Sarah Stultz: The air is getting cooler and fall is on the way

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, September 6, 2022

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With cooler temperatures in the air, it has me thinking ahead to what’s to come for the rest of the year.

Fifty-five days — that’s how many days we have until Halloween. 

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Halloween is followed closely by Election Day, which is 63 days away. 

And then next of course is Thanksgiving at 79 days and — whelp — Christmas in 111. Not to mention the snow and cold will likely be here at that time, too.

According to the Farmers Almanac, the upcoming winter season is expected to be one with “plenty of snow, rain and mush,” as well as some record-breaking cold temperatures. 

The Farmers’ Almanac calls for the first bite of winter to come earlier than last year, and it states December could be cold and stormy across the nation.

You’d think after 16 years in Minnesota, I’d be used to this weather and especially the cold temperatures, but it’s like a slap in the face every time it comes around, no matter how much I try to brace myself for it. 

I’m shivering as I type this. We’re at one of those weird times of year where the house gets cool at night, but you don’t — or at least I don’t — want to turn on the heat yet. You might leave the house with a jacket on in the morning, but in the afternoon, you’re too warm and the jacket gets tossed by the wayside. 

On the Farmers’ Almanac website, there’s an article that lists 20 things people can look for in nature to determine if we’re in for a hard winter. Here’s a few I thought were interesting:

• Thicker than normal onions or corn husks. 

• Early departure of geese and ducks.

• Early migration of monarch butterfly.

• Thick hair on the nape of a cow’s neck.

• Heavy and numerous fogs during August.

• An unusual abundance of acorns.

• Spiders spinning larger-than-usual webs and entering the house in great numbers.

• The size of the orange band on the woolly worm caterpillar. (If the band is narrow, winter will be snowy; if it’s wide, it will be mild.)

What are you seeing out your way?

And are there any other ways you’ve heard of to determine how winter might be?

Like out in nature, we’ve got to prepare for winter. That’s one thing I’ve learned living in Minnesota. Winters aren’t quite as bad as long as you’re prepared for them.

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.