It’s going to be a hard winter. I’ve got proof.
(There is a photo that is supposed to go here, but it seems to be lost amongst the thousands on my hard drive. I'll post it when I find it.)
Folklore has it that oak trees produce an over-abundance of acorns ahead of a bad winter and fewer acorns when the following winter will be mild. This past fall, deceptively warm, was marked by a veritable monsoon of acorns courtesy of my neighbor’s oak tree.
Walking on my driveway and lawn was like walking on marbles. The sound of acorns crashing onto my car had me constantly checking for dents. I even checked my head for dents after being hit more than once.
Good did come of all of this mayhem. Normally, I have to harvest the seed pods from the Blackberry Lilies long before they ripen because the squirrels consider them a delicacy. This year, I must have missed one. And so did the squirrels. They had apparently gorged themselves on acorns and weren’t looking for anything else to eat so a lone pod was able to ripen and then open, showing the shiny black seeds that make the characteristic autumnal display.