Follow the Signs Our Grandpop lived with us when I was a kid. After supper we'd take walks together to search nature's treasure. I learned many things, including the signs of the weather. In the fall he would point out the woolly worm's coats. "There's a hard Winter time on the way jes' lookit them squirrels scurry, gatherin' nuts. They're tellin' us too," he would say. "Cornhusks are heavy; holly berries hang thick. The birds' buildin' their nests higher, too. Yes, I see Ol' Man Winters' a clinchin' his fist. Mark my words - all these signs will come true." Sometimes he'd say, "Mebbe we should git back. The bats and swallers fly low; they're lookin' for places to roost for a storm. It's a wonderful thing, how they know. "Jes' hark at the croakin' of them ol' bullfrogs, and look at the ring around the moon. My ol' bones is achin' and that's a sure sign; yes, I 'spect we'll be gettin' rain soon." In the summer he'd listen to crickets that chirped; he'd count chirps for a temperature rise. He could tell if next day would be muggy or hot by the lights and the clouds in the skies. But, late March, I believe, was our favorite time, after we'd have our share of cold spells, when the little tree frogs we called "peepers" woke up, and we'd hark for a sound like sleigh bells. Down by the millpond, when leafbuds appeared, they announced the arrival of Spring and sometimes he would show me these tiny tree frogs that swell twice the size when they sing. "Grandpop," I once asked, "how did you get so wise? How do you remember so well?" "My child, everything in this world's for a cause I jest follow the signs that they tell." - Lillian Arnold Lopez "Pineylore"