North Carolina Traditional Weather
Back in the early days, when plants
and animals were first made, they were told to fast and stay awake for seven
days to gain spirit power. All were anxious to gain power so they tried to do
as instructed and most were able to stay awake through the first night. The
next night some started to fall asleep, and by the third night many of them
were asleep. By the seventh night, only a few of the animals were awake. The
panther, the owl and one or two others managed to stay awake and as their
reward they were given the power to see and go about in the dark. Many of the
plants also fell asleep and of the trees, only the cedar, the spruce, the pine,
the holly, and the laurel were able to stay awake. As their reward, these were
allowed to be always green, while the others must lose their leaves in the
James Mooney, in his important work,
History, Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokee,
relates the Cherokee's explanation for fall.
These are some of the more popular North Carolina folk
sayings about autumn and the weather. Many variations exist and have been
reported in numerous sources, including the Old Farmer's Almanac, the
Foxfire series, and the collections of the NC Folklore Society. All of
them are guaranteed to be true (sometimes).
- A warm November is the sign of a bad winter.
- Thunder in the fall foretells a cold winter.
- If animals have an especially thick coat of fur, it will
be a cold winter.
- When squirrels bury their nuts early, it will be a hard
- If the woolly worms head is more black than colored, the
coldest part of the winter will come in the first months of winter.
- The more black than brown a wooly worm has, and/or the
wider the black stripe, the worse the winter.
- If fruit trees bloom in the fall, the weather will be
severe the following winter.
- If berries or nuts are plentiful, it will be a hard
- A cold winter is succeeded by a warm winter and vice
- If the first snow falls on unfrozen ground, expect a
- It will be a bad winter if trees keep their leaves until
late in the fall
- Hornets nest built in the tops of trees point to a mild
- The first twelve days of the year are thought to
foretell the weather for each of the next twelve months. The variant is the 12
days from new Christmas (Dec. 25) to old Christmas (Jan. 5) determine the
- If an owl hoots on the east side of a mountain it
denotes bad weather.
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