Sunrises & Shadows


ghI saw a breathtaking sunrise yesterday. It was so full of flaming color, I could never do it justice with my simple camera, so I just stood at the window and watched. All the while I was thinking, uh oh.

I was a child the first time I heard the old adage red sky in the morning, sailors take warning. Red sky as night, sailor’s delight. Back then, I wondered how the heck old sailors would know something like that without benefit of weathermen and science to figure it out for them.

There are many sayings like that around the world. Through observation, experience,  and the passage of time, they’ve become general truths which, more times than not, come to pass. These things are divination tools like tarot and tea leaves. We look for their symbolic meanings.

The few weather adages I know:

  • A ring around the sun or moon, means rain or snow is coming soon.
  • When leaves show their undersides, be very sure that rain betides.
  • Evening red and morning grey, two sure signs of one fine day.

Old farmer adages also ring true…

  • Plant when the oak leaves are the size of a squirrel’s ear.
  • The corn should be knee-high by the 4th of July.
  • Make hay while the sun shines.

A few other observations to divine with.

  • Few foxes this year mean more rabbits next year.
  • Gold fish and toads act strange before an earthquake
  • Thick coats on animals is a sure signal for cold winter.
  • Some people even look to wooly bear caterpillars for their forecast.

Throughout mankind’s time on earth, people who live close with their environment need to know things like when to plant and harvest, when animals might be leaving their dens, and when weather might turn bad. They watched for subtle signs around them and deduced information from them. Example: If winter hibernating animals were suddenly making an appearance, you knew spring was officially in the air. Funny thing about spring, it has a mind of its own. Sometimes spring is very much underway in March, sometimes winter pushes us all the way to June. That sort of observation led to the origin of a long-held tradition here in the states. It originated with German farmers and the first recorded reference of it turns up in 1841. Diving with groundhogs. (lol that’s such a funny typo I’ll leave it) I meant to say divining.  ;)

Forty-six years later, on February 2, 1887, a group of Punxsutawney Pennsylvania businessmen and groundhog hunters met…yes, you did read that correctly, businessmen and groundhog hunters. Were they business men who also hunted groundhogs, or groundhog hunters who joined the businessmen? I may never know. lol Anyway…they called themselves the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club and met on Gobbler’s Knob with a publicity idea in mind.

philTheir stunt was based upon an old country German observation regarding animals leaving their dens early. They’d wake up a hibernating groundhog and if he saw his shadow, they figured he’d be frightened that winter was still upon him. Naturally he’d return to his burrow. They determined this would mean winter would last as long as winter generally lasts at that point on the calendar — another six weeks. But, if the groundhog wanted to sniff around and eat, then his hibernation period was ending anyway and winter was officially over.

Tomorrow is the big day. Given the humongous storm headed toward Pennsylvania, I think the groundhog will say we’re going to have an early spring. We can only hope. I’m getting six more inches of show today and cabin fever is definitely setting in.

Tomorrow ~ Funday Sunday!

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Another 100 Things Blogging Challenge! For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Words on the Verge of Extinction. There are 67 entries to come.

Here’s one for today:

Affuage (noun 1753-1847)

right to cut wood in a forest for family fire

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bee1I’m all over the web with satellite blogs this weekend. If two things are listed for one blog, that’s one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Scroll back to see what you’ve missed.  :D

Seductive Studs& Sirens & Weekend Writing Warriors http://theancillarymuse.blogspot.com/

Sneak Peek Sunday
http://calliopeswritingtablet.blogspot.com/

Set the Scene in Six (open author promo – come leave yours!) http://exquisitequills.blogspot.com/

My Sexy Saturday & Sexy Snippets
http://calliopesotherwritingtablet.blogspot.com/

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4 Us iconToday is Nicole Morgan’s blog day.
http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/

The February contest has started on Romance Books ‘4’ Us and it’s all about Cupid. Find the little cherub hidden all across the site to win. This month’s contest will have 2 winners who’ll each receive a $50 gift card for Amazon/B&N, then split the remaining prizes (randomly chosen by RB4U). Be sure to check all our pages for news about authors and their books, publishers and their books, and industry representatives. http://www.romancebooks4us.com/
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Several promotional opportunities for romance authors can be found on my Exquisite Quills group blogs. Meet the founding authors and our guests.
http://exquisitequills.blogspot.com/

Exquisite Quills Yahoo Group

Wash Line Monday ~ share your descriptions of clothing in your novel.
Tickle Us Tuesday ~ Share fun and funny snippets from your novel.
First Kiss Wednesday ~ share your best 300 word kiss.

