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Folklore: the Weather

The Sandman 11 Apr 09 - 06:41 AM
bobad 11 Apr 09 - 06:54 AM
Waddon Pete 11 Apr 09 - 10:41 AM
VirginiaTam 11 Apr 09 - 11:30 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Apr 09 - 12:24 PM
open mike 11 Apr 09 - 12:36 PM
katlaughing 11 Apr 09 - 12:39 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Apr 09 - 12:47 PM
The Sandman 11 Apr 09 - 01:13 PM
Anne Lister 12 Apr 09 - 03:05 AM
Joe Offer 12 Apr 09 - 03:51 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Apr 09 - 04:05 AM
Joe Offer 12 Apr 09 - 04:18 AM
VirginiaTam 12 Apr 09 - 05:28 AM
VirginiaTam 12 Apr 09 - 05:32 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Apr 09 - 05:54 AM
The Sandman 12 Apr 09 - 06:58 AM
Anne Lister 12 Apr 09 - 05:32 PM
Art Thieme 12 Apr 09 - 08:14 PM
Rapparee 12 Apr 09 - 08:29 PM
open mike 13 Apr 09 - 01:24 AM
The Sandman 13 Apr 09 - 04:18 AM
Tig 13 Apr 09 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,EricTheOrange 13 Apr 09 - 02:13 PM
ClaireBear 13 Apr 09 - 02:56 PM
Jack Blandiver 13 Apr 09 - 03:10 PM
Rapparee 13 Apr 09 - 03:37 PM
Art Thieme 13 Apr 09 - 03:50 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Apr 09 - 05:30 AM
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Subject: Weather and folklore
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 06:41 AM

folklore and the weather,how many of the old sayings are correct?.
fast runs the ant as the mercury rises,is one that is true.
moon and weather,may change together,but a change of moon does not change the weather,is also true.
mackerel skys and mares tails,make tall ships carry low sails.is also accurate.
one other useful tip,is buys ballot rule,if you stand with your back to the wind in the northern hemisphere,the bad weather will be on your left hand side,in the southern hemisphere the reverse holds true.


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Subject: RE: the Weather
From: bobad
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 06:54 AM

Red sky at night...sailor's delight
Red sky in the morning...sailors take warning


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the Weather
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 10:41 AM

Those are fascinating sayings Cap'n. I hadn't heard them before.

Being of a more agricultural turn of mind I recall my Dad always swearing by. " If the cows are standing up, it'll be fine. If they are laying down, it'll rain." He was silent upon what it means when some are standing and some are lying! There is another bovine saying, "When a cow's tail points to the west, we'll get weather of the best. When a cow's tail points to the east, it'll be not fit for man nor beast."

I cannot prove this immediately as, although it is now raining, there isn't a cow in sight.

There's never a cow around when you need one!

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the Weather
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 11:30 AM

Red sky at night...sailor's delight

That is shepherd's delight in the UK

I want to hear a folk song about the Devil beatin his wife (when the sun is shinin and the rain is fallin simultaneously).

Maybe I should write a folk-oid song?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the Weather
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 12:24 PM

Hi Cap'n,
Local weather saying here in Clare -
"If you can see the mountain (Sleibh Callan) it's going to rain,
If you can't see it, it's raining already".
Very true!!!!
most authorative bok on weather lore is Edward Inward' 'Weather Lore'
The third edition we've got was published in 1898, but I believ it is still available, or was until recently.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the Weather
From: open mike
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 12:36 PM

i wonder how the farmer's almanacs can predict weather
more that a year in advance.?

http://www.farmersalmanac.com/
http://www.almanac.com/
http://www.blumsalmanac.com/
http://www.thealmanac.com/


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the Weather
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 12:39 PM

VTam, have you ever heard a song by, I think it was, Robert Earl Keen Jr., that has the line "the devil beats his wife with a silver chain?" It's about a cowboy bringing in a young horse with his mare/mom with a storm coming up...the colt's name is "Willy." I'll search it out for you if you'd like...I have it on CD. He sings, "C'mon, Willy, boy, can't ya hear the thunder? The devil beats his wife with a silver chain..." Or something close to that.

