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Old Man Winter is on the way

A black wooly worm was among Sherry’s fall decorations. Does it know something we don’t about the winter to come?

By SHERRY SHEPARD - For The Courier-Times

The day after Thanksgiving, I decided to undecorate our house and front porch. I like to refer to the task as, “unfalling the house.” I have a lot of decorations that require a large tote for storage. I carefully finished wrapping and packing each item and commented to myself I had done a good job of organizing the tote because I had extra room.

Then, I remembered, I had forgotten the front porch. Last month I shared here a picture of the bale of straw decorated with various fall symbolisms. As I dismantled the porches’ décor, much to my surprise a black woolly worm had made its home among the mums and pumpkin.

My mind started thinking about winter as soon as I saw the little guy. I have always heard that the blacker the woolly worm the more severe the winter. He was solid black! I know and understand that prediction is folklore.

Many people swear by the Old Farmer’s Almanac and the Farmer’s Almanac. Sometimes the two disagree. The Old Farmer’s Almanac dates back 200 years! I was talking to my new daughter-in-law, Beth, about the woolly worm and she told me, “it would be great to get snowed in with my hubby! First year to spend a winter together and I want a blizzard.”

That certainly is a positive attitude, and romantic too. Mom always said she could predict the weather by how her bones felt. I recently turned 70 years old and I understand now what she meant.

Mother Nature, Old Man Winter and his little buddy Jack Frost give us much to talk about daily. Our local meteorologists, the Weather Channel and apps on our cell phones keep us totally aware of what is coming.

I decided to read a few of the Almanac predictions and discovered my little black woolly worm may be in cahoots with the Old Farmer’s Almanac. The following words were found for the winter of 2018-2019: brutal, teeth chattering, cold, snowy. All these adjectives describe what the United States is in store for this winter east of the Continental Divide.

All I can say is UT-OH!

Sherry Shepard is a resident of New Castle. Her column, That’s Life, runs the second Sunday of each month.