SAN ANGELO, TX - Can plants animals and even insects tell the future? Ask a farmer or rancher and odds are they'll say yes.
"What are the European and native bees doing? Are they harvesting pollen and nectar rapidly? That can be an indication that they're building the storage for the future,” Barron Rector, Associate Professor at Texas A & M and Texas Agri-Life Land Management Specialist said.
Barron Rector, associate professor of ecosystem science and management at Texas A and M, is full of wisdom.
"It's watching our native animals, our cattle, our sheep, and our goats and seeing what they're doing,” Rector said.
But like most men and women who make a living off the land, it didn't come from a book.
"But he brings his myths, his wives tales, his heresy and his prophecies with him,” Rector said.
It's been passed down for generations and comes from the extensive hours they put in to caring for their land and livestock.
"If I see deer using plateau oak in the summer time coming into the fall, we know the winter is going to be hard because generally, the greatest use of the live oak leaves by white tailed deer is in the winter time,” Rector said.
The predictions he's made come from the land and what lives on it. Even down to the smallest creatures. He says he watches the paths red ants make back to their colonies.
If they're wider than normal, it’s an indicator.
"When I see them working this hard, it usually indicates that we're going to go back to not a severe winter but a colder winter than we've been having in the past,” Rector said.
Another way he predicts the weather, the weather itself. He says the first cold snap that puts us in the 40s usually happens at the end of October, but we've already seen those temperatures. Despite modern day technology, many think the best way to predict the weather is by what they can see with their own eyes.
"And so when I learn how to read the land, read the landscape I can predict the future,” Rector said.
Many in Agriculture are predicting a harsh winter.
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