The news comes on and the headlines drone past. Bits of interest are made note of while supper is prepared, but when the weather comes on... all activity ceases. The prediction of how Mother Nature will affect our lives are read off by well-educated meteorologists and highlighted by fan-dangled high tech gadgets meant to impress and emphasize the message being delivered. Despite all this, most of the time the forecasts are still wrong as nature loves to pull pranks.
Growing up, I was taught the art of weather predicting by my daddy. No... no state-of-the-art equipment was needed; only the signs from Nature itself and the use of a simple paperback book found in any feed store... "The Old Farmer's Almanac". He swore by it and used it for the weather as well as when was the best times for planting, fishing, hog killing and even cutting hair. Obtained in December, by the following December it would be stained and well-worn from the use it would endure.
I must confess... I am my daddy's girl. All these years later I still buy my Almanac and read it over and over, referring to it for much of what affects my daily life.
So armed with the knowledge in this helpful resource as well as the warning from harvested persimmon seeds back in Autumn, I haven't been surprised by wintry weather yet.
"Persimmons?" you may ask. Why, yes... persimmons... or rather, their seeds. It's a process that was used by my ancestors and still used by me as one indicator of the type of winter we'll have in the coming months. Seeds are carefully halved on the sides and within you'll see one of three shapes in the center... a spoon, a fork or a knife. A spoon means a heavy winter with lots of shoveling, a knife means bitter cold and the fork indicates a light winter. Every seed I opened this past Fall had a tiny shovel inside and so far, we've had three snows in the South, which is plentiful for those of us down this far. Between the persimmons and the Almanac I know we may get another snow or two before the weather takes a turn and we can look forward to a promise of Spring.
With the book in hand, my decisions are made with confidence that the best of the wisdom of our predecessors will keep me on the right track. Oh... and according to the good ol' "Farmer's", the day the hogs are to be put in the freezer are the perfect day. Thanks, Daddy...