Just after 12 noon today the sun will cross the equator and spring officially begins! (Vernal equinox) I’m dang sure glad because I am sitting here shivering with two pair of socks, a long sleeved shirt and the Wardens house coat on! And the forecast is for snow all the way through Thursday morning. High north winds and freezing temperatures. Sure sounds like spring to me!
The old timers always said, “If March comes in as a lamb, it’ll go out as a lion.” Well we set a record high temperature on March 1st. I walked around sweating all day, felt like summers full bore! Had to shed the long handles about mid morning! But it’s dang sure looking like the end of the month is going to set them the other way.
Always seemed strange to me that the Farmers Almanac could predict the weather a year in advance with amazing accuracy and the local weatherman had trouble hitting it just 24 hours in advance! (Sorry Arno. I know you just retired from NOAA and are tired of weatherman jokes. But there is a comment section at the bottom of this blog if you wish to defend your profession.)
Elsie Dwyer, (who was born in 1900 and long since left our midst), would have called this the “Equatorial storm”. She always kept up me up to date with the moon and “signs” as she called them. And a good bit of her predictions and forecast were right on the money. She would read the Farmers Almanac for the long range stuff and then make the more timely forecast based on her bodily aches and pains.
She told me how her dad had once used a local Indian medicine man to predict how hard the winter weather would be. The story went something like this: It had been a good spring and they had filled the barns with alfalfa hay, as had all the neighbors. As summer hay crops came along, they stacked the hay outside and were going to have extra to sell.
However, her dad decided to check with the medicine man to see how hard the winter was going to be before he would decide to sell anything. The medicine man told them it was going to be a tough winter. Her dad got kind of worried so he put up more hay and returned to the medicine man for a little more advice. Medicine man said it’s going to be a REAL tough winter. Her dad now worried and continued haying.
This informational forecasting and haying activity continued several times with the adjectives describing the harshness of winter increasing resulting in larger and larger hay piles. Finally her dad ask the medicine man just how he knew it was going to be such a harsh winter. The medicine man replied, “because the white man is putting up a lot of hay!”
Well, the short story is this. The way my ole body is aching and shivering this morning, I think I’ll dig my long handles out of the closet and put them back on for a couple weeks. I don’t even think I’ll ask the medicine man.