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Weather: Old Wives Tales

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Ruth
Tabor, SD
(Zone 4b)

September 2, 2004
7:20 PM

Post #1031898

I'm fascinated by old wives tales about the weather and try to write them down whenever I hear a new one. Things like:

If the first snow of the season melts, all the following snows will melt before it snows again.

Wind out of the south for three days means it will rain on the fourth.

When the first cicada of the summer sings, that means there will be a frost in 6 weeks.

Does anyone have any others??
Kelli
L.A. (Canoga Park), CA
(Zone 10a)

September 2, 2004
7:55 PM

Post #1031953

There is one that never, ever worked where I grew up - "Rain before seven, quit by eleven."

A had a roommate in college who said something like, "The number of fogs in August equals the number of snowfalls in December."

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

September 2, 2004
10:01 PM

Post #1032115

A couple from the locals around here: a ring around the moon means snow, and the number of stars in the ring say how many days until it snows (or maybe how many days it snows... I'm unclear).

The number of shucks (layers) on the ears of corn say how bad the winter. They usually have 3-4; this year they have around 8 here.

Highest my friend's gramma has seen is 11 and it was not only a bad winter, they had an almost unheard-of tornado that cut as wide a swath of death and destruction as the midwest sees.

He agrees with the cicada tale but says first frost will be in 40 days. It;s been about 3 weeks since he heard the first chirps.
Kelli
L.A. (Canoga Park), CA
(Zone 10a)

September 2, 2004
10:03 PM

Post #1032120

My mom believes that the more black that is on a woolly bear caterpillar, the worse the winter will be.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

September 2, 2004
10:11 PM

Post #1032131

Kelli, I've heard that one a lot. Even had a college professor friend who studied them. Has been mostly disproven.

Wish I knew about whether some of the others have been disproven!
Kelli
L.A. (Canoga Park), CA
(Zone 10a)

September 2, 2004
10:42 PM

Post #1032164

I never believed the woolly bear thing. Besides, out here in CA, all woolly bears are always all black. What is a bad winter in CA? The sun doesn't come out for half a day? LOL
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 2, 2004
11:11 PM

Post #1032208

You're rubbing it in, Kelli! LOL
hemlady
Melvindale, MI
(Zone 5a)

September 2, 2004
11:13 PM

Post #1032211

Here is one my husband always swears by because he loves to fish. Red sky at night is a sailor's delight, red sky in the morning is a sailor's warning.

Cindy
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 2, 2004
11:29 PM

Post #1032230

I remember that one from my childhood. Thanks!
hemlady
Melvindale, MI
(Zone 5a)

September 2, 2004
11:33 PM

Post #1032236

Your welcome. I just happened to remember one from my childhood. My mother always told me to never kill a spider, because if I did, it would rain.
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 2, 2004
11:41 PM

Post #1032249

Well, I don't know about the rain thang but, I'm glad cuz I like spiders!
nminmd
Frederick, MD
(Zone 7a)

September 3, 2004
1:46 AM

Post #1032386

If it is raining outside and the sun is shining--stick a needle into the ground, put your ear over it and
you can hear the devil beating his wife.

Okay, my grandmother would tell us kids that one and yes...I tried it when I was little--and Yes, I've said it to my kids.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

September 3, 2004
1:50 AM

Post #1032393

LOL
weeds
Panhandle, FL
(Zone 8a)

September 3, 2004
4:45 AM

Post #1032617

When my granmother killed a snake (there are quite a few in Alabama) she would hang it on the clothes line to make it rain. I was so grossed out by the snake hanging there I have no idea it it ever rained.
weeds
Panhandle, FL
(Zone 8a)

September 3, 2004
4:47 AM

Post #1032620

hemlady, we have the same results with a different saying...Evening red, morning gray, sends the traveler on his way. Evening gray, morning red, brings down rain on his head.
Joan
Belfield, ND
(Zone 4a)



September 3, 2004
4:49 AM

Post #1032626

My Grandma always said that you could judge the upcoming winter by the amoung of food Mother Nature provides for her critters. If there was a lot of berries and such, it would be a hard winter.

Don't know if this is true or not, but this year we have absolutely no wildlife food. (Anybody know of a good online place to buy cheap thistle seed? I'm going through tons already and it's not even winter.) Berry blossoms all froze, and the drought took what was left over. We'll see though, as I'll be watching, and if this is true, we should have a mild winter.

