Ear: Winter

Not to jump the gun, since fall just started, but it's probably not too early to contemplate winter. To that end, the Farmer's Almanac has rounded up some weather folklore, passed down from generation to generation, to consider (bit.ly/brrwinter). 

These are some of the signs that point to an impending hard winter: thicker-than-normal corn husks; tree-sharing woodpeckers; geese and ducks flying south early; thick hair on a cow's neck; pigs collecting sticks; crickets arriving on the hearth earlier than usual; spiders spinning bigger webs; more spiders in the house; and ants marching in a line instead of wandering along.

And then there's the orange and black wooly bear caterpillar. If he's fuzzier than normal, take out your long-johns, winter will be bitter cold. You've been warned.

Elleda Wilson is an editorial assistant for The Astorian and author of the award-winning In One Ear community column. Contact her at 971-704-1718 or ewilson@dailyastorian.com.

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