You learn something new everyday. Just this morning, I thought wasps were just scary demons that were related to Satan himself. Now I'm learning they might play a very key role in how we prepare for winter.

Winter Predictions for the Hudson Valley

Folklore has tons of ways to make predictions, and everyone seems to have their favorite. Just last week we covered how Woolly Bear caterpillars might be able to predict the severity of the upcoming winter in the Hudson Valley. Apparently, wasps may be able to do do the same thing.

Pete Sambets via Facebook
Pete Sambets via Facebook

The "Trick" with Wasp Nests

A Hudson Valley resident recently posted a photo (above) of a wasp nest they spotted that had one special detail: even though it was attached to a tree branch, the nest was only a foot or two off the ground instead of hanging high in the air. That's where the "trick" with wasp nests comes into play.

Pete Sambets via Facebook
Pete Sambets via Facebook

Wasp Nest Snow Predictions in the Hudson Valley, NY

"'See how high the hornet’s nest, ‘twill tell how high the snow will rest'", said one commenter, referring to the legend that the height of wasp nest denotes how high the future winter's snow will fall. Another version of the saying goes, "the higher the hornet nest, the deeper the snow". But is it true?

Can Wasp Nests Predict Snowfall?

The most direct (and boring) answer is no, if only because there isn't enough actual data to observe. While the Woolly Bear caterpillar lore was actually given the scientific treatment (well, sort of. You can read more here), there have been no such experiments with wasp nests. Also, wasps don't stay in their nests in winter, and build new ones in the spring, so there is little logic behind building the nests depending on snowfall predictions.

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Luckily, there are far better animals to keep company with than wasps in the Hudson Valley, Check out the amazing (and adorable) hiking therapy animals below, and keep scrolling to see the black bear that wandered onto SUNY New Paltz's campus earlier this year.

Meet the Hiking Therapy Animals of the Hudson Valley

Eleanor Pigby made a splash on social media around the Hudson Valley this week. Turns out she's part of a pretty special team. Get to know Eleanor and the rest of the Pets For Purpose Animal Therapy group of The Summit School in Nyack.

Bear on Campus at SUNY New Paltz NY

On Thursday (June 23, 2022) this unassuming good-size black bear wandered onto campus and decided to climb a tree. The SUNY New Paltz Police along with the NYS DEC Police monitored the situation on-site. They were able to encourage the campus visitor to return home without incident.