Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Acorn drop warns of harsh winter, in some parts that is

Excerpts from the Woodland Record:

As I spent hours raking and picking acorns out of the lawn last weekend, I had lots of time to ponder the abundant crop. Does this mean a cold winter? A warm one? A wet one? A dry one? These questions were the cause of many strategic breaks – I did not hesitate to stop my work to ask neighbors, passers-by and visitors.

The neighborhood consensus is that the 2008 harvest is way over the top. And we had all heard that lots of acorns meant something... but did this knowledge come from the Miwok, the Wintun, an old wives' tale or the Farmers' Almanac?

This is what I learned on the internet: An abundance of acorns (or acorns falling profusely off trees) means a harsh winter.

During my Web hunt, I discovered that Christopher Nyerges (editor of Wilderness Way magazine in Los Angeles) said that Native Americans used the acorn crop to predict hard or mild winters. He said that as long as he observed the phenomenon - about 25 years - the acorn crop has predicted the severity of each winter except one.

For 2008–2009, the Farmers’ Almanac is forecasting a numbing winter, with below-average temperatures for most of the country. However... the Far West and Southeast will see near-normal temperatures. That would seem to contradict The Acorn Theory, but maybe our part of the Great Central Valley is in for a harsh winter.

According to the Almanac, people wonder if they look to folklore or cues from nature when making weather predictions. They say, "While the Farmers’ Almanac appreciates and recognizes weather folklore as sometimes very accurate local indicators, we do not count acorns or look to caterpillars to make our predictions. Instead, we rely on a 192 year-old mathematical and astronomical formula that has served us and our readers very well for nearly 200 years."

Click here for the Farmer's Almanac Web site.

Read more at the Woodland Record.


Anonymous said...

I take it your green waste can was slightly heavy.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who thought the title of this post might be heading somewhere else? I am really glad to read that this post is about the kind of "acorns" that the jays keep planting all around my yard.

Pat Paulsen said...

Don't worry, your Jays are probably registared to vote.

dino said...

Hey Pat!

Even though you are dead, I've already voted for you with my absentee ballot

Pat Paulsen said...


It is heartwarming to be remembered. Remember when Milhouse was on Laugh-in? And what's that Goldie (Hawn not Barry) up to these days?