Critters can act strange with a weather change

Have you ever wondered why critters sometimes act a bit strange just before you experience a weather change? 

Probably the first thing you may think about would be Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog that appears in February and tries to tell us when spring will arrive. Folks climb Gobbler’s Knob where this famous prognosticator lives to see if he sees his shadow, if so, there will be six more weeks of winter. But if he does not see that shadow, you can expect two and a half months until spring. 

Animals have been predicting the weather for thousands of years, but Punxsutawney Phil became famous in the late 1800s. Lines of this poem explain how his prediction is interpreted. “If Groundhog Day be fair and bright, Winter will have another flight. If on Groundhog Day it be showers and rain, Winter is gone and will not come again.” 

However, this prediction is only correct 39 percent of the time, but it is a fun way to break the monotony of winter. Animals have heightened senses and that is probably the reason for an innate ability to signal a coming weather change. 

Cats are very sensitive and likely can detect falling atmospheric pressure. And their heightened hearing allows them to hear the rumble of faraway thunder. Dogs with their sense of smell likely smell an approaching thunderstorm in advance of its arrival. Even cows get into the act. 

There is an old saying “when cows lie down it means rain is near.”  Another says, “When a cow endeavors to scratch its ear, you can bet a shower is near.” 

On the large cattle drives in the late 1800s, cowboys were very aware of behavioral changes in the herd, thus allowing them to be prepared for a possible stampede. 

This ability to predict the weather extends to other species including birds, toads and frogs, Ladybugs and wooly caterpillars, and ants. Each of you probably have a story concerning the weather prediction of animals. So, can animals predict the weather? Maybe or maybe not, but myths, and folklore give entertainment and behavioral changes can cause us to be more aware of the possibility. 




The old-timers say it happened that way,

An’ they swear by it too,

Throughout the day, there’s rules to obey,

Why? Well here, I’ll give you a clue.


Now, this mystery, has been known throughout hist’ry,  

Things critters knows about weather,

Whether it’s cold, rainy, or blustery, borderin’ on extrasensory,

An’ they shore seem to stick together.


Critters have an uncanny sense, that brings up suspense,

An’ leaves you shakin’ your head,

But they give no pretense, to the wisdom they dispense,

So watch an’ learn instead!


The old mouse catchin’ cat, well she acts like that,

And you ask yourself why,

See her hair is lying flat, acts blind as a bat,

When storm clouds come flutterin’ by


An’ the ol’ dog wants to hide, maybe come inside,

As the wind picks up a bit,

Why he acts terrified, can’t be pacified,

He’s spooked, you have to admit.


An’ them ol’ cows out there, all wooly with fuzzed up hair,

Looks like they are ready to run,

But they’ve tucked in their tail, they’re not likely to bail,

But them clouds are hiding the sun.


When a cow endeavors to scratch its ear, it means a shower is very near,

Grab your slicker an’ your hat,

When the day is cold an’ drear, weather will change don’t you fear,

Sun will dry you in nothing flat.


When the wolf is on the prowl, at the moon they will howl,

And the wind is likely from the west,

The hoot of the owl, signals weather turning foul,

It will be windy at the best..


Then the thunder rolls, shore takes its tolls,

An’ critters just hunker down,

They head for their holes, like a passel of moles,

Shore ‘nuff actin’ like the clown.


Then the crickets get quiet, lady bugs take flight,

An’ a feller don’t know what to expect

The wooly worms come to the light, an’ the frogs seem ready to fight,

Now a feller’s nerves are a wreck.


They claim critters will know, just how weather might go,

An’ they ain’t seldom wrong,

But if you roll with the flow, ‘til you hear that ol’ crow,

This weather won’t take very long!


The old-timers say it happened that way,

An’ they swear by it too,

An’ as you go thru the day, the piper you’ll pay,

An’ storms will soon be through!

©   Ol’ Jim Cathey


In Texas, weather predicting should be left to the animals!

Join us at First Baptist Church Marlin, Texas this Sunday, the forecast is one you will like!

God bless each of you and God Bless America! 


The Rosebud News

251 Live Oak St
Marlin, TX 76661
Phone: (254) 883-2554
Fax:(254) 883-6553