Wasn't there an old saying about mares' tails cloud and what they meant?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the Weather
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 12:47 PM

Mackerel sky and mares tails
Make lofty ships carry low sails.

Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the Weather
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 01:13 PM

hi Jim,yes I can tell the weather,by looking at my local mountain,Mount Gabriel,if Gabriel has his hat on its going to rain.
if you can see the top of Gabriel:no rain.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the Weather
From: Anne Lister
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 03:05 AM

The other version of this is that if you can see France from various places on the south coast of England then it's going to rain, but if you can't see it it's because it's raining already.

I think that one, like the cows lying down or standing, is a basic recognition of the way English (and Welsh) weather changes all the time!

Anne


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the Weather
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 03:51 AM

Even Jesus had something to say about the weather (Matthew, Chapter 16 - King James Version):
    1: The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.
    2: He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.
    3: And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the Weather
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 04:05 AM

Not weather lore, but my friend, the late Tom Munnelly told me that when he and his family moved here to West Clare, which is on the Atlantic coast - next stop America, he was staggered by the strong, gale force winds and the heavy sea mists. He said it was the first time he had experienced '60mph fog'.
High winds are a big issue here; there have been two 'nights of the big wind' which have passed into local folklore, one in the 19th century, the other in the early 20th; there is a book about the latter, with stories of fantastic events all over Ireland.
There's a whole lot of work to be done here recording the local fishing families who used to go out fishing in curraghs, which they call canoes.
These are small 2 to 4 man boats consisting of canvas stretched across a light wood frame and sealed with pitch. They were extremely bhoyant and lay on the water rather than floating in it. Their work depended totally on the weather and there is still masses of lore and information to be recorded, even though the canoes are no longer used except for races and displays.
One of the biggest events here was in 1907, when local fishermen, setting out in curraghs, rescued the entire crew of the French ship, the Leon X111, which sank in Mal Bay in gale force winds.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the Weather
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 04:18 AM

Hi, Jim-
We have the same kind of weather at Point Reyes National Seashore in California, on the Pacific coast just north of San Francisco - next stop China. We have those same strong, gale force winds and the heavy sea mists - and the fog can come in at 60 miles per hour. I took a girlfriend there in that kind of weather fifteen years ago, and she thought I was trying to do her in.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the Weather
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 05:28 AM

Jim Carroll - that is fascinating. I guess I still am a weather geek. Even though I don't understand it, I love listening to the shipping forcast. WHY????


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the Weather
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 05:32 AM

Kat- I would like to see that song. But I would also like to write a new folk-oid song using the sunshower theme and devil beats his wife saying. Don't know whether to attach it to historical tragic person or place.

Must think about this.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the Weather
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 05:54 AM

"I love listening to the shipping forcast. WHY??"
It's all those lovely names - Thames, Humber, Heliogoland, Malin Head.... mmmmmm
Inspired by this thread (thanks Cap'n) I've just spent an hour in our local papershop talking weather lore with the owner. He is from Kilkee (look at a map of Ireland) and his family were all fishermen. He is full of weatherlore and you could listen to him for days.
We were hoping to get him to our local history sociey meeting to talk on the subject, but he says he is too shy, so we might be able to put together a forum of local people to share an evening just swapping lore in front of an audience.
Interesting place, West Clare.
Another aspect that interests me is that the whole of the Clare coast seems to have been given names by local people, rocks, creeks, inlets... everything.
Just a few miles from here is a place called The Graves of the Yellowmen, a place where survivors from the Armada who managed to swim ashore, were said to have been murdered by a local lord for their belongings.
Another sea legend here is of the mermaid. The last one in Ireland was said to have been spotted at Quilty, the next village south (which still has a reputation for insularity and roughness). It is said that when she swam towards the shore, the Quilty lads threw stones at her and she was never seen in Ireland again.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the Weather
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 06:58 AM

when the stars form a huddle youare in for a puddle,is also accurate.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the Weather
From: Anne Lister
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 05:32 PM

