Snow Folklore In Appalachia

Snow Folklore

Snow Folklore from The Foxfire Book

  • If it snows crosslegged it’ll be a deep one
  • If it’s cloudy and smoke rises it might snow
  • The number of Days old the moon is at the first snow-tells how many snows there’ll be that winter
  • If snow lays on the ground for 3 days it’s waiting for another snow

Snow Folklore by way of B. Ruth

  • Wait until the snow flies before you rob wild bees
  • If you scrub your wooden floors with water from melted snow they’ll turn black
  • Dry snow scattered over a dusty floor and quick swept out will beat any carpet sweeper ever you’ll buy

~James Still~ from
The Wolfpen Notebooks

Snow Folklore from Granny Sue

The day of the month the first measurable snow falls is supposed to be the number of measurable snows that winter.

Snow Folklore from Jim Casada

  • A cross-legged snow will be deep (A cross-legged snow is one where wind is in play, driving the snow flakes this way and that. The connection with a deep snow makes sense, because such winds are usually associated with strong fronts.)
  • Snow hanging on the ground; it’s waiting for more to come
  • Chimney smoke hugging the ground; there snow will soon be found

———————

As I’m typing this post the snow is falling swiftly outside my window. This snow seems like it’s in a hurry. The only folklore I can attest to from above is this one: snow laying on the ground for several days is waiting for another snow. That one seems to be true…at least in my experience.

Got any other snow folklore? If so please share it with us!

Tipper

 

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    February 28, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Never heard of cross-legged snow before, but now that Mr. Cassady explained it here (thank you sir), I’ve surely seen it.
    We’ve had a typical January/February winter here in Central NC. School days missed was excessive and winter may not be over for us yet here. I think about 8-10 days were missed here in Harnett County. It’s gonna take a lot of work and many Saturdays to make all that up, and no matter what the school systems decide, some will be unhappy. Such is life!!!
    God bless.
    RB
    <><

  • Reply
    Ken
    February 27, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Tipper,
    My little dog is bench-legged and
    during the snowing he wanted out to do his business. The only way he could make it was “hop like a
    rabbit.” He made it to the edge of the yard, I could only see his head, but it didn’t take long to finish.
    This snow is Beautiful and I love
    it!…Ken

  • Reply
    Tom
    February 26, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Totally agree that if snow lays around another is on the way. Our 12 inches hung around and we just got 6 inches more! Great picture you shared Tipper.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    February 26, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    Tipper,
    After listening to the 12:00 o’clock weather, I am not so sure we are going to ‘skate thru’ (pun intended) this icy mess until spring. Even though, the sun is shinning and the very wet snow is melting slowly we may have another front move in Friday night and another one for freezing rain on Monday, before the temperatures rise significantly!
    My son sent me a funny email that he had received…”I feel like I am living in a ‘snow-globe’ and every so often some idiot comes by and shakes it”!
    With the start of the ice storm, the snow on top of that and two more snows of which the one last night brought our deepest one yet, yes, I am beginning to feel as though I live in a snow-globe!
    I got 30 blocks of suet. The birds were beside themselves this morning. The snow was so deep, they couldn’t even pick fallen pieces that had fell under the feeders…They are filling up now…”happy as larks” so to speak!
    By the way has anyone noticed that there aren’t as many “Meadowlarks” as in the past? I used to have them flock in my front yard this time of year pecking at the ground hoping to pull up a grub or worm! Not any more…Could it be all the land being taken by the subdivisions…?
    Mike…Those Pine Siskins are a friendly lot as well as the American Goldfinches that will sometimes be feeding along with them…Watch your head!…LOL
    Glad to hear you are helping them out in this icy weather!
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…AFTER THE ICE STORM, I THINK IT WAS TUE OR WED OF LAST WEEK. WE PUT SOME OLD COOKED MAC AND CHEESE WITH BREAD CRUMBS, CHOPPED APPLES, CORN, ETC. ON A CLEARED PLACE ON THE PICNIC TABLE IN THE BACK. THIS IS AT THE EDGE OF THE WOODLAND, THAT RISES UP THE HILL BEHIND OUR PLACE. THREE BEAUTIFUL DEER CAME FROM BEHIND A HOLLY TREE INSPECTING THE GRUB…I AM NOT SURE IF THEY ATE ANY OR NOT AS TWO WERE BEGINNING TO TURN AS WE OPENED THE BLINDS…THEY HAD THEIR DARKER COATS ON, AND LOOKED VERY HEALTHY AND FAT…I was thinking, had this been in the era of our great, great Grandparents one of those deer would have been slaughtered and cleaned for food the rest of the winter! There was no season for deer back then!

  • Reply
    Granny Norma
    February 26, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Well, here we sit with another 5 or 6 inches of white stuff. The evergreens are all weighed down and I must admit, it’s truly beautiful. There is not much to add to the snow lore except a halo around the moon means snow and also a green Christmas means a white Easter. The second one is not accurate to the day but if you think about it, the deepest snows always fall in late winter or early spring. And we’ve had some dillies haven’t we?

