BS or signs of a great winter to come? Are we just being foolhearty because we’ve had a taste of winter or is this the real deal? Check your local beaver’s lodge.