Are you interested in MYTH and LEGEND?  Then you might find one of these Homestead.org articles handy:

An Early History of Rock by Karen Hanson

Weather Lore and Superstitions by Sherrie Taylor

The Origin of Corn by Jane Johnston Schoolcraft

The Origin of the Robin, by Jane Johnston Schoolcraft

 

 

Weather Lore and Superstitions by Sherrie Taylor

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It is a time when we have to prepare for enough food, fuel and transportation emergencies.  Employers have to be somewhat understanding when a worker can not get off their own road to drive 30 miles to work.  If you can get your car out of the drive and on to the surface street, ice and slick roads become a problem.  Travel is slower and normal drive time of 15 to 20 minutes to your job becomes at least an hour.

When facing a hard winter there is going to be increased physical work: shoveling snow off the roof, running a snow blower for hours on end and learning to travel slower.  No matter what type of prediction you feel your winter season will be, it is always best to be prepared for the worst.

Animals seem to have a built in weather system and can predict hard winters more easily than any human will ever be able to.  When their fur comes in thicker than normal during the fall it means there is going to be a hard, cold winter.  But this applies to animals that live in the outdoors all the time, not your well pampered housecat!  Horses, goats and other barnyard animals that need extra protection from the season are provided for by nature with an extra layer of hair or fur.

Beavers are a great predictor of the winter season to come.  They build their homes to protect them from the cold and weight of snow.  If a beaver dam is built thick and heavy, blocking a larger portions of water mass than in years past, you can be sure the winter will be a hard one.   

Other predictors of a hard, cold winter are when nuts and berries hang on the branches after the last of the leaves have fallen.  When the oak tree still wears his leaves in October, it will be cold.  One predictor in our area of northern Idaho is an ash tree on one of the local homesteads.  The leaves have been thick this year and are hanging on, so it is supposed to be a hard winter with the cold, but normal snowfall.  Normal where I live is four to five feet.  If we get over that then we are getting the hard winter. 

Even the human body is capable of predicting coming storms and snow.  Joints hurt more, former injuries increase in pain during low and high pressure systems.  So many people can tell you the weather is changing from mild to wild according to their own bodies. 

Earthquake Weather!? 

“Feels like earthquake weather. Its gonna be a shaker.”

 Scientist say it doesn’t exist.  Skeptics laugh when someone says its earthquake weather.  But for anyone who has lived along the west coast for any length of time, they will tell you earthquake weather is real!  I grew up in California with a whole family of old wives and their tales.  I learned early in life what earthquake weather felt like and prepared for any ride it might bring.

The air becomes extremely calm, sometimes warm and sometimes hot.  Birds fly away from the area leaving an empty, too quiet feeling.  There is a eerie calm and the air is charged with electricity like nothing you have ever experienced.  You wait for that small shaker, fault zap or the big one that can tumble buildings.  It may be the slow movement under your feet or one good shake that can knock you off your chair.  

I knew it was coming, because of earthquake weather.  I have felt it many times while living along fault lines and sometimes there were even earthquakes.  If there wasn’t an earthquake during this time, then it is explained away with "we got lucky" or "it was too deep to feel" or "just wait, it means the next one will be the big one."  I love the feel of earthquake weather.  It is scary, exciting and just plain weird. 

But there are a few predictors of earthquakes in which only those who live along fault lines believe: When ants come to the tops of the ground in large number and in a big hurry; when a cat can’t seem to find a place to stop and runs in circles in a panic state; when cows in the field stand with their legs apart more than usual to brace themselves so they won’t fall over during the shaking.  

Whatever you believe, earthquake weather is real to many of us fault-line honeys and we love it.  Once you feel the charge and calm, you never forget it.  It becomes a part of an experience that causes anxiety and fear at the same time as you wait for the earth to move... and then wait for it to stop moving.  There is nothing like an earthquake to wake up your day.

True enough, the only sure way to predict the weather is to wait for it to arrive and then look out the window.  Some of the superstitions and lore seem to be right on, while others serve as entertainment to the world.  But if you want to find out the truth keep your own weather journal to create a new generation of predictors and family stories.  

 

 

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