Author Topic: Weather Folklore and Creatures  (Read 823 times)

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Offline BKS97

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Weather Folklore and Creatures
« on: April 11, 2023, 07:28:50 PM »
Through the centuries rural folks lived close to the land and observed the natural world around them, including, of course, the  behaviors of living creatures in their midst.  They came up with all sorts of folk sayings to predict the weather, some of which seem to stand scrutiny and others a bit baffling.  I went through my folklore lists and discovered almost 90 sayings directly based on observations of farm animals, wildlife, insects, reptiles and even pets.

Weíre all familiar with probably the only saying that has a special day commemorating it:
               
                If the groundhog sees its shadow on February 2nd, there will be six more weeks of winter.


Squirrels and even insects warned folks of weather ahead:

                If ant hills are high in July, winter will be snowy. 
                Squirrels gathering nuts in a flurry will cause snow to gather in a hurry.


Pets also told of the coming weather:

            If a dog pulls his feet up high while walking, a change in the weather is coming. 
            When the kitty washes behind her ears, weíll soon be tasting heavenís tears.
            Cats scratch a post before wind, wash their faces before a rain, and sit with backs to the fire before snow.
         

The actions of birds, fish and even insects became predictions of rain:
 
         If the rooster crows on going to bed, you may rise with a watery head.
          The hooting of the owl brings rain.
          When parrots whistle, expect rain
          Birds flying low, expect rain and a blow.
          When spidersí webs in air do fly, the spell will soon be very dry.
          Trout jump high when a rain is nigh.
          When black snails cross your path, the black cloud much moisture hath.
         

Observations of birds produced some of poetic sayings:

          If crows fly low, windís going to blow; if crows fly high, windís going to die.
          When the peacock loudly bawls, soon weíll have both rain and squalls.
          Seagull, seagull, sit on the sand, itís never good weather when youíre on land.
          When sea birds fly to land, there truly is a storm at hand.
          Everything is lovely when the goose honks high.


I found quite a few clever sayings involving bees, including these:

            A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay.
            When bees stay close to the hive, rain is close by.
            When bees come out of the hive, itís a good day to be alive.


I used to have some chickens and wish I had been more observant:

            When chickens scratch together, thereís sure to be foul weather.

My weather site displays a folklore saying each day.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I think weather folklore adds a pleasing, down-to-earth sidelight to our tech-centered hobby.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2023, 07:30:45 PM by BKS97 »

Offline CW2274

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Re: Weather Folklore and Creatures
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2023, 10:58:42 PM »
No jingle with these guys that I'm aware of, but growing up in northern Ohio, they were our prognosticators of how severe or not winter would be. My little town, Vermilion, even had a fall festival in their "honor". Good memories.

https://www.weather.gov/arx/woollybear

Offline ocala

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Re: Weather Folklore and Creatures
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2023, 05:22:50 PM »
No jingle with these guys that I'm aware of, but growing up in northern Ohio, they were our prognosticators of how severe or not winter would be. My little town, Vermilion, even had a fall festival in their "honor". Good memories.

https://www.weather.gov/arx/woollybear
Wollybears. Man brings back some memories.
The blues had a baby and they named it Rock & Roll

Offline Garth Bock

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Re: Weather Folklore and Creatures
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2023, 11:01:24 PM »
When ladybugs swarm, Expect a day thatís warm

 

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