Sunday, January 29, 2012

More Weather Predictors

My last week’s discussion of old time weather forecasting caught the attention of several people who replied to my blog. One writer asked, in regard to wild bird behavior, “If birds crowded together on an electric wire, does that mean cold weather is on the way, and are they cuddling for warmth?” Could be. I must pay more attention to cuddling birds on a wire to affirm the suggestion.

Other weather predictors: red sky at night, sailor’s delight, red sky in the morning—bad weather within 24 hours. A ring around the moon usually means a major storm is on the way. Another weather predictor I learned from my father: watch the smoke coming from the chimney. If it rises, good weather at hand. If it trails downward, a storm is on the way. Last week, when I returned to the cabin from a short hike I smelled oak smoke and noticed the smoke from the kitchen chimney was hanging near the ground. Yup, it snowed that evening.

Send me your tried and true weather predictors, and I’ll share them.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Find some time to read a book. You might be surprised what you’ll learn.

CHECK THIS OUT: Steve Henry wrote a review of my Boundary Waters book for the Chippewa Herald.

A REQUEST: Got any good family stories about early farming history in Wisconsin? I’m working on a new book about Wisconsin agricultural history. Contact me at


February 10, Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison. 6-8 p.m. Wisconsin Historical Society Press booth, signing copies of Garden Wisdom.

February 11. Janesville, Holiday Inn, noon luncheon speaker, FFA Alumni meeting.

February 12, Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison, 1-4 p.m. Wisconsin Historical Society Press booth, signing copies of Garden Wisdom.

March 6, 7:00 p.m. Barnes and Noble-West, Madison. Launch of Garden Wisdom.

March 9-11. Canoecopia, Alliant Center, Madison. (Trade show for all things canoeing) I am speaking at 4:30 on Friday, March 9 and at 2:30 on Saturday, March 10. Steve will share Boundary Waters photos as part of Saturday’s presentation.

March 24. Six p.m. Launch of Garden Wisdom book at Patterson Memorial Library Wild Rose. Details coming.

March 31-April 1. Morton Arboretum (Thornhill Education Center), Chicago area. Presentation on vegetable gardening, 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. on March 31. Sunday, April 1, 1:30-3:30 features a vegetable gardening workshop, with tips on planting and caring for a vegetable garden. Additionally, Ruth will discuss preparing vegetables and fruits for canning and freezing.

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