Mother nature may already be sending hints about winter in the M - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mother nature may already be sending hints about winter in the Mid-South

A spoon shape persimmon seed is considered by some to be a sign of a wet snowy winter A spoon shape persimmon seed is considered by some to be a sign of a wet snowy winter

When it comes to forecasting the weather, I take everything into consideration and every now and then I'll even refer to a weather folk lore.  

In the days before the TV, meteorologists would rely on their memories of weather from years past and the clues nature provided leading up to the varying seasons.  Those memories would be handed down generation to generation to become seasonal sayings and weather folklore.  Some are reliable, while others are just great stories and sayings.  

Historical records, satellite data, and myriad of modern day technology is now used to forecast or lend insight in the coming seasons, but it never hurts to refer to a little weather folklore.  There are many books on the subject and the annual Farmer's Almanac is chocked full of it and, if nothing else, it makes for some great reading.   

Now, here's why I bring this up. Last week Polly Higgins sent me me a picture of a persimmon with a spoon shaped seed in the middle.  Well, it just so happens that there's a little bit of weather folklore that claims to predict the coming winter based on the shape of a persimmon seed.  The saying goes like this:

  • If the kernel is spoon-shaped, lots of heavy, wet snow will fall. Spoon = shovel!
  • If it is fork-shaped, you can expect powdery, light snow and a mild winter.
  • If the kernel is knife-shaped, expect to be “cut” by icy, cutting winds.

As you can see in the accompanying photo, the seed is definitely shaped like a spoon.  Polly plucked the persimmon from a tree in Jonesboro, Arkansas and the lore pertains only to the area from which it came so this is not to say that it applies to the entire Mid-South.  

Anyone who's been here for a while know that weather that takes place in northeastern Arkansas can vary greatly from other parts of the Mid-South.  On the other hand weather that begins to our north and west often times migrates south and east.  

There are other stories and lore that claim to predict the type of winter ahead such as squirrels stockpiling acorns is a sigh of a harsh winter, oak trees producing an abundance of acorns is supposedly another sign of an unusually cold or brutal winter, and the lore of the woolly bear caterpillar.  

It is said that one can predict the coming winter based on the width and color of is hairy segmented body.  The accuracy all these stories handed down through the years is debatable.  

I've met many who swear by them and others who laugh.  Although the winter solstice is just shy of three months away, one thing is certain, winter is coming.   That's my favorite Game of Thrones reference.

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