Signs Of The Winter To Come?
This is what we found hanging in one of the massive and lovely sugar maples in our yard when the leaves started to thin down.
Hornets are commonplace around here but this nest is HUGE. I’d estimate it to be about 12″ – 14″ in height and at least 8″ in diameter. It’s also very high up. These are significant information pieces to know.
In the south, there are signs in nature that many of us are taught to observe regarding what the weather in the coming seasons will be like. One of those is how and where hornets build their nests. The teaching is that if hornets build their nest high off the ground, this is a sign of a harder, colder winter with a lot of snow. Another sign of a harder winter. is the squirrels getting very active, storing up for the winter. The ones I’ve seen have been gathering feverishly in recent weeks.
Now everyone knows that we don’t normally get that much snow here in southeast Tennessee and when we do get that fluffy white stuff, everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING comes to a screeching halt. Northerners find it quite surprising and funny but the truth is because it is not a regular thing, our roads works and utilities are not set up for it and southerners don’t have a lot of experience driving in it. So most businesses, schools, etc. tend to close even when there is just a few inches on the ground. It’s also very mountainous terraine around here so that can be very dangerous driving condtions when the roads are covered with snow and ice.
Because we (my family and I) live on top of a mountain just north of Chattanooga, we are used to more snow than some. We get snow when others just a few miles down the road are getting rain or nothing at all. I’ve seen the times that we would have 6″ or more while just 3 miles south of us would have maybe a salted dusting. It’s no big deal to me. In fact, I love the winter and I love snow. Crazy, huh? I’d be just fine and dandy and fairly happy if I were to wake up tomorrow to this. Ice…I can do without but LOVE the white stuff….and there is nothing as beautiful as these Tennessee hills all covered with a fresh blanket of it. I know it wouldn’t stay around long. I usually never does.
We’ll see how well these signs are predicting winter’s weather. I, for one, am hoping for a white Christmas and a couple of good snows for Little Man and I to play in. Get those coats, hats, gloves and sleds ready! I’m ready. Are you?