Predicting the weather is sketchy, at best

Summer is quickly riding off into the sunset. While I did enjoy the nice weather we had between April and October, I find myself wishing for more as the freight train of winter approaches.

I await the beautiful days of Indian summer that I hope are still ahead. The usual blaze of autumn colors hasn’t happened yet this year. Every thing seems to be tones of gold, yellow and brown. I think the early summer rains washed out most of the bright colors. The sumac, usually the brightest of reds, is a rust color. This doesn’t surprise me since I am not sure if the tan I got this year was as a result of the sunshine or just plain old rust. My joints during this unusually cold and damp early autumn have voted for rust.

I think I’m going to forgo visits to the Weather Channel and start listening more to my joints.

Grandpa used to predict bad weather by listening to his joints, “Gonna rain soon, feel it in my bones” and darned if it didn’t. His bones had a better accuracy record than The National Weather Service or even than that most accurate of predictors, The Old Farmers Almanac.

I thought Grandpa was full of hooey (his word). Now that I’ve reached the age he was, his DNA seems to have kicked in. I cannot only tell that precipitation is coming but can even give a prediction as to the time of arrival and I’m usually right especially if I’ve watched the morning news weather forecast.

Old timers in Grandpa’s days didn’t have the advantage that Bob Kovachik gives me. They did their predictions by observing nature.

During the winter, the old farmers where I lived would tell me, “Birds flying low, there will come snow.” They were usually right.

Since Grandpa is no longer available, I went to one of my favorite books, The Fox Fire Book, to check up on old weather sayings to see what kind of winter lays ahead.

I found the following: It will be a bad winter if: squirrels begin gathering nuts early (Mine started gathering in May).

Squirrels’ tails are bushy (Mine are dragging theirs like wedding trains).

Birds eat up all the berries early (I don’t have any berries but I didn’t get one of an abundant cherry crop).

Crickets come inside (It sounds like The Boston Symphony warming up around here).

Woolly Bears black band is wider than the brown ends (The last two Woolly Bears I saw were completely black).

You see Wooly Bears before the first frost (I saw my first one in August).

Butterflies migrate early (I haven’t seen many since the July monsoons).

Trees are laden with green leaves late in the fall (My maple trees haven’t even started to turn colors).

There’s a heavy crop of berries, acorns and pinecones (I have so many pinecones that when I mow the lawn, my neighbors wear helmets).

If it frosts before November, it will be a bad winter (enough said).

The signs have spoken, I’m going out now to tune up the snow blower and try to find the snow shovel under all the junk of summer.

Better yet I think I’ll call my brother, the one who lives in Florida and tell him to expect company. We shouldn’t stay more than three or four months.

Thought for the week: Diplomacy is the art of saying “Nice doggie!”…till you can find a rock. — Gallagher.

Until next week, may you and yours be happy and well.

Reach Dick Brooks at Whittle12124@yahoo.com.

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