Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Harbingers of Winter

I've been opening the door that leads to the back deck these cool mornings. In the distance I can hear the Canadian Geese honking as they fly over, a true harbinger of winter coming. Everything this year is pointing to an early winter for our part of the county. We've already been experiencing nights in the 50's, odd for late summer.

The Farmer's Almanac says Old Man Winter's going to take up residence in the middle of the country this year. We'll see more days of shivery conditions with temperatures averaging below normal for about three-quarters of the nation. The coldest temperatures will be over the northern Great Lakes and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Near-normal amounts of precipitation are expected over the eastern third of the country, as well as over the Pacific Northwest and Northern Plains, while drier-than-normal conditions are forecast to occur over the Southwest and the Upper Midwest/Great Lakes. Only the Central and Southern Plains are expected to receive above-average amounts of precipitation. Significant snowfalls are forecast for parts of every zone.

I'm watching the other tried and true ways to know how severe the winter will be, the shape of the persimmon seed. I kid you not! According to old timers, you can tell what the winter will be like by cutting a persimmon seed open.
If the shape inside the seed is that of a knife, it is believed to mean the winter will be cutting cold. So cold the wind feels like its cutting right through you like a knife.
When the shape inside the seed looks like a spoon it is said to mean it will be a heavy winter. The spoon represents lots of shoveling.
The appearance of a fork shape within the seed is believed to mean that winter will be easy with only a light dusting of snow.

It may sound ridiculous, but Arkansans have used this method reliably for many years!
Until the local weathermen have a better track record, I am going to be on the lookout for a Persimmon Tree!


  1. I want your cool temps it is still stinky hot here. Your weather info is really interesting.

    The Raggedy Girl

  2. I am already having temperatures in the 50's * here in Virginia too.
    Its a early autumn here and I feel frost in the air. I have had 2 ripe tomatoes from my vines and I planted them in May...They are full of big ones so I may have to pull them up and hang upside down in my basement so they will ripen ..and not get frozen.
    My son had filled my basement with wood for my Franklin Stove who has a blower on him . If the power goes out I can keep warm and cook on it.
    This is my most least favorite time of the year. i am a spring /summer gal.

  3. I just placed a persimmon on my shopping list. I love folk lore and it'll be interesting to see what I find. One question. Does the tree have to grow in the region where you live? Have a great day.

  4. Interesting Lore about the seed. I can't touch persimmon.... allergic. I know so many people use it here in Indiana... they drink tea, make cookies, bread etc. Goes crazy here for it.

  5. Persimmon seed? I have never heard that! In West Virginia, we go by size of oak leaves, heaviness of the mast, how high the hornet nest is, the woolyworm of course--there are others but I can't recall them right off the bat. Now I need to go find me a persimmon!
    (funny, the verification word is toldstor, and me a storyteller)

  6. I had never heard that about the persimmon seed. I learn something new every day!

  7. Thanks for the info on what to expect winter to be like. From what you say...we are looking for a normal one. I find that acceptable!!

  8. I have never heard the Persimmon seed theory. That's cool!
    I think the weather has been just as weird and unpredictable as the economy lately.
    Maybe those go hand in hand too??

    I kind of hope winter is super cold this year. I want lots of snow! (I know I am strange :D)

  9. How interesting about the persimmon tree and really wanted to find out more about the winter over your side. Will look forward to it!


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