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September 2nd 2009

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    Some stare into the tealeaves of weather forecasting and never come away with good news concerning the coming winter for us here in Kentucky.  I have heard about chokeberry size, walnut shape and the color of a Fox Squirrel's tail.  Others cheerfully insist the winter will be as mild as the summer was hot.  And I have been polite.

    I first met "The Woolly Bear Winter Forecast Theory" some years ago, and ever since have been thoroughly confused by the precise determinants of warm, mild and cold.  My suspicion is that Woolly Bear forecasting, like so many other gestures from the imagination, is far from perfected, and each disciple has their own insight.  But this year for the first time I have seen Woolly Bears that are all one color.  The one color is ginger, or reddish.  And for some reason I find this alarming.    

 

    I like Woolly Bears to be half black and half the other color.  I like to find them sleeping in old boots and amongst lost socks.  I like to gently discourage them when they appear to be galloping into the house.  I like to nod sagely when the ancient declare this or that bit of wisdom associated with either more black, less black or no black at all.

    This year though I might have fallen from that cliff which wards off the abyss, because I hear the Woolly Bears telling me something.  What it is I have no clue.

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tim candler

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(CNN) (woolly bear forecast 2005)