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How to Predict the Weather
Mother Nature’s Messages
There are many ways nature tells us what’s on the way. Animals are especially tuned in to what’s coming. When cows lie down, you know rain is near. If bees build their nests up high and squirrels stash their nuts at the top of a tree, it’s going to be a hard winter. I’ve noticed that dandelions close up in response to the atmospheric pressure drop that happens when rain is coming. If you see a fat skunk, you know a long winter is in store. How do these creatures know? It’s one of the mysteries of nature. I wish the meteorologists were as accurate as the bees and squirrels. Watching the news can steer you wrong, and you can’t always find a colony of bees to tell you what’s coming, but I have found an ironclad, 100% guaranteed way to predict the weather: my weather rock. It’s right out my front door, and it always tells me the weather. When the rock is wet, it’s raining. When the rock is white, it’s snowing. When the rock is dry, it’s hot and sunny. If it’s hard to see the rock, there’s fog. If the rock is shiny and slick, there’s ice. The rock is always right. My suggestion for you if you want to predict the weather is to get a rock and put it out front. It’ll never be wrong.
snow on top of the mountain by the first week of June,” he said, “we’ll have enough water for the crops.” Gene and other farmers and ranchers are tuned in to Mother Nature’s signals by necessity. Jeanelle’s mother found a way to predict rain or snow: When there is heavy fog for a few days in a row, some form of precipitation will follow 90 days later. Since Jeanelle shared this with me, after there’s some heavy fog, I’ve watched and waited for the rain or snow to follow. Sure enough, 90 days later, like clockwork, there’s precipitation — rain earlier in the spring and snow in the fall. I’ve observed it in Alberta, Canada, and here in the Star Valley.
When you rely on the land for your livelihood, you find ways to tune in and listen to its signals. My grandparents and my wife’s grandparents and parents all grew up on farms. Needing to know what the season had in store for their crops and not having the luxury of looking it up on the internet, they came up with different ways to forecast the weather by watching their surroundings. During one particularly hot, dry spring, I asked my father-in-law, Gene, a rancher in Star Valley, if we would have enough water for us and our fields. “You see the mountain over there?” Gene asked and pointed. I nodded in confirmation. “If there’s
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