If I had a choice though, I think I'd like to see a winter with lots of snow. From what I can remember, a hard winter brings on a decent summer with rainfall.
daisyavenue
Long Beach, CA
(Zone 10b)

September 3, 2004
4:51 AM

Post #1032631

Wow, weeds! What a picture I have of that snake!

My father always said that if we could not see Sierra Blanca (now is called Ski Apache!) which was acroos the New Mexico desert from my hometown of Roswell, that is would rain.

He was right.
weeds
Panhandle, FL
(Zone 8a)

September 3, 2004
4:53 AM

Post #1032633

Roswell? oh my gosh, have you seen any ufo's?
Joan
Belfield, ND
(Zone 4a)



September 3, 2004
4:57 AM

Post #1032637

When a heavy fog sets in, you can expect moisture 90 days from then, unless there is moisture within 3 days of the fog.

I have a goofy friend that puts 12 onion pieces, (so they are cupped), on her window sill on New Years Eve. One for each month of the upcoming year. The ones that have moisture in them the next morning are the months we should have moisture. I've never figured that one out.
daisyavenue
Long Beach, CA
(Zone 10b)

September 3, 2004
5:21 AM

Post #1032656

Yep- all of the time we saw UFOs. Everyday, in fact. And it is really good for business.

LOL
weeds
Panhandle, FL
(Zone 8a)

September 3, 2004
5:22 AM

Post #1032658

Haha...always intrigues me and i love to support the locals.
daisyavenue
Long Beach, CA
(Zone 10b)

September 3, 2004
6:00 AM

Post #1032691

Love them aliens!!
weeds
Panhandle, FL
(Zone 8a)

September 3, 2004
12:03 PM

Post #1032807

When my grans would see something or somebody they really like they would say: my, your a sight for sore eyes!
old_rose
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

September 3, 2004
10:01 PM

Post #1033522

Bubbles on the puddles gonna' rain for 3 days. I heard this all the time growing up and you still catch me outside when it is raining checking those puddles.
frogsrus
San Diego, CA
(Zone 10a)

September 3, 2004
11:08 PM

Post #1033593

If a snake will do it, I am hanging one on my closeline shortly. lol. I love all of the rain predictions. funny, I never heard any of them in southern California. Winter prediction here is:

Partly sunny (never partly cloudy, folks) and 70 degrees.
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 3, 2004
11:17 PM

Post #1033598

Yeah-yeah, we know.
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

September 4, 2004
1:42 AM

Post #1033779

I was there at Christmas and it was cold. Beautiful, but cold.
Kelli
L.A. (Canoga Park), CA
(Zone 10a)

September 4, 2004
5:22 PM

Post #1034478

Here's a southern CA rain prediction that this old wife made up. It is nearly infallable for our neighborhood. Here goes, "If you hear the train, it isn't going to rain." It works and it rhymes. It that brilliant, or what? ;-) This works because the train tracks are a couple miles to the northeast of me. Rainy weather never comes from the northeast here,so when the wind comes from that direction, it isn't going to rain. By the way, the train was whistling away this morning.

Another So. CA observation of mine is that if it smells like it is going to snow, then it is very likely that it is going to rain. Of course, if you never lived in a place where it snows, that wouldn't do you much good.

I'll bet the Indians of So. CA had weather sayings, but that information has probably all been lost.

"Red in the morning" doesn't work here as a sign for bad weather, so we made up, "Red in the morning, (our workplace) is boring." Goofy, but true. Of course, any other color in the morning, our workplace still is boring. :-/

imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 4, 2004
11:15 PM

Post #1034863

Well, you have the rest of today, all day sunday & monday before you have to go back. Work is boring! I have never been bored since retiring. Never! :-)
TuttiFrutti
Spokane Valley, WA
(Zone 5b)

September 6, 2004
3:44 AM

Post #1036230

How about young wives tales?

She: Have you checked the Weather Channel yet to see if it's going to rain today?
He: Honey, look outside the window.

*giggle*

We now return to our regularly scheduled topic. :)

Darius, I remember that 'ring around the moon' denoting rain instead of snow, and it was 'days until'. Seems like it was from the Farmer's Almanac that could always be found in Oma and Opa's 'reading room' (the lil bathroom off the laundry room, not the main one). ;)

Kelli, I understand that neighborhood prediction of hearing the train! Our winds prevail from the southwest, in the direction of the freeway (we're in town). When it comes from the north, we hear the train whistles along with events at the ballpark and the fairgrounds... and know it's gonna get chilly soon.

