The weather pattern for the next week in January in North Texas looks mild to say the least. Days in the 50s to 60s and lows in the 30s. Not too shabby.
This is a great time to talk about nature and weather, to be exact how I read nature to give me "hints" into what the weather holds.
Some of these "weather tricks" I learned from my grandmother. My grandmother was born in 1903 and until she was 20 there were no "weather forecast". People had to read the weather from the skys and from the animals, insects, birds and fish that they shared the earth with.
My Grandmother use to tell me that if black birds gather on your lawn, then the weather is going to change within the next couple of days. She was right - you might say, "That is just an old wive's tale" but if you pay attention to the birds, it is true.
In fact, birds are one of the greatest weather forecasters of the natural world. Birds head south when it starts to get cold and when severe weather is approaching, birds just "disappear". I can often go into my backyard in the spring and listen to all of the wonderful birds but when a spring storm starts to approach, even before I can feel the pressure change, the birds stop their songs and everything becomes eerily quiet.
Also a not too pleasant animal, rats, but yet they are great weather predictors too. The night before the last Arctic blast arrived, the rats were busy in the trees of my neighbors yard collecting the little red berries they apparently love to eat. The activity level was that close to players on a football field.
Other animals/insects that are natures meteorologists, well squirrels will bury more/store more acorns if the upcoming winter is going to be colder, spiders make their way into your homes more if the winter is going to be colder. During the stormy spring, locusts will suddenly stop their songs as storms approach and little wild rabbits in my area will stay hidden or run a lot quicker when you approach, excuse the pun but the rabbits get "jumpy" when a storm approaches. The last example, my dog, Max. He gets really antsy and wiggly before a storm approaches, also because he has bad arthritis he gets really "stove up" from pressure drops, this is the same in some humans, for example that bad knee you have.
So next time you are wondering about the weather, remember that up until 1923 there was no "weather forecast" available every day or every hour for that matter. People had to be more self sufficient in the area of weather and rely on nature and themselves more.