This half of August has been wet and rainy in the NY area. Like most people, I suppose, I use signs in nature to predict the weather or the seasonal changes. Is the wind blowing the undersides of the leaves up? (storm on the way). Are the flies biting? (rain). Are the wooly worms woollier? (cold winter).
When I was growing up there was always a copy of the Old Farmers Almanac around. It had a bright yellow cover so it was easy to spot. It was started in 1792 and published every year. We would read it to know the best times for planting and the major weather forecasts. Every year we’d look to see how their predictions turned out against what happened. The Almanac collected folk wisdom on gardening, astronomy, weather, and health.
There’s a second Almanac in circulation. Just a pup (published in 1818), it also seems chock-full of references to listening to the land and home-made cures.
It’s probably nostalgia, but I’m going to get a copy for 2008.