New Castle News

September 29, 2012

Josh Drespling: All signs point to a harsh winter, but ...

Josh Drespling
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — The nights are getting colder and it seems as though each morning is greeting us with a bit more frost.

Fall has settled upon us as the luscious green leaves transform into their most vibrant state. Soon they will drift to the ground, returning to where they began.

Before you know it, we will be shoveling snow, scraping ice off our car windows, and checking the news stations to see if the school has a delay.

Contrary to the meteorologists’ predictions, I believe we have a long, hard winter in store for us. The signs are mounting for what could be a memorable and record-breaking season. There is an abundance of ol’ farmer signs this year. Each points to a harsh winter filled with frigid temperatures and major snow accumulation.

For example, I have seen frequent halos, or rings, around the sun and moon, which are precursors to numerous heavy snowfalls. There are also the thicker-than-normal cornhusks and an unusual abundance of acorns that warn of excessive snowfall. The narrow, orange bands in the middle of the Woolly Bear caterpillar also warn of heavy snow. The height at which the hornet’s nests are built will also clue you in to the depths at which the snow will rest.

Raccoons with thick tails and bright bands, heavy and numerous fogs during August, and spiders spinning larger and excessive webs are sure signs of a harsh winter. Fat and fuzzy caterpillars presage bitter cold approaching, too. These old wives tales, coupled with our extremely mild winter last year, certainly point to the possibility that we are in for a bleak winter.

That is why I'm hunkering down in anticipation that my prediction will come true. I'm stocking up on hot chocolate, chicken noodle soup, and firewood. I've even put on a few extra pounds just like a big, old bear ready to hibernate. I'm going to wax up the toboggan, dig the other sleds out of storage, and get myself a new set of snow tires for my car.

Soon I will be tucked away with several blankets, watching the Steelers play on TV. With a fire crackling in the fireplace and my family by my side, I’ll peer out across our deck at the mounds of snow as I think back to the past summer and how long it will be until I have to mow the grass again.

 But, of course, all of my predictions and preparations hinge on us surviving the impending end of the world on Dec. 21 and the following zombie apocalypse.

I wonder if zombies like to play in the snow ...