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Signs from Nature: Winter 2017-2018

  • 03-11-2017 11:59am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 8,368 ✭✭✭ Danno


    Thought I would start this thread as a more casual discussion regarding the signs and effects of winter from nature regarding the upcoming season. The signs from nature are generally regarded as folklore and based on largely unfounded links between nature and meteorology according to meteorologists. (Evelyn Cusack even took time out in one of her broadcasts to inform about this a few seasons ago)

    However, even just for fun, I think it would be nice to discuss it here. The Donegal postman is one kinda famous person who uses this method to predict the coming winters, with varying degrees of success... see his website here: http://www.michaelgallagher.ie online. If anyone knows other similar site, do post links!

    Personally speaking, I have noticed a huge increase in the numbers of field mice making their ways towards households these past few days, and the critters are unusually not too afraid of people. Speaking to friends and work colleagues they say the same. Interestingly the last time I noticed the field mice in this abundance and timid state was back in 2010. Some of the mice I would describe as brazen coming towards people screeching as if they are begging for food!

    Anyone else noticing this? Any other signs of nature acting unusual?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 33,549 ✭✭✭✭ RobertKK


    Yes!!!
    I got mice in my house and one clever one who has so far avoided capture.
    Speaking to the neighbours and they have a nice issue as well.
    So on that front, the mice seem particularly eager to get indoors at present.


  • Registered Users Posts: 481 ✭✭ dryan


    I live near the river Shannon in the midlands and i have noticed the swans 'crying' allot late in the evening while out farming these last few days.
    According to my father (in his 80s) he says it was always a sign that hard weather is on the way.


  • Registered Users Posts: 414 ✭✭ Uthur


    the garden is full of robins here in dublin. ive never seen so many :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,847 ✭✭✭ pauldry


    I notice that some of our flowers usually in bloom in August are still so.

    I also saw some new buds on a bush that has only lost half its leaves.

    Garden growing like crazy too of course.

    Still there needs to be a very cold November or December or 2017 will be the warmest year by far in much of Ireland


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,189 ✭✭✭ Malayalam


    There are a lot of berries on the hawthorn this year, even still, a lot left after leaf fall.
    Some of the blackberry brambles have new flowers on them, kind of makes me feel a bit sad for them as they will never get to fulfil their purpose. (I know, I know...)
    The stag's cry is weaker, he has been endlessly crying in the evening since Summer.
    The geese are making a big cofuffle. They seem more cantankerous this year than usual.
    I saw a newly opened beautifully formed clover flower yesterday and the potatoes still in the ground are resprouting, many looking like they think it's early summer.
    A mix of signs, between a bit too warm still for the times of year, and potentiallt cold weather to come. This year felt as if everything happened a month too early until a couple of weeks ago.


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 10,450 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Meteorite58


    Got an unpleasant surprise last Monday when I went out to bring in the clothes from the line. Whilst grabbing the clothes I got a wasp sting on top of my finger ( sore as hell ! ) Moments before that we were doing some decorating in the house and taking down the curtains when we found a wasp at the back of the curtain. I got it to go out the window unharmed . I wonder was it the same one that stung me !

    Since then I have seen quite a few wasps and even today in a shop. I suppose the weather has been too mild yet to kill off the majority and as others have said there is still plenty of growth.

    Have noticed too in the last week of mild weather loads of midges under the trees and being attracted to the outside lights and even coming in open windows when the lights are on, nearly as many as the summer.

    No prophecy I'm afraid just indicative of the benign conditions of late.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 951 Floki


    Signs of bad weather on the way in this part of Co.wexford are usually first flocks of starlings. There's a small flock around atm but I reckon they're resident birds.
    Then after the starlings come, another sign are flocks of lapwing.
    That's usually a sure sign cold weather is heading from the east.

    If it gets particularly bad like in 09 10 then you might see a flock of whooper swans looking for some grass.


  • Registered Users Posts: 829 ✭✭✭ Neddyusa


    Malayalam wrote: »
    There are a lot of berries on the hawthorn this year, even still, a lot left after leaf fall.

