Sunday, December 4, 2016

Persimmon seeds lied to me last fall, so should I trust them this year?

Three on top are definitely knives. Five below may be spoons or ladles or large knives. Not sure which.

I've written many dumb headlines over the years, but I can't take credit for this one.
The persimmon seeds I gathered from the tree in my side yard last fall predicted a cold, wet, snowy winter. They were wrong. It turned out to be quite mild. Flooding was more of a problem than were snowdrifts or ice.

Of course, I am not complaining, but I was thinkng about skipping the folklore weather forecast this year.

I couldn't resist it, though, and a couple of weeks ago, right after the first frost, I picked up seven persimmons from beneath the tree in my yard. I picked out the seeds from those seven fruit, and I selected 12 of the thickest seeds. Seven is the number of days of creation, counting the day the Lord rested from that burden. Twelve is the number of Hebrew tribes; it is also the number of the original disciples.
I split the 12 fat seeds in half, and I was fortunate to find eight of the 24 halves legible. Eight is the number of people on the Ark, counting Noah, during the Flood, a weather-related incident.

You can see from the photo of poor quality at the top of this post that three of the halves were definitely knives. That means some cold, cutting temperatures. For back-up to that forecast, see the headline in the local newspaper that was printed a couple of weekends ago. We are definitely going to  have some cooler temperatures when winter gets here; it's right there in the paper.

I have not run across any woolly worms to see what they have to say.

The five seed halves on the second row are not clear to me. They might be spoons. They might be ladles. A couple of them might be big knives. I just don't know.

But there are no forks! Forks mean a mild winter. Once again, the seeds seem to be telling us that we are going to have a bitterly cold and wet, snowy winter. Maybe that will just be in my side yard where the tree is.

On a related note, I got this letter from reader Martha Furman Kojro, of Doolittle, Missouri, who has followed my writings about folklore weather forecaasting for many years.

Dear RD,
In the Farmers’ Almanac  daily newsletter I came across another way to predict the severity of winter.
It seems that the color of a goose’s breastbone can be used to foretell the future weather events. A red or darkly spotted bone means that winter will be cold and stormy. A light color or lightly spotted bone indicates a mild winter.
If you publish this advice I hope that there are enough geese available at our local grocery stores to meet the demand of folk scientists in the area. The few wooly worms that I’ve seen this year in my part of  Phelps county indicate a mild winter.
I  might  be cooking a goose for Sunday dinner in order to further folk science research!
Yours Truly,
Martha Furman Kojro

I told Martha that if she cooks a goose to let me know what she found. She told me later that she could not find a goose in our little town.
I guess we'll just have to rely on persimmons and the local paper.

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