The holly berries are reddening up nicely and, now they’re no longer green and have become visible to even a casual observer, we are starting to see predictions forecasting a hard winter.
The issue is relatively straightforward: there are holly trees that decide whether or not to produce berries with a joyful disregard to whatever the weather does; there are holly trees who produce berries only when they’re firmly convinced that we have a hard winter ahead; there are holly trees who see only positive outcomes and, even if they believe that a hard winter is immanent, refuse to produce berries; then, of course, there are holly trees who are convinced that it is their inalienable right to produce berries only if it sounds like a fun thing to do.
What we need here is a Venn diagram. This will reliably identify, once and for all, which holly trees, within the four sets, are this year’s true indicator.
Other than serving this important weather forecasting function, I can only report that holly berries are quite poisonous. As a compensatory gesture they also make us vomit, thus requiring considerable persistence and focus before we can consume enough to kill ourselves.