I might just be the biggest fan of winter that you’ll ever meet, but even I’ve been worn down by this year and I’m ready for the days of opening my windows to let in the fresh air and the song of the birds. However, at that moment as I sat on my deck, I found myself questioning if spring will ever come as I looked out over the two feet of snow still piled on my yard.

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The very next day, I was standing at my kitchen sink washing dishes when I heard a persistent knocking sound. Looking out my window, I discovered that our pesky woodpecker had found his way back home and although I’m not crazy about what he does to our trees, I found myself smiling. As I watched Mr. Woodpecker peck away, I noticed an imposter ladybug (that’s what my son calls them, they’re really Asian beetles) crawling up the window in search of sunlight, and again, I smiled. These must surely be signs of spring.

Do Woodpeckers Hibernate in the Winter?

Deflating my balloon was my husband who educated me on our particular woodpecker with his bright red head hair, telling me that Mr. Woodpecker was of the variety that stick around during the winter months (who knew?) and that he probably was just seeking out some sunshine as I’d done.

Do Asian Ladybugs Hibernate?

As for the imposter ladybug? She too may have just been nudged out of the spot where she’d been “overwintering” by the warmth of the sunshine because I’ve not seen her since.

Are Skunks a Sign of Spring?

This morning on my way into work I saw, with my very own two eyes, right on the road in front of me, a skunk! I’ve never been more excited to see a skunk in all of my life. Mr. Woodpecker and Miss Imposter Ladybug may have been pulled out of their warm and cozy spots by the sunshine, but even I know about the tale that a skunk on the road in the middle of the night following a long and cold winter is a sure sign that spring is on the way.

Do Skunks Hibernate?

Skunks sleep away most of the summer and tend to keep to themselves except for when the mating season begins in late winter and early spring. During that time, they’ll wander away from wherever they’ve found warmth during the most brutal of the winter months nudged awake by the scent of love, and will venture out during nighttime hours to find a mate to make babies with.

Why Are There So Many Dead Skunks on the Road?

Unfortunate little lovers, put into a trance by pheromones of potential mates, don't always take into account that wandering the middle of vehicle-traveled roads in the darkest hours of the night might not be the smartest decision and the smell their little bodies let out as their time on earth comes to an end is what blankets our senses.

How Do Female Skunks Reject Male Skunks?

Another reason that we might smell a skunk in the night air is less morbid but still gross when you think about where the smell comes from and that it is now living in your nostrils. If a lady skunk isn't impressed by the male skunk who approaches her for some cuddle time, she will release an odor from her anal glands to tell him to get lost.  Aren't you glad you know that now?

Old Wives’ Tales About Skunks Predicts Spring Weather

Those who have lived longer than I have told me that all of their lives their mamas and grandmas have handed down the old wives' tale that spring is on the way when the distinct smell of skunk permeates the night air because it means the animals are on the prowl, which means in six or so weeks, the weather will be warm enough for mama skunk to venture out with her babies.

KEEP READING: Get answers to 51 of the most frequently asked weather questions...


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