INSECT WEATHER FOLKLORE
Observe ants, bees, fireflies, and you’ll see they give us cues about upcoming weather, too! Here is folklore from our Almanac archives:
- If ants their walls do frequent build, rain will from the clouds be spilled.
- Ants are busy, gnats bite, crickets sing louder than usual, spiders come down from their webs, and flies gather in houses just before rain.
- When bees to distance wing their flight, days are warm and skies are bright; But when their flight ends near their come, stormy weather is sure to come.
- Fireflies in great numbers indicates fair weather.
- When hornets build their nests near the ground, expect a cold and early winter.
- When cicadas are heard, dry weather will follow, and frost will come in six weeks.
This actually isn’t folklore. Crickets’ chirps are proven to measure temperature. They chirp more frequently in warm weather. The equation for calculating the temperature from a cricket involves counting the chirps for fourteen to fifteen seconds. Then, an amount is added to the count to calculate a temperature in Fahrenheit degrees.
Of course, spiders are not insects (which have six legs). They are arthropods. Observe their motion and their webs closely to gauge weather.
- When spiders’ webs in air do fly, the spell will soon be very dry.
- Spiders in motion indicate rain.
- When spiderwebs are wet with dew that soon dries, expect a fine day.
- Spiderwebs floating at autumn sunset bring a night frost, this you may bet.
WOOLLY WORMS’ BANDS
Certainly, many of you may have heard of the woolly bear’s claim forecast winter weather (also called woolly worm). These caterpillars have black and brown bands; according to folklore, more black than brown indicates a harsh, cold winter while more brown than black points to a mild winter.
Observe reptiles as weather predictors, too!
- The louder the frogs, the more the rain.
- Frogs singing in the evening indicates fair weather the next day.
- Hang up a snakeskin and it will bring rain.
Also, see how birds predict the weather.
Cows, sheep, cats, and mammals have their cues, too. See more about how animals predict weather.
Published on The Old Farmer’s Almanac