Set the Scene in Six~ share your backdrop or lead-up on Sundays.
The Genesis of a Book ~ share the spark that ignited your novel
Author Interviews ~
We’re booking late spring now.

EQ-RR.banner Today’s author: Zrinka Jelic
http://eq-recycled-reviews.blogspot.com/
A new place for your old stars to shine :D

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all7books-smallLove Waits in Unexpected Places - Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories
loveWaits.cover.swhttps://www.smashwords.com/books/view/333971

Sample my love stories for free!

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Coming soon~

anniv2014

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About ~RoseAnderson

Rose is multi-published award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and discovering interesting things to weave into stories. She lives with her family and small menagerie amid oak groves and prairie in the rolling glacial hills of the upper Midwest.
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16 Responses to Sunrises & Shadows

  1. Ray G says:

    Groundhog Day should be a holiday. It would be my favorite.
    I worked for a director of pharmacy services who would bring in a cake to celebrate. He also had a shoebox he swore contained a groundhog. Instead it contained ground hog (pork sausage or hotdog). Then we stopped work for a party.

  2. rosgemmell says:

    Love all those old sayings, Rose, and I still refer to the red sky at night one a lot. I don’t know if this has any truth, but here in Scotland I heard it will be a hard winter if there are loads of berries on the rowan trees. I have one in my garden and am still not sure if it’s accurate!

    • That’s interesting, I hadn’t heard of that one. We have a rowan near our labyrinth and it has yet to produce more than a handful of berries. We have other sayings here about crickets chirping before the rain, or birds flocking early signal an early winter.

  3. The Farmers Almanac declared a mild winter with little snow this year. Extra wooly caterpillars waddled around. As we all know this has been an ARCTIC winter. So beware Farmers Almanac forecaster’s. You’re in deep trouble. Go eat some ground hog. Laughing in NY.
    Another delightful post, Rose.

    • lol Thanks Charmaine. I’m going to be laughing about “ground hog” for a few days. As a child I wondered about the Farmer’s Almanac. I remember asking my dad how they could predict weather over several months when even the weatherman couldn’t. He said simply, “They don’t know.” I wrote about the Farmer’s Almanac being off base in regard to a blizzard in Star of Wonder, my Christmas story in the Exquisite Quills Holiday Anthology.

  4. melissakeir says:

    Groundhog day is based on two original holidays, one Pagan and one Christian. In Europe, they used a badger but didn’t see those in America when the colonists arrived, so they picked the Groundhog. The groundhog is only correct less than 30% of the time.

    I read a book about the holiday with my students yesterday in school. So much fun information!

  5. Sandy says:

    Another interesting post, Rose. The one about the sailors, I’ve heard all my life.

  6. I forgot all about Groundhog Day–thanks for the reminder. February is such a great month, full of wonderful holidays.

  7. My husband and I always joke that weather forecasting is about the only job where you can be wrong most of the time and still get paid. No insult intended to weather forecasters in general, but in our neck of the woods they are wrong more than they are right.

    Speaking of animals being attuned to earth changes, some nights our dog won’t get off the step at the back door and put her paws into the grass. This puzzled me for a while until I put 2 and 2 together after seeing on TV there had been an earthquake (2.0) within a fifty mile radius the night before. We have them way too frequently now… anyway, I keep watching her and matching her behavior to the news the next day and that dog is 100% accurate.

    • Interesting. I live about 75 or so miles from the New Madrid fault line. The last several years has had tremors..some vibrating as far east as here. The most I can associate with them is bad sleep. The first time my dog wouldn’t step off the porch but backed up to whine at the door really rattled me. I think it was a cougar. Two weeks later one was killed in Chicago (about 65 miles away). They follow the rivers and ours crisscross the state.

  8. Amber Skyze says:

    Love the old sayings. Funny how we all look to the groundhog to determine if we’ll have an early spring or not. I still get excited if he says we’ll have an early spring.
    It’s been a snowy winter this year. I’m ready for spring! :)

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