The Richmond Register

October 16, 2013

What’s your winter weather forecast?

By Rose Miller
Register Columnist

Northside — This past Sunday in my church parking lot I spotted a perfect specimen of a woolly worm, one of nature’s finest weather forecasters.

I haven’t been able to get God’s little creature out of my mind, so I thought I’d just write about my little friend.

Today, we have access to accurate scientific forecasts of the weather for months in advance. In yesteryear, however, farmers and other interested people relied heavily upon nature’s fingerprints to venture a guess about the weather for the coming months.

I have taken time to list a few of nature’s finest weather forecasters.

Upon closer examination of nature’s mild or harsh winter indicators, I found more than a few examples of folklore that taught our ancestors how to better prepare for a winter.

Here are a few examples:

If wasps built their nest up high off the ground, it is a sign of upcomingharsh winter weather.

If the ears of corn were wrapped tightly in heavy husks; if dogs, cats and other fur-bearing creature grew excessively heavy coats of fur; if squirrels began to gather nuts early, and if mice and insects started coming into your house out of the cold, all are indicators of a forthcoming harsh winter. 

The above are all natural phenomena that farmers and pioneers used to prepare for fair or foul winter weather.

Of course, I cannot leave out the most common, natural forecaster of all. Its scientific name isPyrrhactia Issabella, but we call it the wooly worm.

If the black band around the middle of the brown wooly worm was thick and elongated, folks would think they were surely in for a rough, cold winter.

Boonesborough State Park would like to announce that its is decorated with sights, sounds and over a half of a mile of Halloween lights and displays for the public’s enjoyment. 

You may drive through and enjoy their display from your car. You can play miniature golf while digesting the Halloween music. 

Concessions and snack stands are available. Donations to our park foundation will be appreciated! This event runs through Oct. the 26.

To the lady who called and asked about Madison Central’s Tournament of Band for her visiting, out-of-town grandson, I truly hope he enjoyed the fine music and every part of his day with us. Thanks for calling.

I would like to sign off with my own old adage this week. “That man is as honest as a cat with the meat out of reach.”

Feel free to contact me with your old sayings, signs or old remedies by calling 527-0411. All of the public’s participation on this feature in my article has created quite a stir of excitement.  Thanks everyone.

Please also contact me with church or community news or personal events or special days happening on our northern end of the county.

I can be reached by calling 527-0411 or by e-mailing

Until next week, may God bless you and yours.