Saturday, August 3, 2013

Old Homesteaders Ways of Weather Predicting

We had our first light fog of August this morning here, which reminded me of the times that I would hang out at my aunt & uncle old homestead back in the 50's / 60's. I would hear them several times a day speak a few of these sayings about what needed to be done or because this or that happened we were going to have this type of winter coming, etc.  Sure do miss that time...

1. Count the early morning fogs in the month of August. This is how many snows we will have. A heavy fog denotes a heavy snow and likewise a lighter fog denotes a light snow.

2. If the acorns, hickory nuts etc are in abundance, it will be a hard winter.

3. If the leaves fall early off the trees the winter will be mild. If the leaves stay on till late in fall and are denser than usual, the winter will be harsh.

4. An abundance of those woolly worms indicates a bad winter. If they are primarily black on either end and brown in the middle, then you will have a hard winter at the beginning and ending of winter with a lull or mild spell in the middle; if they are solid black expect a hard winter; if they are solid brown it will be a mild winter.

5. If the hornets build their nest high up in the trees, then a mild winter will ensue but if they are built low to the ground, it's going to be a bad winter.

6. Ground spiders during late summer building their nests with the early morning dew glistening off their webs indicates a hard winter.

7. Severe fogs in July denotes early snow.

8. How many days old the moon is at the first snow is an indicator of how many snows there will be that winter.

9. If there is a ring around the moon, watch to see how many stars there are inside the ring. This tells you how many days until the next snow.

10. Expect frost three (3) months after the katydids first call.

11. Thicker fur than usual on raccoons, bears & other animals is a sign of a hard winter coming.

12. If spring flowering bushes bloom late in the fall then this is a sign of severe weather coming.

13. Smoke rising fast in thin curls indicates snow.

14. Crackling fires and popping firewood indicates snow.

15. Thunder in December means a good fruit year; Thunder in January wakes up the snakes; Thunder in February gives you frost dates for May.

16. When you see the cow "laying down" in the wintertime then expect a snow within the next few days.

17. When animals or birds seem in a hurry to build nests or gather food in the wintertime, bad weather is coming.

18. If there's a rainbow in the morning, then it will rain within 24 hours; if there's a rainbow in the evening, then expect clear weather.

19. If soot and smoke fall down toward the ground instead of rising fast, expect rain.

20. If chickens go to roost early then expect rain.

21. If fish swim close to the surface in streams, then expect a storm.

22. If the smoke from the chimney blows to the ground, it will rain.

23. Lightning in the North early in the night means rain before morning.

24. If there is enough blue in the sky to make a Dutchman a pair of britches, the weather will turn fair.

25. Lightning in the South is a sign of drought.

26. If the June moon lies on its back, it is holding water; if it is tilted so the water will run out, the season will be dry.

27. Red sky at night sailor's delight.

28. The peepers sing and freeze twice before the real spring comes.

29. The red wing blackbird is the first bird of spring.

30. When the moon is getting bigger and moonlight increases, moisture is more readily available to seeds and roots. So broccoli, corn,lettuce and leafy plants which form their seeds on the outside of the leaf, should be started from new moon until the moon is one half-full.

31. From the time when the moon is one half-full until it is full, tomatoes, peppers, beans, cantaloupes, melons, pumpkins and vegetables which have their seeds within their fruits should be planted.

32. When the moon begins to get smaller after it is full, the moonlight decreases and the water table drops and plants put their efforts into the roots. This is the time to plant turnips, carrots, onions, radishes, plants of which we eat the roots.

33. When the moon reaches its one-half size again and gets smaller, it is time to prune plants. It is also time to pick leafy vegetables and herbs because the nutrients, juices and flavor will be greater.

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