ROFL now at your comment about smelling snow -- it's so true! I did that in Phoenix, Arizona after having grown up in the Midwest. And the first duststorm I ever experienced there had me turning on radios and the television to catch the tornado watches/warnings. I feared that noone besides me knew what was brewing in those clouds!

Isn't life in different locales fun? :)
Donna
notmartha
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

September 6, 2004
3:59 AM

Post #1036239

when the swallows sit on the telephone lines-rain is coming
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 6, 2004
2:26 PM

Post #1036556

Hello, Donna.

When I lived in California they would say that a warm day with a high, thin overcast was earthquake weather!
TuttiFrutti
Spokane Valley, WA
(Zone 5b)

September 6, 2004
2:33 PM

Post #1036566

Sure hope we don't get any earthquakes up here anytime soon, imway2dumb! LOL
Kelli
L.A. (Canoga Park), CA
(Zone 10a)

September 6, 2004
6:56 PM

Post #1036959

To me, that high, thin overcast just means that it is not going to rain in the near future. I call it "milky sky". I notice it mostly in October and November.

My dad said that my grandma (in PA) also had a weather saying about hearing the train, but he couldn't remember what it signified.
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 6, 2004
7:02 PM

Post #1036970

The reasoning behind the train one makes sense. Winds and all that. :-)
djm906
Mount Prospect, IL
(Zone 5a)

September 7, 2004
12:40 AM

Post #1037365

When the leaves show their backs, rain within 24 hours. Also if the grass in the morning is dry, means rain in the next 48hrs. (grass is usually wet in the mornings from the dew). Then too, when you see clouds that look like a herd of sheep, rain coming in 48 hours.
Moda127
Morristown, NJ
(Zone 6a)

September 9, 2004
12:22 AM

Post #1040787

When goldenrod blooms the first frost will be in a month
Roz
Gulfport, MS
(Zone 8a)

September 9, 2004
4:12 PM

Post #1041574

My Granny used to say that when ants built their beds way up the side of a tree that there would be a cold winter.
weeds
Panhandle, FL
(Zone 8a)

September 10, 2004
12:15 AM

Post #1042415

oh Roz, I never heard that one!
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 10, 2004
4:10 AM

Post #1042695

Moda127, has the goldenrod bloomed in your area yet? LOL
TuttiFrutti
Spokane Valley, WA
(Zone 5b)

September 10, 2004
4:52 PM

Post #1043344

Our goldenrod is starting to bloom! ;)
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 10, 2004
5:03 PM

Post #1043369

You are probably gonna get frosted pdq. When is your average first frost, Donna?
TuttiFrutti
Spokane Valley, WA
(Zone 5b)

September 10, 2004
5:45 PM

Post #1043440

October 5 is our average first frost. :)
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 10, 2004
7:52 PM

Post #1043579

About 3 more weeks!
djm906
Mount Prospect, IL
(Zone 5a)

September 11, 2004
4:40 AM

Post #1043958

Ack! I'm in zone 5 and my goldenrod is in full bloom!
TuttiFrutti
Spokane Valley, WA
(Zone 5b)

September 11, 2004
7:17 AM

Post #1044043

My tomatoes better start turning again, then, as they've slowed a bit with our recent unseasonably cool temps! Got tons on the vine, and even a few flowers for more. :)

Since those precious tomatoes are growing bigger instead of turning so far, I think I'll finally have some big ones for canning before the first frost. And my bell peppers are going crazy, too.

Woo Hoo!

*smiling as she and her 'boys' love those tomatoes*

Donna
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 11, 2004
2:09 PM

Post #1044200

Too late! All is doom and gloom! LOL
TuttiFrutti
Spokane Valley, WA
(Zone 5b)

September 11, 2004
4:50 PM

Post #1044498

There's another old wives tale that says when imway2dumb steps outta arm's reach, it means he's about to get slapped... hehehe... ya goof! *wink*

Remaining optimistic about my tomatoes,
Donna
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 11, 2004
5:24 PM

Post #1044536

I'm always out of arm's reach! A learned behaviour.
Ruth
Tabor, SD
(Zone 4b)

September 17, 2004
6:07 PM

Post #1054073

A fog in January brings a wet spring.

