Almanac: Stock up on firewood, sweaters, hot cocoa

If you enjoyed last winter’s bitter temperatures and snow, the Farmer’s Almanac has good news for you:
“The winter of 2014″”15 will see below-normal temperatures for about three-quarters of the nation, with the most frigid areas occurring in and around the Northern Plains into the Great Lakes.”
It predicts a very cold outbreak during January and February and temperatures dropping to minus-40 in the Northern Plains.
The outlook includes a stormy forecast for the eastern third of the country with lots of snow and rain, especially in early January and the first week of February. As far as the Midwest and Great Lakes are concerned, below-normal precipitation is expected.
“While we don’t think the winter will be as extreme as last year, we do believe that it’s going to be another one for the record books,” said Editor Peter Geiger.
But, for the first time, the almanac offers a disclaimer because, at the time of printing, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued an El Nino warning.
Caleb Weatherbee, Farmers’ Almanac weather prognosticator, noted, “An El Nino could result in more rain this winter for drought-stricken California and southern states, and a milder winter for the nation’s frigid northern tier.”
This could affect the long-range outlook, but the almanac stands by its winter forecast of more “shivery and shovelry,” and suggest we “stock up on firewood, sweaters and hot cocoa.”
Aside ominous weather outlooks, the almanac contains unusual articles and pointers on ways to live a healthy, organic and happier lifestyle. It offers natural remedies, suggestions about boosting your immune system and help fighting flu symptoms, and even uses for catnip and natural bug repellents.
The Farmer’s Almanac has been predicting the weather and offering families daily tips for nearly 200 years and has been as common on country kitchen tables as sawmill gravy and biscuits. The 198th edition went on sale Monday. Visit www.farmersalmanac.com.
Along the Way:
On Sept. 10, Wyandot County’s Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Sandusky River Longbeards, will sponsor a turkey-calling contest at the Wyandot County Fair. It’s for experts, novices and anyone with aspirations of embarrassing their family or landing a YouTube video.
Due to their experience in managing governmental meetings, this fun event will be judged by Upper Sandusky Mayor Scott Washburn, Police Chief Dave Olds and EMA Director Dale Risley.
There’ll be three calling categories based on the contestant’s age: Adult (18 and older), Jake (13-17) and Poult (12 and under). Judging will be based on skill, original techniques, costume and luck.
Any type call may be employed and a few will be available to loan to contestants. No real turkeys may be used nor disguised as a family member. In the event of a tie, if that’s possible with three judges, either a swooning turkey or public applause may be used as the decision-maker.
At 6 p.m., Sept. 10, register at the conservation building and help support our natural resources. The contest will begin at 6:30 p.m., so grab your feathered coat or camo, practice your strut and have some fun.
Many thanks to the judges for supporting outdoor education and conservation. Contact 419-294-4869 or email buckeyenut@thewavz.com.
Step Outside:
• Monday: Squirrel, dove and Canada goose hunting opens. See www.wildohio.com.
• Sept. 6: Ladies Day Out for those 14 years and up, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Free introduction to the shooting sports. UCOA, 6943 Marion Township 243, Findlay. Contact 419-889-9930 or email event.schedule@ucoa-findlay.com.
• Sept. 6: Youth Trap Shooting Clinic, Jaquas’ Gun Club. Limited to 30. Contact 567-429-9644 or louischeiderer@iclound.com.
Abrams is a retired wildlife officer supervisor for the state Division of Wildlife in Findlay. He can be reached at P.O. Box 413, Mount Blanchard, OH 45867-0413 or via email at jimsfieldnotes@aol.com

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