According to Ozark folklore you can predict the severity of winter by what kind of “eating utensil” is inside persimmon seeds. Split the seed and find a tiny, white spoon (or shovel shape), and lots of snow lies ahead. A knife means cutting wind and ice, while a fork foretells a milder winter.
My friend, who has lived in the Ozarks all her life, opened two seeds recently and found spoons in each, which means we’re going to be shoveling snow before long.
A more official test was run by the Farmers’ Almanac using a larger sample. Fifty percent of the seeds examined contained spoons, causing the agrarian experts to predict a colder than normal winter, but a normal snowfall.
I prefer checking the wooly worms as a measure of the winter to come. A wide, rust-colored band means we’ll have a mild winter. But if there’s lots of black on the caterpillar and only a narrow rust band, you’d better buy an extra shovel and snow boots. Is it true? Well, there’s no research that proves it’s not.
Problem is, I’ve not run onto any wooly worms lately. You just don’t see them on the streets and park lots of Clayton. If anyone has come upon the little, furry caterpillar, please take note and report your findings.
There’s other ways to determine the severity of weather. Some say the number of foggy morning during the summer indicates the number of snowfalls for the upcoming winter. Checking that would require getting up early every summer morning and I was never willing to make that kind of commitment.
Oh, well…if all else fails, there’s always the Channel 5 weather forecasters.