In recent discussions with people, I?ve noticed a common thread.  The common thread is that we are getting ready to have a long, hard winter.  During one conversation, a wise man (as he called himself) told me that ?mother nature will take care of mother nature ?.  He noted that one reason for all of the acorns this year was because nature had to get the animals healthy enough to make it through a tough winter.  This guy swears by it and even said ? Go write that on ?ye blog up?er on the internet ?.  I did investigate and found other people indicating the same thing.  Here?s a link to a web site out of Boston where the writer denotes that a large acorn harvest points toward a tough winter. A few weeks later, I had a different gentlemen tell me that the woolly worm predicted a cold and hard winter.  He said the woolly worm was really black which is a sign of the winter to come.  His comment peaked my interest since I had just had the previous conversation with the other gentlemen.  We talked about it for a while and I made a mental not to explore this concept some more.  Sure enough, I looked online and found a link to a paper in North Carolina discussing the woolly worm?s predictions .   After these conversations, I got to researching signs of a tough winter and found the following bullet points on AllExperts.com .  Some pretty compelling information that, if accurate, means we are going to have a long, hard winter.  Check it out.   Woolly Worms : The wider the brown band, the milder the winter.  Also the greater the number of them late in the season also indicates a mild winter. Dandelions : Dandelions late in the season indicate a mild winter. Fog : The more fog in August the more snow in the winter. Another month we keep an eye on for fog is October. The same is true, the more fog during this month the worse the winter.  Persimmons : Cut in half, the inner part of the persimmon seed.  If this happens to look like a spoon it means grab the shovel and prepare for a snowy winter. Ants : Large ant hills in the summer means a cold/snowy winter.  Onion Skin : The skin of onions attempt to reveal clues about winter.   Thick skin means a cold winter with a thin skin leans towards a mild prediction. Apples : The same can be said of the skin on apples that are grown.  Leaves : The longer the leaves stay on the trees, the colder the winter.  August Temps : Hot temperatures in the first week in August usually means a cold winter.  Horses : Even a horse attempts to clue us in on upcoming weather.  If the hair on the horses mane is thin a mild winter lies ahead.   If it's thick, grab those thick winter parkas. Fall Thunderstorms : If they occur in the fall that indicates a cold winter.  Squirrels : The saying is if they have bushy tails it will be a cold/snowy winter.   Wind : A windy fall is often followed by a cold winter.  November : There is a saying that says a warm November yields a cold winter.  Corn : Farmers would always look at the corn shuck... the tighter the shuck the harsher the winter.  Birds : Bird watchers noted that when the birds migrate early that was a sign of a cold/snowy winter.  Nuts : The more nuts and acorns the colder the winter. Deer : Much like the horse, the thicker the hair on the neck the colder the winter. Hornets : We've all heard that the lower the hornet's build their nests the colder the winter.