The folks back home in MO predict the winter by looking at the wooly catepillars and persimmon seeds.
Upon cracking the persimmon seeds open, you will find one of the three pieces of "silverware" shapes.
KNIFE: means you'll have a cold icy winter (where wind will slice through you like a knife winter).
SPOON: means you'll need to shovel out of snow.
FORK: means you'll have mild winter.
Here's an example of a spoon and knife seed:
Pic from http://www.lauderdaleschools.net
So whatever you find the most shape of in the seeds, is the winter prediction. Most say you have to sample 10 seeds to get an accurate reading on how harsh the coming winter will be.
What's your winter prediction in your neck of the woods? My friends in MO say it's a "spoon" winter coming. They've already had one blizzard last week. We don't have persimmon trees here in SoCal so I can't do any predicting. Next year I'll be sure and grab some persimmon seeds in MO to check.