    The last time there was such a massive crop of haws here was in autumn 2010


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,191 ✭✭✭ Gaoth Laidir


    The curious creatures at the Daily Express emitted their annual headlines predicting the worst winter in 50 years. That's a sure sign that we're in for a mildish one...


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,071 ✭✭✭ PukkaStukka


    Being a frequent rail traveller, It's fair to say that this year has been a particularly poor one for low rail adhesion which is consequence of leaf fall, which in turn affects traction and braking on the rails. Journey times take considerably longer.

    Most years are usually done without too much bother but this year has been beset with issues. The last year of similar note was 2010.....


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,023 Donal55


    pauldry wrote: »
    I notice that some of our flowers usually in bloom in August are still so.

    I also saw some new buds on a bush that has only lost half its leaves.

    Garden growing like crazy too of course.

    Still there needs to be a very cold November or December or 2017 will be the warmest year by far in much of Ireland

    I went for a walk down by the bog today and I couldn't believe that some of the gorse bushes are in flower already.


  • Registered Users Posts: 512 ✭✭✭ Arbitrary


    RobertKK wrote: »
    Yes!!!
    I got mice in my house and one clever one who has so far avoided capture.
    Speaking to the neighbours and they have a nice issue as well.
    So on that front, the mice seem particularly eager to get indoors at present.

    The bastards! Who do they think they are being all nice!? You'd want to sort out that nice issue quick smart.

    /slips out of grammar nazi uniform.

    I have serious doubts about the credibility of reading in to nature for long range forecasts, but on short range nature is very clued in.

    I've been through a few major weather events and I'll never forget one storm in particular, a swarm of birds and insects getting out of dodge a good 8-10 hours before the storm hit. It was some spectacle.

    In 2010 I had a robin eating out of my hand. I put apples out in the garden and the following morning I woke up to find a flock of about 40 birds in the back garden. Usually if I'd open the door they'd scarper but that particular year they let you get within close range, and they were happy to take the risk if meant they got a morsel to eat.


  • Registered Users Posts: 978 ✭✭✭ mountainy man


    Donal55 wrote: »
    I went for a walk down by the bog today and I couldn't believe that some of the gorse bushes are in flower already.

    Gorse can be seen in flower all year round, its not unusual and gave rise to the saying "kissing is out of fashion when gorse is not in bloom".


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,023 Donal55


    Gorse can be seen in flower all year round, its not unusual and gave rise to the saying "kissing is out of fashion when gorse is not in bloom".
    Thanks. I always thought and mainly saw it in bloom aroun March onwards.


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 31,231 Mod ✭✭✭✭ dolanbaker


    RobertKK wrote: »
    Yes!!!
    I got mice in my house and one clever one who has so far avoided capture.
    Speaking to the neighbours and they have a nice issue as well.
    So on that front, the mice seem particularly eager to get indoors at present.
    No mice, but I do remember a couple of years ago watching one walking around the outside of the house closely examining every nook & cranny along the wall.
    I kept them out though, not seen the same yet this year.
    I'm not saying they haven't tried, I've just not seen them at it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 951 Floki


    Floki wrote: »
    Signs of bad weather on the way in this part of Co.wexford are usually first flocks of starlings. There's a small flock around atm but I reckon they're resident birds.
    Then after the starlings come, another sign are flocks of lapwing.
    That's usually a sure sign cold weather is heading from the east.

    If it gets particularly bad like in 09 10 then you might see a flock of whooper swans looking for some grass.

    I've just seen a big flock of starlings in the area.
    That's the first sign around here.

    Waiting on flocks of lapwing or Philippines as they're called around here for the next sign.
    The Irish translation of lapwing is philibin.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,028 ✭✭✭ Oneiric 3


    My brother, who lives out the country, told me his place is infested with an unusual amount with mice this Autumn. So far I can boost having 4 rats (*shudders*) left on the back doorstep by the family puddy tat since October, which seems a bit more than recent years, and certainly not great for my already fragile peace of mind. :o

    New Moon



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,464 ✭✭✭ Ultimate Seduction


    Infested with more mice and rats than usual this year, didn't realise it was weather realated though


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 951 Floki


    Infested with more mice and rats than usual this year, didn't realise it was weather realated though