There's the longer-term forecast as well, in terms of spring and rainfall: "Oak before Ash, you're in for a splash. Ash before Oak, you're in for a soak". So if the oak leaves come out before the ash leaves it's a sign of poor rainfall, but if the ash comes out before the oak then there'll be heavy rainfall.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the Weather
From: Art Thieme
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 08:14 PM

Joe,

Those winds at Point Reyes and environs are truly legendary. Once, during a blow, I saw a hen lay the same egg 3 times.

The "tall tale" was the germ of the Johnny Carson quips that became cliches----the ones where he would say, "It was so cold last week..." And the proper response became, "How cold was it?"

It was so cold that I saw a guy with an ax chipping his dog off a fire hydrant.

The long tall tale became reduced down to a one liner.

I tried to reverse that trend, but with little headway made.

But it was often to defuse the harshness of WEATHER, and life in general, that tall tales were ACTUALLY USED BY PEOPLE to inject lightness and humor into hurricanes, huge snows, cyclones, floods and the like.

We had so much rain this year, and so many floods, here in LaSalle County that at least 40% of kids were born with webbed feet.

My uncle was playing his tuba in the corn field when the tornado hit. It screwed him 12 feet into the ground. (It was music to his ears!)

Art


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the Weather
From: Rapparee
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 08:29 PM

Shucks, Art, during a REGULAR year 72% of the kids in LaSalle County used to be born with web feet, which made their swim team great but their basketball and cross-country teams were lousy. You guys been havin' a drought or are fewer kids being born?

IF you can find a copy, read "Eric Sloane's Weather Book." It's a great little compendium of weather lore and why/why not the belief is true.

For instance, "Leaves turn over before a rain." True, and at other times as well. Leaves grow in relation to the prevailing wind -- if the wind backs the leaves turn over (or "show their backs").


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the Weather
From: open mike
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 01:24 AM

there was such a huge wind in southern sweden several years ago
that the trees were toppled by the hundreds.

http://www.waldwissen.net/themen/waldschutz/insekten/bfw_barkbeetle_sweden_2008_EN

mills were not able to take them all,
but they were cut and stacked waiting
for the chance for the mills to have
room for them.

something like that is happening in my
neck of the woods, as so many trees
were killed by fire last year that
there is not room for them all to
be milled into lumber...besides,
the building trades are not
thriving so little lumber is
being purchased... supply and demand....


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the Weather
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 04:18 AM

I have yet to see the ash come out before the oak,despite living in a very wet country.         

Oak and ash contest thing of past
The magnificent spectacle of oak and ash trees coming into leaf together may be a thing of the past because of climate change and record temperatures.

Oak tree
Drier weather is favouring the oak with some ash trees dying this year

BBC environment correspondent Sarah Mukherjee travels to Priestley Wood in Suffolk to find out more

It's almost as if the countryside had skipped a season.

It doesn't seem long ago that winter's leaden skies were pierced by leafless branches. And now, lush summer foliage surrounds us.

It's quite difficult to hear what Nick Collinson, from the Woodland Trust, is saying over the sound of birdsong.

But the verdant aspect, and the gentle susurration of the wind in the trees, take on a more alarming quality as he points out things that should be different as we wander the paths of this ancient woodland.

Traditional lines

"Look at the bluebells," Mr Collinson says.

        
A lot of this foliage is out much earlier than we would expect
Nick Collinson
Woodland Trust

"They should be about half way through their season and yet they've almost finished.

"And the hawthorn - it's out a couple of weeks earlier than it should be. In fact, a lot of this foliage is out much earlier than we would expect."

We follow the path to a clearing. The trust works hard at conserving this woodland along traditional lines, and there are piles of logs all around where the trees have been managed to promote native woodland species.

Among the emerald green leaves, one species of tree stands out as if it were trapped in its own little winter time bubble.

