A Bushy Barometer

by Harry Miller December 17, 2018

 

After a summer to remember, with heatwaves even overstaying their welcome, certain press publications are already peddling scare stories of a potentially harsh winter ahead, and yes, it’ll be the “harshest winter for almost a decade”!  Now, as stereotypes go, the British being weather obsessed is, I think, aptly associated, so much so that weather scare stories alone are enough to shift newspapers - and don’t certain publications know it!  

But we don’t need newspapers to tell us how bad this coming winter’s going to be - or our mobile phones at that matter.  Some would say we just need to be more intuitive to natures activities, especially the animals, who are arguably more in tune with such things than us humans.  We just need to know where to look, and more specifically, what animals to look out for.  

There is in our woods and parks a barometer with a very bushy tail, and this canny critter is especially busy at this time of year.  They’re darting about all over the place, some are stashing away nutty treasures, and some are blatantly stealing from the other.  Yes, we’re talking Squirrels.

So what should you look out for in squirrel behaviour in order to gauge how fierce of mild a coming winter will be?  Well, according to folklore, how high a squirrel builds their nest - or ‘dray’ as they are known - is a good indicator.  As a rule the higher the dray the colder the winter, and the lower the dray the more milder the season will be.  

Some people swear by the size of a squirrels tail.  If, in autumn, a squirrels tail looks particularly bushy, then the animal is prepared for a very cold time ahead, where it’s lovely warm bushy tail will be an obvious asset.  Another thing to watch out for is the pace at which the squirrel is going about their business.  If they’re spending a lot of time just hanging out and grooming themselves, they’re obviously not sensing any urgency, but if they’re stashing nuts like there’s no tomorrow, then this could well mean that they’re all too aware of what looms over the horizon.

“Squirrels gathering nuts in a flurry,
Will cause snow to gather in a hurry.” 

Regardless of whether the squirrels can predict the weather, you'd be nuts to miss their autumnal antics.  

 

      




Harry Miller
Harry Miller

Author



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News / Work in progress / Mythology

An Unlikely Battle Companion

by Harry Miller December 24, 2018

How do you defeat those pesky Romans: with a broadsword, a throwing spear, a battle horse?  All of those sound like they could be very useful, but what you really need in your arsenal is a Hare.  Just ask Queen Boudica - and if anyone should know it would be this red hared heroine, who impressively managed to defeat the all conquering Romans in three separate battles.  

Read More

Emperor Pingu

by Harry Miller December 03, 2018

“Noot Noot!” That’s hello in "Pinguish" or "Penguinese”, and is the language spoken by the children’s TV sensation, ‘Pingu’ - possibly the most famous penguin in the world, having been broadcasted in no less than 150 countries.  

Read More

A Werecat in London

by Harry Miller November 05, 2018

It seems that wherever man has been, and a cat of some sort, you’ll find tales of people shapeshifting into felines.  In fact the only places on earth where it’s safe from the werecat are Australia and Antartica; two continents which don't have a native cat - I hear they have their hands full with werekangeroo’s and werepenguine’s as it is!

Read More