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.