Monday, November 11, 2013

And the persimmon seed says...

After moving to Missouri several years ago I learned of the old tradition of opening persimmon seeds to predict what kind of winter we will have.  The tradition is when you cut open a persimmon seed, you will see one of three shapes. If it is shaped like a spoon, the winter will have heavy snow. If it is a knife, then it will be a biting (or numbingly) cold winter. Finally, if the seed is shaped like a fork, then it will be a mild winter. 
And, for the record, I have spotted one wooly worm this year--but didn't have my camera with me to get a picture so you don't get to see him.  
The wooly worm I spotted had a lot of black on both ends and a relatively narrow band (not super narrow, not like a line, definitely a band, but a more narrow band than I have seen in past years) of orange in his center. 
According to folk wisdom, when the orange bands on fall wooly worms are narrow, it means a harsh winter is coming. The wider the orange band, the milder the winter will be. 
Some towns hold annual wooly worm festivals in the fall, complete with caterpillar races and an official declaration of the wooly worm's prediction for that winter. 
I want to have a wooly worm race!  But I have only found one wooly worm this year so it would be kind of hard to do I guess...
Dr. C.H. Curran, former curator of insects at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, tested the wooly worms' accuracy in the 1950's. His surveys found an 80% accuracy rate for the wooly worms' weather predictions.
Maybe Katie will get to use her snowboard this year like she is hoping for!

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