GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – With fall starting on Saturday, there are a few old fall tales that seek to predict this winter’s weather.
The first tale is the coloration of the Woolly Bear Caterpillar, which appears in its second generation during the fall season. According to the National Weather Service in La Crosse, this tale was made famous in New York when an entomologist, Dr. Howard Curran from the American Museum of Natural History, set out to Bear Mountain, New York, in 1948.
While on the mountain, he observed the backs of fifteen woolly bear caterpillars and made his prediction from that. It caught steam in the local news, and the rest was history.
What did his prediction say? If there is more black than brown on the middle body of the caterpillar, it’s a sign of a harsher winter. If there was more brown than black, it’s a sign of a milder winter.
Now, this is not the only winter folktale predictor out there, as according to the Old Farmers Almanac, some others revolve around the actions of squirrels, the texture of apple skins, bird migration, and many more.
But the one that caught my eye was how the fall changeover occurs. According to folklore, leaves that color over brighter, peak later, and cling to their branches later are signs of a colder and snowier winter. On the flip side, darker leaves, earlier colors, and leaves dropping earlier foreshadow a milder winter.
Although the best way to stay in touch is through tuning in to Local 5 News, do you believe in these folktales?