There’s zero doubt that we fine folks from Arkansas are a little zany and use backwoods logic that has been handed down from generations. Growing up in the Delta, we’ve heard many sayings that as a child made no sense. As we have gotten older and our grandparents have left for the big Natural State in the sky, it leaves our mind wondering just what Grandma was saying. When you’re 8 years old, nothing makes sense.
We wanted to bring back some of these old expressions and reflect on them. Arkansas has always been known for crazy weather and this season has been no different (literally we feel we could re-share this at any time because the weather is always shaking things up).
Here’s the list! And if you have anything you’d like to add, put it in the comments!
Weather Superstitions, Arkansas Style…
- When clouds hide the sunset, expect rain. “Red sky in morning, sailors take warning; red sky at night, the sailors delight.”
- A month’s bad weather can be expected when a new moon comes on Saturday.
- The number of days winter’s first snow stays on the ground tells how many more snows will come before spring.
- Small snowflakes indicate heavy snow, large flakes a light snow.
- The number of days between the new moon and the first snow is the same as the number of snows that will come that winter.
- When woolly worms are fat and black in late fall, bad weather can be expected; if they are light brown, expect a mild winter.
- When a snake crosses your path, expect rain.
- When the breastbone of a goose killed in fall is thick and white, expect a mild winter. If it is red or spotted, a severe winter can be expected.
- Cutting hair or nails on a calm day will bring on a storm.
- If it starts raining before seven, it will quit before eleven.
- A ring around the moon with no stars in it means there will be rain within twenty-four hours.
- Rainbows in the morning mean another storm to come. Rainbows in the evening mean fair weather ahead.
* When a dead tree limb falls when there is no wind, expect rain.
* Thistledown flying on a calm and windless day means rain will come soon.
* Morning fog rising rapidly means rain can be expected.
- Whirlwinds on a dusty path mean rain soon.
- —When dogs eat grass, expect rain. —Cattle refusing to drink water in dry weather means rain is coming soon.
- —If cats lick their fur or sneeze, rain will soon fall.
- —When cowbells or train whistles can be heard for long distances, rain can be expected. —When sheep turn their backs to the wind it means a heavy rainstorm will come soon. —Hens or roosters ruffling their feathers indicates rain is on the way.
- —Spring is here when the first robin appears.
- —When the groundhog comes out of his hole on February 2, sees his shadow, and runs back in, six more weeks of winter can be expected. If there is no shadow on a cloudy day and he stays out, spring is already here.
* If roosters crow at night, rain will fall before dawn.
- —Expect rain when: Horses rub on trees or posts. Robins sing loudly. Flies swarm in the house. Owls hoot in the daytime.
- —When ducks or turkeys nest on high ground, expect a wet summer. If they nest near water, expect dry weather.
- —When fish swim near the surface, expect a storm. —If crows fly unusually high it means a windstorm is coming. —When deer lose their spots by mid-July, expect an early fall.
- —Butterflies in late autumn mean cold weather can soon be expected. —The number of fogs in August indicate the number of snows to expect in winter.
- —When it rains on Sunday, expect three more wet Sundays to come.
- —When dandelions bloom in April, expect July to be hot and wet.
- —If you throw a dead snake in the air and it lands on its back, expect rain soon.
- —No rain on July 2 means it will be dry for six weeks.
- —When the horns on a new moon tilt upward enough to hold water, expect fair weather. If they tilt downward enough to spill water, expect rain.
- —Cold weather before November 15 means the winter will be mild.
- —When frogs croak in early March it means they will be frozen back three times before spring.
- —When it rains on Easter it will rain seven Sundays in a row.
- —The number of days over a hundred degrees in July is the same as the number of days that will be below zero degrees in January.
- —Expect the first killing frost to come three weeks after the katydids stop singing.
- —Thunder on a day in February means it will frost on the same day in May.
- —Thick coats on coons, bears, horses, and other animals mean the winter will be severe.
- —Large crops of walnuts and acorns mean a severe winter can be expected.
- —Smoke rising fast in curls indicates that snow will be coming soon.
- —If many large, woolly caterpillars appear in late summer a severe winter lies ahead.
- —Onion skin mighty thin, mild winter coming in.
If you’ve got any more,please share them in the comments!
Y’all have at it!
– Phil and Jess, The Arkansas To Do Team
This is an excerpt from Phillip W. Steele’s “Ozark Tales and Superstition.” Please check his book out!