Accuweather has some bad news for us here in the Midwest. They say buy a snowblower and hunker down. Accuweather actually said, "People in Chicago are going to want to move after this winter." Now that's scary.
Here in Arkansas, we have a way to forecast our winters with the lowly persimmon tree. Not too much to look at, it's scrubby and rarely grows to it's full potential. They are plentiful on farms, mostly a fencerow tree. Wild animals are about the only ones that enjoy the mature fruit that is sticky sweet. Before they are ripe, they'll make your mouth pucker!
But inside this golden little orb Mother Nature has hidden the forecast for winter. When you split the seed open you'll see the shape of a knife, fork or spoon.
Old timers say the knife forecasts cutting cold, the fork a mild winter and the shape of a spoon means we'll be shoveling lots of snow.
There's a spoon inside each of these this year. And the fact that the tree is loaded with fruit is yet another sign of a bad winter... Mother Nature providing for the animals.
The Farmer's Almanac doesn't exactly agree with Accuweather. They are predicting a milder winter than last. The Almanac was my Dad's "go to" source for weather and planting. He'd buy a copy and by the time he was finished with it, the cover would be completely worn off, the pages dog eared.
I hope the Almanac is right and it's not going to be as bad as last winter. We had record cold and record snowfall.
If I was smart I'd gather up some of these persimmons for Ozark Pudding!