    If a neighbouring farmer is in glas it's probably down to wildbird seed margins sown in fields.
    The population exploded with the mild weather and food supply last winter.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,357 ✭✭✭ highdef


    My cat is catching mice every couple of days recently. I assume it's because the weather has been so mild of late so there's more of them.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,820 ✭✭✭ Pa ElGrande


    Last Winter was mild and lots more critters survived to multiply.
    Mild Spring (i.e. no frost) means more flowers pollinated and surplus crops of fruit and berries. In continental Europe late frosts this year caused significant damage to fruit yields and the harvest is down on recent years.
    With more of everything around than people are more likely to notice and we also tend to remember the more extreme weather events like snow over Winters that are just damp and miserable and though magical thinking we begin to associate the two unrelated events. That's not to deride magical thinking, for example if John eats the red berries that are poisonous and gets sick and dies then we associate the red berries with death and avoid them. It may well be that there the weather cycle that bought us the ideal conditions for bumper crops is also the cycle that is more likely to yield to cold fronts from the North and East and there is a high probability that observations over a long period of time correlate to this. It should be borne in mind that the Donegal postmans forecasts really only apply to his local area which tends to have different weather patterns to Dublin being located on the exposed Atlantic coats.


  • Registered Users Posts: 459 ✭✭ Mr Bumble


    A feature of this summer was the attention given by birds to all my fruit plants/bushes/trees as they came in season from June onwards. With virtually no rain and a big survival rate among all birds because of the mild winter, they went after the fruit.
    I was at war with the little fokkers for weeks but had to throw in the towel when they hired in mercenary squrrels from a tree nearby. Only the plums were spared.
    My holly has been awash with berries for three weeks now and they have ignored them completely. This would be great if you could make holly jam but you can't.
    I've had daffodils sprouting for the last two weeks and an iris I cut back to the bulb in July is a foot and a half tall. A black sweet grape I had in the greenhouse which was wiped out by the storm in early spring grew wild and produced more grapes in the open than it did under glass and they ripened earlier. (Little fokkers got them too).


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,664 ✭✭✭✭ JCX BXC


    Not that I really subscribe to the theory that nature plays a hand in forecasting future weather, I've seen some big irritable wasps around lately, certainly more than the previous few years, leading to quite an annoyance.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,785 ✭✭✭ piuswal


    Mr Bumble wrote: »
    A feature of this summer was the attention given by birds to all my fruit plants/bushes/trees as they came in season from June onwards. With virtually no rain and a big survival rate among all birds because of the mild winter, they went after the fruit.
    I was at war with the little fokkers for weeks but had to throw in the towel when they hired in mercenary squrrels from a tree nearby. Only the plums were spared.
    My holly has been awash with berries for three weeks now and they have ignored them completely. This would be great if you could make holly jam but you can't.
    I've had daffodils sprouting for the last two weeks and an iris I cut back to the bulb in July is a foot and a half tall. A black sweet grape I had in the greenhouse which was wiped out by the storm in early spring grew wild and produced more grapes in the open than it did under glass and they ripened earlier. (Little fokkers got them too).

    Surely all of the above, and all of the other flora stories, are the result of the weather we have had, not indicators of upcoming weather!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,189 ✭✭✭ Malayalam


    piuswal wrote: »
    Surely all of the above, and all of the other flora stories, are the result of the weather we have had, not indicators of upcoming weather!

    My brother in law who is a very sensible botanist laughs at any idea of mine that lots of berries (etc) means a cold winter to come, because of course the berries are representative of the weather just passed. However, as someone earlier in the thread has hinted (or maybe some other thread) perhaps these signs were used as ''divinations'' because the earlier weather set ups can be indicative of later weather set ups in the year (I know that's not the technical terms, but I don't know them) - maybe that would make our magical thinking, and that of our ancestors who drew from close observation over long time periods, more science like?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 951 Floki


    Floki wrote: »
    I've just seen a big flock of starlings in the area.
    That's the first sign around here.

    Waiting on flocks of lapwing or Philippines as they're called around here for the next sign.
    The Irish translation of lapwing is philibin.
    A small flock of lapwing have arrived here in the last few days.

    It's years since they were last here in the area.

    Is there cold weather on the way??
    (Rhetorical question btw).;)


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