Column: From the vault of knowledge known to guys comes the weather forecast

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I’m a guy.

Guys are known for their alertness.

We’re ever-vigilant.

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Oh, there are times when it may look like we’re not paying attention.

For example, it may look like we’re sleeping in front of the TV, but just try turning off the set.

You’ll immediately hear, &uot;Hey!

I was watching that!&uot;

Yes, there are no flies on us guys.

That’s because we know what to look for in life.

We keep a constant look out for the look.

The look is a piercing gaze that has no need for the accompaniment of words.

We get looks from all the women in our lives.

Each look we get goes into our permanent record.

And we look for signs.

If we see a window, we look out.

That’s why we know what the weather is going to be.

Ask any guy what the winter is going to be like.

He might be too modest to tell you, but he knows.

Guys know winter.

We know that a wise person battles winter by fight or flight.

We know when to don the long underwear and when to book a flight to Phoenix.

We do tend to procrastinate.

That’s why you’ll find us dressed in Hawaiian shirts as we use credit cards to scrape the ice off our windshields.

Guys pass along knowledge to other guys.

Some guy told me that wood from a tree struck by lightning should never be used in the construction of a house or barn, or they in turn will also be struck by lightning.

But I digress.

What you want to know is what the coming winter is going to be like.

Here, direct from the big vault of knowledge that every guy knows, are some things to look for.

Ice in November to bear a duck, the rest of the winter will be slush and muck.

If the first week in August is unusually warm, the coming winter will be snowy and long.

If a cold August follows a hot July, it foretells a winter hard and dry.

When leaves fall early, winter will be mild.

When leaves fall late, winter will be severe.

A tough winter is ahead if cornhusks are thick and tight, apple skins are tough, birds migrate early, squirrel’s tails are bushy, berries and nuts are plentiful, grape leaves turn yellow early in the season, cattle get rough coats, rabbits, dogs, cats or squirrels have unusually heavy fur,

spiders are numerous, the crop of dogwood berries is heavy and hornets build their nests high in the trees.

The wider the brown band on a woolly bear caterpillar, the milder the winter.

A woolly worm is the larval stage of an Isabella tiger moth and is black at each end with a reddish brown band in the middle.

The nearer the new moon to Christmas Day, the harder the winter.

If the first snowfall lands on unfrozen ground, the winter will be mild.

Thunder in the fall foretells a cold winter.

A warm November is a sign of a bad winter.

If fruit trees bloom in the fall, the weather will be severe the following winter.

A cold winter is succeeded by a warm winter and vice versa.

A warm October means a cold February.

Hornets’ nest built in the tops of tree point to a mild winter.

Onion skins very thin, mild winter coming in; onion skins thick and tough, coming winter cold and


An unusual abundance of acorns is a sign of a hard winter.

Every seven years there is an abundance of acorns.

If there is a profusion of acorns, the explanation could be that the previous winter was a very mild one and few flower buds (which are produced in autumn) were damaged, or the summer caused the oaks to be stressed.

Many plants reproduce heavily the year after they have been exceedingly stressed.

A snow before Thanksgiving means few snows in the winter.

Count the number of ground fogs in August.

That is the number of snows for the winter.

The higher a hornet’s nest is from the ground, the more snowfall is to be expected in the coming winter.

So what kind of winter will we be having?

I’m sure after reading this, the answer is obvious to you.

Oh, and if you have a cold, put seven beans in your pocket.

Each day throw one bean away, and at the end of the seven days, your cold will be gone.

(Hartland resident Al Batt writes a column for the Tribune each Wednesday and Sunday.)