Watch for Huddling Spiders

Helen Lane gets ready to pass on a lifetime of weather lore

The woolly worms are scarce this year, maybe because of the two-month dry spell, the one that induced the maples, oaks and sycamores marching high up the mountains on the Cumberland Plateau to skip turning red and gold and go straight to dead, brittle brown. The worms that have been found, however, are solid black, while the hornets are building their nests close to the ground, and the spiders are sticking together, weaving their webs nearly on top of one another. Taken together, these and other signs mean the coming winter "is going to be a humdinger," says Helen Lane, who...

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