Friday, January 14, 2011

Folklife Friday: When the Winter Grows Long

I'm tired of winter already, and it is just a few weeks old.

Apparently, the sweltering days of July and August thins our blood or something similar. We just can't stand the cold.

Many years, we have no snow at all. We have had two significant snowfalls already, and the dreaded February isn't here yet. Of course, February may have seventy degree days and tornadoes. We never know. North Alabama weather may be weird, but it is never boring.

Before the technological age, people relied on the Farmer's Almanac and signs to forecast the weather. They had about the same accuracy that digital radar and 24-hour forecasting has today.
Have you heard these?

'If the first week in August is unusually warm,
the coming winter will be snowy and long.'
Has the first week in August ever been cool? Not in my lifetime.

'For every fog in August, there will be a snowfall in Winter.'
I remember my Mom counting the fogs, but I can't remember if it worked.

'Onion skins very thin, mild winter coming in; onion skins thick and tough, coming winter cold and rough.'
Not relevant, since most of our onions come from faraway places.

'If there's thunder during Christmas week, the winter will be anything but meek.'
There was a horrendous thunderstorm here on New Year's eve. That explains everything.

Some more dire warnings of a tough winter:
corn husks are thick and tight...
apple skins are tough...
birds migrate early...
squirrels tails are very bushy...
berries and nuts are plentiful...
bees build their nests high in the trees.

My winter days are spent looking at seed catalogs and thinking about the bulbs and seeds asleep under the snow. Spring always comes.

As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease. Genesis 8:22