What an incredible week! The 2013 Farmers’ Almanac arrived in stores on August 27th and Sandi and I have been able to reach millions of people regarding the 196th edition. There is a certain responsibility one has with a tradition that dates back to the days of President James Monroe and a new country with 9 1/2 million citizens spanning 21 states.
Fast forward a couple hundred years, another 29 states and 300 million citizens, and our publication still provides weather and sage advice that is not only relevant, but necessary in order to make life easier. The greatest fun for me is just how we observe what is going on around us.
Since the beginning of time, people have gazed at the Moon and stars. When I was growing up, there was a rumor that the moon was actually made of cheese. Imagine Neil Armstrong’s surprise when he stepped out to find only dust. Tonight, we recognize a Blue Moon – the second full Moon of the month. For trivia buffs, a Blue Moon occurs about once every 2 1/2 years.
Years ago animals and families prepared for winter. Humans watched for signs, which we call weather lore. Here are the best known signs:
– Fogs – frequent fogs in August mean lots of snow. This August in Maine, we saw many fogs. What about you??
– Woolly Bear Caterpillars – Consider if it has a heavy coat (fat and furry) and the brown band in the middle is thin (according to lore, the less brown there is, the worse the winter will be)
– Squirrels gathering nuts early to fortify against a hard winter.
– Unusual abundance of acorns – so far it has been normal in my area … nothing like 2010.
– Spiders spinning larger than usual webs and entering the house in great numbers.
– Persimmon seeds – cut a seed open and the shape determines the winter conditions. Knife means bitter cold, fork is mild and a spoon indicates lots of snow to shovel.
I mention this because with the unofficial end to summer is this weekend. We have had some feedback in earlier blogs, but, after Labor Day, the signs we follow become more apparent. I would appreciate any feedback about you are seeing and your location. Our winter weather map is broken up into zones, so I will try to match comments with areas and see if there is any commonality with our predictions.