Okay, so I've been wanting to post this for awhile, since November to be exact but I was torn because I kinda wanted to test it first. Well, I think the results are mostly in, but I'd love for you to weigh in.
I'd always heard, and I looked it up to confirm, that the native Americans and pioneers used signs in nature to predict the weather. There is, in fact, evidence of this kind of forecasting all the way back to at least the days of the Renaissance.
One of the things used to predict how harsh the winter will be is the number of Walnuts that are produced on a tree in that year. What made me think of it is that I have a number of walnut trees scattered across my yard but one big one right in front of my barn. I was interested to find in my research however, that it isn't just the number of walnuts but the thickness of their hulls (skin) which is also an indicator.
I noticed that this past fall, the walnut harvest was prolific. There were so many in the yard that I could barely walk without sliding across the yard. It was like someone had thrown out gobs (that's a technical term) of marbles on the kitchen floor.
After reading that the thickness of the hull was a factor, I went back, once the snow had melted and the temperatures became temperate again and I took a look at the hulls.
All in all, I think those "primitive people" learned, without all of the technical bells and whistles we have today, what to look for in order to figure out what was coming down the pike. Is it a coincidence or are the signs there?
If you're interested in reading more or about other fun signs to look for, check out this article... https://www.courier-journal.com/story/weather/local/winter/2016/10/26/folklore-forecasting-what-does-winter-hold/92403934/