Folk Lore

When hornets build nests near the ground a harsh winter is expected.

Wasps building nests in exposed places indicate a dry season.

Stepping on an ant brings rain.

Seeing caterpillars late in the fall predicts a mild winter.

When spider web in air do fly, the spell will soon be very dry.

When tarantulas crawl by day, rain will surly come.

When scorpions crawl, expect dry weather.

When the daffodils begin to bloom it is time to plant peas.

Grasshopper eggs hatch at about the time the common purple lilac blooms.

Plant corn when oak leaves are the size of a squirrels' ear.

When the blossoms of the apple tree begin to fall, plant your corn seeds.

Mexican bean beetle larvae appear when foxglove flowers open.

When the lilac plant has leafed out plant lettuce, peas and other cool weather varieties. When the flowering dogwood is in peak bloom it is time to plant tomatoes, early corn and peppers.

Plant tomatoes and peppers when day lilies start to bloom.

Direct seed your morning glories when maple trees have full size leaves.

Plant pansies, snapdragons, and other hardy annuals after the aspen and chokecherry trees are leafed out.

When dandelions are blooming plant beets and carrots.

Crabgrass seed germinates when forsythias are in bloom.

Silver maples show the lining of their leaves before a storm.

Slugs will come out in droves prior to rainfall.

Expect rain when dogs chew on grass, sheep turn face first into the wind, oxen sniff the air, and hogs are restless.

In Kentucky, USA, it's said that: When the gnats swarm, rain and warmer weather are believed to be coming.

Zuni Indian Sayings:

When the white butterfly comes, comes also the summer.

When the white butterfly flies from the southwest, expect rain.

In western Pennsylvania, when the chrysalides are found suspended from the underside of rails and heavy branches, then extremely wet weather is predicted; if they are found on slender branches, then a spell of fair-weather is predicted.

Any butterfly flying in one's face is a sign of immediate cold weather to some: others specify that a yellow butterfly flying in one's face indicates sufficient frost within ten days to turn the leaves the colour of the butterfly.

It is an old folktale in the USA that local winter weather may be predicted by observing the width of the colour band on some caterpillars. These caterpillars are black at both ends, with a reddish-brown band in the middle, and are referred to as "woolly bears".

The common species picked for "weather forecasting" is the tiger moth, Isia Isabella. The theory is that the narrower the reddish-brown band, the colder and longer will be the winter: the wider the band the milder the winter. The width of the band supposedly forecasts the "average" temperature for the entire winter, and has nothing to do with a cold spell or with an occasional storm such as the blizzard of 1888, which happened during a year the woolly bear predicted a mild winter.

Although, the "woolly bears" are the most frequently recognized meteorologist in the insect kingdom there are many other folklore about mini beasts and weather.

When bees to distance wing their flight,

Days are warm and skies are bright.

But when the flight ends near their home,

Stormy weather is sure to come."

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