No weather is ill
If the wind is still

There was another one about frogs or fish. I will have to find it.

Thanks for all the 'tales'. It's fun to talk to some of these old-timers and get their little sayings down too.
Joan
Belfield, ND
(Zone 4a)



September 17, 2004
6:15 PM

Post #1054095

I've also heard that you can tell how hard the winter will be by how thick the corn shucks are. I was shucking corn yesterday and there were lots and lots of layers, but I don't know how many each ear is supposed to have or even if it varies from year to year. I just happened to remember that saying while I was shucking.
Ruth
Tabor, SD
(Zone 4b)

September 17, 2004
6:57 PM

Post #1054135

I will have to go check our sweet corn patch to see how many layers they have.

Trout jump high when rain is nigh.

Marshes give off an eerie light before a rain.

A warm Christmas, a cold Easter.

If the rooster crows on going to bed, you may rise with a watery head.

cacolos
Auburn Hills, MI
(Zone 6a)

September 18, 2004
12:00 PM

Post #1055089

I know about the food for the birds,, my dad tells me that al the time..

birds flocking winter is knocking !!
sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

September 18, 2004
4:08 PM

Post #1055413

If it thunders during a snow storm you can expect snow again in ??? thats the part i dont remember.
I do remember it snowed in the specified time.
Mother lived a mile from the tracks in Charlotte,N.C. anytime she heard the train it would rain. The sound bounced off the clouds.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

September 19, 2004
10:24 PM

Post #1057290

JoanJ, I spoke of the "corn shucks" way above,,, you'll have to find it, LOL.
Joan
Belfield, ND
(Zone 4a)



September 19, 2004
10:59 PM

Post #1057328

I must have missed that one darius. Thanks.

If for a normal winter corn has 3 or 4 layers, then this year is going to be a really BAD one. I counted anywhere from 6 to 11 on the corn I shucked today. None of the ones I remembered to count had less than 6, and most had more. Yikes!
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 20, 2004
2:02 AM

Post #1057594

Not an "old wives tale." per se but, :"Its colder than a well digger's knee!"
Ruth
Tabor, SD
(Zone 4b)

September 20, 2004
2:26 PM

Post #1058131


The saying around here goes "Colder than a well digger's gizzard. LOL

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

September 20, 2004
2:38 PM

Post #1058249

That's not quite the way I heard it, Ruth... LOL!
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 20, 2004
3:02 PM

Post #1058285

Here is another form of that. "Colder than a witch's t..!" Is that the way you heard it, darius?

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

September 20, 2004
3:04 PM

Post #1058288

*Blush*... yes, John, except gender change!
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 20, 2004
3:22 PM

Post #1058313

Thats optional.
sunny313
Riverside, RI
(Zone 6b)

September 20, 2004
10:45 PM

Post #1058862

Here in New England my dad use to watch the squirrels in the Fall. If they are very busy collecting acorns and have very bushy tails we will have a long cold winter. It they leave the acorns on the ground we won't get much snow. If the tails don't get full and bushy we'll have a mild winter as far as temps. The tails bush up more for a cold winter because the they wrap the tails around themselves to keep warm.

Now I watch them and it seems to work out that way.
Moda127
Morristown, NJ
(Zone 6a)

September 21, 2004
3:05 AM

Post #1059265

That is so interesting about the squirrles!
Im gonna watch them now, really.

Ever plant bulbs, take a break, look around the yard...there are no squirrles around.
But go out the next day... only to find they dug em' up.
I swear they watch you from hidding places, then sneak out to see if you hid anything
good for them. they re-dig the hole take a taste and leave the bulb laying there naked.

I put rocks/stones over the little bulb beds i make, then remove them when i see them starting
to grow in the spring.

Ruth
Tabor, SD
(Zone 4b)

September 21, 2004
2:32 PM

Post #1059662

The squirrels around here are collecting walnuts like crazy. The tails on them look like a bushy beaver tail. uh oh...
sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

September 21, 2004
4:52 PM

Post #1059821

What you spect in South DaCOLDa?
Ruth
Tabor, SD
(Zone 4b)

September 21, 2004
5:54 PM

Post #1060022

LOL Good one, sugarweed.

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