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The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Persimmon Seeds Widen the Lead: Cold Winter Predicted to Win

Persimmon Seeds Widen the Lead: Cold Winter Predicted to Win

While it’s no surprise to Farmers’ Almanac readers and Web visitors that cold weather is forecasted for the winter ahead (in both the U.S. and Canada), the persimmon seeds and other folklore seem to be agreeing with our outlook.

Early on in the race to predict the winter, spoon shaped persimmon seeds took the lead – with nearly 98% of all seed forecasting reports revealing spoons – meaning a cold winter, and 2% revealing a knife, which means a cold, cutting winter on tap.

(Key: According to weather folklore, persimmon seeds can be used to predict the severity of winter weather. When cut into two pieces, the persimmon seed will display one of three symbols. A knife shape indicates a cold icy winter (where wind will cut through you like a knife). A fork shape means a mild winter. A spoon shape stands for a shovel to dig out of the snow.)

The second most reported natural forecaster is the woolly worm caterpillar, which based on responses is a much closer race — with a 1% lead in black, meaning a harsher, colder winter.

(Key: Weather folklorists believe the more black hair
s a woolly worm has, the worse the winter will be. If the caterpillar has more orange, then the winter will be mild. One must keep in mind that a woolly worm caterpillar should have both colors – and not just one.)

Other winter forecasters that we’ve heard about include tons of spiders showing up, as well as crickets. According to folklore, if “spiders spin larger than usual webs and enter the house in great numbers,” a snowy winter is supposed to be on tap. Early arrival of crickets on the hearth means an early winter.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.