- Swallows high, staying dry; swallows low, wet will blow. Fact. In good weather, high-pressure systems carry insects aloft on warm thermal currents, making birds fly higher for their dinner.
- When the groundhog sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. Fiction. No animal can predict long-range shifts in weather.
- Deer feed heavily before a storm. Fact. Many mammals are sensitive to changes in air pressure and some can pick up low-frequency sound waves made by approaching storms, spurring them to fill their bellies before seeking shelter.
- Goose honk high, weather fair. Goose honk low, weather foul. Fact. Geese choose altitudes where dense air provides lift for their wings. On sunny days, this may be thousands of feet up; it is closer to the ground when a low-pressure air mass moves in.
- Coming rain brings frogs out of the water and into song. Fact. When air is dry, frogs rest low in the water; high humidity brings them onto land. Why they croak more-crows and ducks are also noisy on a falling barometer-nobody knows.
- Before the rain, bees stay close to the hive and ants march in a straight line. Fact. Both probably pick up changes in atmospheric pressure and draw closer to cover.
- When the woolly bear's brown band is wide, a bad winter abides. Fiction. Animals can't predict climmate changes; they react only to prevailing atmospheric shifts.
- When the cicada falls silent, look to the sky for thunder. Fact. Cicadas can't vibrate their wings in high humidity, so they are quiet before rain. -K.M.