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Monday, February 14, 2011

It Isn’t Spring Yet!

Martok
with Sue Weaver, Hobby Farms Contributing Editor

Snow
Photo by Sue Weaver
It doesn't quite look like spring yet here in the Ozarks.

Mom’s been noticing signs of spring, but she got a big surprise. We had two blizzards in two weeks, and the last one was a doozy! Until it warmed up over the weekend, we still had 8 inches of snow on the ground, and last week the temperature was -2 degrees F overnight. It definitely is not spring in the Ozarks!

When Dad tried to go to work after he’d been snowed in for two days, he crept along for four miles, but he had to back up a mile down the road because he couldn't get up a tall hill or find a decent place to turn around. Then he tried going the other way to town and stopped the van just before it slid over a ravine. (Ozark roads are slanted to allow summer rain runoff, so they’re treacherous when covered with ice.) After his heart stopped racing, he came back home.

When you live on a farm, it’s important to know what weather is coming so you can plan ahead. It’s best to watch, listen to or read a meteorologist’s weather report to be certain, but it’s also fun to predict the weather yourself. If you want to do that, buy a good book like the National Audubon Society Field Guild to North American Weather by David Ludlum. (It’s Mom’s favorite.) There are also lots of websites with do-it-yourself weather pointers; to find them, use the search term “predict weather yourself.” 

Or, experiment with old-time weather lore. Here are some of the weather sayings that Mom’s Irish grandma taught her. (She wishes she remembered more.)

  • Red sky at night, farmer’s delight. Red sky at morning, farmer’s warning.

  • Rain before seven, clear by eleven.

  • When there is enough blue sky to sew a Dutchman a pair of breeches, expect clear weather.

  • The higher the clouds, the finer the weather.

  • When clouds make towers, soon come showers.

  • A rainbow in the morning gives fair warning. (It’s going to rain.)

  • Ring around the moon, rain real soon.

  • A cloud with a round top and flat base carries rain in its face.

  • When wasps build their nests near the ground, expect a cold, early winter.

  • Gnats bite just before the rain.

  • When cicadas (Grandma called them locusts) are first heard, dry weather is coming and frost will arrive in six weeks.

  • Fireflies in large numbers predict fair weather.

  • The louder the frogs, the more the rain.

  • Flies gather in houses just before rain.

  • When the rooster goes crowing to bed, he will get up with a wet head.

  • When spiders' webs in air do fly, the spell will soon be very dry.

Do you know others? Add your comments, please!

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It Isn’t Spring Yet!

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Reader Comments
Great article!
mary ann, fayetteville, TN
Posted: 5/7/2011 8:53:29 AM
its stil pretty cold up herer i cant wait until we can till the garden and start our planting
jennifer, Slatersville, RI
Posted: 3/16/2011 9:00:06 PM
Like the bit of "country wisdom"
christine, greeley, CO
Posted: 2/16/2011 5:31:52 AM
If Punxsutawney Phil the ground hog sees his shadow on February 2nd then there will be six more weeks of winter. If he does not see his shadow then there will be an early spring. This year he didn't see his shadow so I'm ready for the early spring.

Have a great early spring day.
David, Omaha, NE
Posted: 2/15/2011 8:07:07 AM
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