By: Meteorologist Megan Mulford
Updated: Nov 7th 2018

Wildlife Wednesdays: Animal Folklore

Each February 2nd, all of the nation looks to Punxsutawney Phil to predict the weather. He lets us know if it will be an early spring or six months more of winter. This has been a fun and long standing tradition for over 100 years! Now we all know Phil really cannot predict the weather according to if he sees his shadow or not (I know, I wish it was true!), but there are some animals as well as livestock that can predict if a harsh winter is upon us. According to folklore, here are several:

~ Thicker corn husks

~ Early arrival of the Snowy Owl

~ Early departure of geese and ducks

~ Early migration of the Monarch Butterfly

~ Thick hair on the back of a cow's neck

~ Overall thicker fur on animals

~ Mice chewing vigorously into a home/early rodent infestation

~ Spiders spinning larger than normal web and seeing a larger than normal of them indoors (NOPE!)

~ Bees secluding themselves in their hive earlier than usual 

~ Unusually high amount of acorns on the ground

~ Bigger pine cones

~ Squirrels gathering nuts early

~ The orange band on Woolly Bear Caterpillar (thinner band=warns of heavy snow, thicker and fuzzier caterpillars= bitter cold)

~ Brighter fall foliage

Again, these are just fun folklore about our weather forecasting friends. I would not solely rely on them about the upcoming winter, stick to us professionals :-)



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acorns
Seeing more acorns in the fall
leaves
A brighter fall foliage
bees
Bees heading to their hives earlier
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