Don’t shoot the weather prognosticator

Thank you for reading this.
Sometimes I think that if you didn’t read this no one would. I know because you send me such wonderful messages.
It might be time to review the letters policy for a wilderness gossip column. Even the most significant expressions of human thought can appear confused if not downright scary when they are presented in a disorganized fashion.
Remember “Kill” is spelled with two “L’s” and “U” is spelled Y-O-U. Use a little more glue on those letters you clip out of the bass-fishing magazines.
Even the most heartfelt expressions can be difficult to read when they are in a jumble at the bottom of the envelope. Work on your scissor skills, that’s if they still let you have sharp objects.
Even if they don’t and you are nothing but a glue-sniffing bass fisherman just remember, your opinion counts as much as the next guy.
When leaving me a telephone message please include your own telephone number with the cursing and heavy breathing if you wish to have your call returned.
I am just a lowly freelance wilderness gossip columnist. “Freelance” is newspaper talk for “unemployed.”
I am not a clairvoyant. If I was then it might have been possible for me to produce a more accurate long range weather forecast of the viscous winter we are now experiencing.
Some of the more uncharitable readers have recalled that this was the winter that I predicted would be wet, warm and mild.
Now that the governor has declared the state of Washington an official federal disaster area with hundreds of thousands of homes without electricity and uncounted millions in property damage it might be time to review my own winter weather prediction methodology.
This is not an exact science. Based as it is on the appearance of spiders in the fall, the thickness of the husk on an ear of corn, the amount of wax on a winter apple and the fat on a buck’s back.
These observations are valuable weapons in the prognosticator’s arsenal that leave little margin for error.
Still weather prediction errors do occur. I blame the government.
You have to shoot a buck before you can check the fat on his back.
Here in Washington, we manage our game in a way that tries not to hurt anyone’s feelings. So we protect the varmints and leave the hunting season open half the year. Then we wonder why it’s so hard to get a deer.
This year it took me all season to get a buck. Even then it was an accident.
I was cleaning my rifle. I didn’t know it was loaded. The rifle went off and hit a deer. I tried to take him to the vet.
The operation was a success but the patient died. There was a celebration of life, a barbecue.
The old rutting buck was tougher than grandma’s army boot. He had a swelled neck and an empty belly. The tips of his horns were broken off and big chunks of hair were ripped out of his hide from fighting. Even worse, there were two other bullets and buckshot in his carcass.
This guy had been through the wars. No wonder there wasn’t a scrap of fat on him. He was so tough you couldn’t get a fork in the gravy.
As for the corn husks, we had such a dismal summer last year a lot of the corn didn’t ripen. It was the same with the apples that flowered in the spring before it was warm enough for the bees to pollinate them.
Still I should not have misread the spiders. The abundance of their webs is a sure indicator. But they spun their webs too early and by the time I went to count them, the wind was blowing too hard.
Given this prognosticator’s record, all I have to say about the rest of the winter is it’s not over yet.

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