Skeletal branches claw their way heavenwards.

This is the ash and it bears no resemblance to the lush oak trees planted next to it.

18th century records

The following rhyme shows that, for many country people, the two trees were early weather forecasters.

"If the oak before the ash, then we'll only have a splash, if the ash before the oak, then we'll surely have a soak."

So, if the oak buds appeared first, the summer would be dry. If the ash appeared first, we were in for a damp summer.

Scientists at the Centre for Hydrology and Ecology, at Monks Wood in Cambridgeshire, have records stretching back to the 18th century.

        
Ash has shallow roots and so oak does much better in drier conditions
Tim Sparks
Centre for Hydrology and Ecology

Then, the race between oak and ash was a far more equal one, with milder, wetter weather allowing the ash to win 40% of the time.

But climate change, they say, has now made that a very unequal competition.

"Oak now wins 90% of the time," says the centre's Tim Sparks.

"Ash has shallow roots and so oak does much better in drier conditions.

"In addition, the ash will lose out as the oak leaves, which have matured earlier, can then get more sun and use up more of the available water."

Mr Sparks says ash trees could die this year, up and down the country, if the weather stays dry.

        
Woodlands will survive but they might look very different
Nick Collinson

This could be an indication of how some of our traditional native habitats could change as climate change takes hold, he said.

But back in Priestley Wood, Mr Collinson says we must remember that the countryside has always been dynamic and changing.

"Woodlands will survive but they might look very different," he said.

What we must do, he says, is try and help native species adapt and move, if necessary, to new habitats where they have a chance of survival.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the Weather
From: Tig
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 01:44 PM

The Badger has just given me a brilliant book called 'Red Sky at night, Shepherd's delight' by Paul J Marriott. It has 1900 Sayings about weather lore of the English Countryside explained and tested. It even gives the percentages/times the sayings were correct over the period he was collecting the data.

IBSN 0 9505730 5 1 if anyone else wants to find it - but be warned, it can disillusion you.

Hugs
Tig


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the Weather
From: GUEST,EricTheOrange
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 02:13 PM

From: Captain Birdseye
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 06:41 AM

one other useful tip,is buys ballot rule,if you stand with your back to the wind in the northern hemisphere,the bad weather will be on your left hand side,in the southern hemisphere the reverse holds true.

More accurately -- if you stand with your back to the wind, the low pressure will be on your left ( N. hemis. ). The winds rotate anticlockwise around the low pressure and carry weather fronts with them, so any bad weather that's coming to you will come from the direction the wind is blowing at the time it arrives (ish).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the Weather
From: ClaireBear
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 02:56 PM

I don't think anyone has mentioned this one yet:

"Ring around the moon, storm be coming soon."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the Weather
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 03:10 PM

If you empty your bowels at night,
A shepherd will have red face in the morning.


(Ivor Cutler)

Otherwise, new weather documentaries on BBC4, starting tonight at 9.00 with Rain. Next week, nice and seasonal - Snow!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the Weather
From: Rapparee
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 03:37 PM

The "ring around" business comes from either high clouds in summer or high ice crystals in winter. And yes, the tighter the circle the sooner the storm.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the Weather
From: Art Thieme
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 03:50 PM

On my last CD I included the tall tale I called "JIM BRIDGER AND THE WINTER OF 1830" on Folk Legacy.

If I posted it here at Mudcat in another thread I will try to find it.

Art


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the Weather
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 05:30 AM

There are numerous folktales of the weather - Richard Dorson's book on US regional folklore is named after one 'Buying The Wind'.
For me, the ultimate tale on the subject was the late John Campbell's (South Armagh) 'The Year of The Hard Frost' where the narrator tells of unkowingly having his neck sliced through with a sheet of wind-blown ice and attempting to remove a dew-drop from the end of his nose with two fingers, throws his head in the fire.
Look out for any of John's albums, mostly in cassette form and often paired with his friend and companion-performer, Len Graham - magic (in all senses of the word).
Jim Carroll


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