The old wives tale for predicting the weather here in the South is if March “comes in like a lion,” then it will “go out like a lamb.” So, in other words, if the weather is strong and rough in the first week of the month of March, then it will change to mild and warm and pleasant by the end of the month. I don’t really see the logic in that, as spring usually means mild and warm days anyway.
Anyway, here it is the first week of March and the weather is awful. It turned cold and rainy and windy, and it is supposed to stay like this all week! So I guess we can all take comfort in the thought that if the old wives tale is true, that this will all be over with in a week or so and the rest of the month will be lovely!
I can’t wait for the chance of frost to be gone so I can get my garden started this year. I am being very ambitious and trying some extra vegetables this year. I used to be content with just a few tomato plants and a couple of pepper plants. But this year I am planting yellow squash, zucchini, and green beans, too. Those always seem to do well in this climate and don’t need a lot of care – just pulling a few weeds once in a while and that’s it. So maybe next weekend I can get the seeds started and I can have an early harvest of fresh vegetables from my own yard!
I hope the skies are clear tonight so I can see the last full moon of the year. This month is special with our night skies, as there are planetary alignments and Jupiter is extra close to the Earth so it is the second brightest light in the sky, after only the moon.
Last night it was mostly clear but something in the atmosphere made the moon appear to have a large halo around it. I could not stop staring at it. I love the night sky, especially after midnight when everyone in the neighborhood is sound asleep and there is no traffic. It is a magical, peaceful time.
This week has been all about the weather and the moon and some very strange skies. First of all, we had a huge earthquake just of the coast of Western Canada. It was so big that it triggered a very Tsunami that put all of Hawaii in danger. Since I have some very good friends who live in Hawaii, it worried me quite a bit. Thankfully, the tsunami was not as bad as they feared and there was no damage.
But right after that we started hearing about a major hurricane threat that was forming in the Atlantic. Although large storms are rare this time of year, it is officially hurricane season through November. The weather forecasters warned that not only was this storm very large and powerful, but that it was about to collide with a major cold front coming down from Canada and that the full moon with the highest high tides would make this storm a big threat for flooding all along the East Coast.
The hurricane did turn out to be a perfect storm. It did hit on the New Jersey and New York coastlines and we have terrible flooding throughout 20 states. Plus, the cold front has brought snow to some states and those people have blizzard conditions.
Here the storm has had little effect although we have had some rain and it has gotten colder. But the skies have been eerie. There are some beautifully strange phenomenons occurring, with the clouds and lights from a winter sun and the full moon. I wish I could have taken some photos of the halos I saw a couple of night ago, but the camera would not take a decent photo in the darkness and show the effects that I was seeing with my eyes. I think someone down in Alabama got some good photos of the daylight halos. If I can find a photo to download and share I will post it here. It is beautiful and eerie at the same time.
Today I went to the local Pumpkin Patch and hunting the most perfectly round big pumpkin I could find. I had a large one last year that was taller than it was round and it carved really nice. But I wanted something different this year.
The pumpkin patch had the pumpkins grouped by size. The really big ones were $40! Wow! I couldn’t believe that people are willing to spend $40 on a pumpkin that they don’t even eat – they just carve it and set it outside to decorate their porch.
The one I decided to buy was beautiful and I only paid $25. I think I could have found one cheaper, but this is a charity sale for the church youth group. I figured that since Halloween is supposed to be a holiday for the kids anyway, that supporting a youth group with my money was the right thing to do.
My first memories of groundhogs are probably unusual unless you grew up on a farm. I did not grown up on my grandparent’s farm, but we did spend a lot of time up there visiting my mom’s parents. I believe that my sister and I were left on the farm for a couple of weeks when she gave birth to my youngest sister. I was not yet in school, so being gone from home for 2 weeks in October was not a big deal to anyone.
My grandparents had bought a huge property when he retired from the Navy. They had cows, pigs, dozens of cats who lived in the big barn, and two hunting dogs. My grandfather would often take the shotgun out to the fields and kill groundhogs. He said they were bigger pests than roaches and needed killing or they would destroy his crops.
So my experience with groundhogs is that they must be killed – not celebrated and expected to guide us on the next 6 weeks worth of weather conditions.