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    February 26, 2015 at 10:18 am

    My mother used to say “if it snows like meal, it’ll snow a great deal.” Snow clouds and snow birds were her predictors. Me, I just try to keep good tires on the truck and some weight in the back and take whatever comes along.
    On the way to the store last night I saw a few flakes. When I went inside I saw a bunch of flakes. They were lined up buying emergency supplies. A little old man in front of me stood there for about 20 minutes. Guess what he bought? A Hershey bar and a Mr. Goodbar.
    On the way home I didn’t see the flakes but it had started snowing. We got close to half a foot here and it stuck to the trees.
    So far the lights haven’t flickered so maybe my generator can stay in it’s corner.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    February 26, 2015 at 9:47 am

    Just returned from taking a one-mile walk on the new snow. It was beautiful. I saw the tracks of a single rat on the edge of the woods and nothing else. I usually see deer, but they apparently were somewhere else. I am reminded of Robert Frost’s poem, “Stopping By a Woods on a Snowy Evening”:
    Whose woods these are I think I know.
    His house is in the village though;
    He will not see me stopping here
    To watch his woods fill up with snow.
    My little horse must think it queer
    To stop without a farmhouse near
    Between the woods and frozen lake
    The darkest evening of the year.
    He gives his harness bells a shake
    To ask if there is some mistake.
    The only other sound’s the sweep
    Of easy wind and downy flake.
    The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.
    I hope I have miles to go before I sleep…

  • Reply
    Shirl
    February 26, 2015 at 9:32 am

    I can’t add to the folklore, but sure hope the one is not true about snow on the ground waiting for more. This dirty and ugly snow has been on the ground eleven days.
    As I watched the weather radar last night, I knew you would wake up to a beautiful sight. Go ahead and make that snow cream.

  • Reply
    Keith Jones
    February 26, 2015 at 9:25 am

    I remember my Granddad Dyer using the one, “If snow stays three days, it will snow again before it’s all gone.” (Or “within three days of it all being gone”–I heard it both ways from him.) Of course we kids would be looking in all the shady nooks, hoping that we would have more days off from school.

  • Reply
    dolores
    February 26, 2015 at 9:00 am

    Yes, your much treasured snow has arrived. See the good Lord sent you your winter wish. However, I hope you and the family have their shovels ready as I thought I heard from folklore that more might just be on its way. Happy fun! (Oh, cross legged snow is a new term for me. Thanks!)

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    February 26, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Tipper,
    We have about 5 inches of snow this morning. I figured folks in Murphy/Brasstown were in for a big snow. It was snowing hard in Cleveland, south of us way before it arrived here right after dark.
    I was going to count the fogs last August but got busy one day and forgot a few mornings. My parents always said a snow laying around was waiting for another one.
    The reason the snow is in such a hurry? Well, here in the valley it is supposed to be 50 degrees by the late weekend. But, not before another little skiff comes in over Friday night.
    My jonquils and narcissus are covered in a 6 in blanket of snow, counting what was left from the ice and previous snow storm. I keep whispering to them to stay put, March 20th, the first day of spring is on its way.
    I remember when I was in 7th grade we were out riding our bikes, (in shorts) some late very warm February days. Of course we were teased for “rushing the season”! I remember someone commented the reason for the crazy season that year was because it was LEAP YEAR!
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…I’ll take a bowl of that snow cream!
    I’m glad Ken got to make some snow cream!

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    February 26, 2015 at 8:31 am

    No more snow folklore, but we had another 5-6 inches last night, I think.
    This weather makes my bird feeder very popular. I was hanging it today on my pole, which rotates and has a lockscrew to keep it from rotating in the wind. I was tightening the screw when what I later identified as a female Pine Siskin landed on the feeder 2 feet from my face. I stood still and two of her girlfriends joined her. I stayed for over a minute before leaving, at which time all of them took off.
    The Pine Siskin is the smallest bird that visits, even smaller than the Carolina Chickadee.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    February 26, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Tipper–I’ll add one that is flat-out true, at least in my experience.
    Rabbits up and about in broad daylight,
    There will be snow before it’s night.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    barbara Gantt
    February 26, 2015 at 7:53 am

    My Granny Nichols always said if the snow stay on the ground more than three days, it is waiting for more.Barbara

  • Reply
    eva nell wike, PhD
    February 26, 2015 at 7:51 am

    Tipper: Here at the edge of the Cumberland Mountains, we got the deepest snow fall yet. I believe it will be around for several days AND maybe mess up our weekend plans for a book event at the WOMENS’ EXPO at THE WORLD’S FAIR SITE IN Ktown. Sometimes things so well planned go astray!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    February 26, 2015 at 7:37 am

    My daddy used to count the fogs in August and held to “The number of fogs in August, the number of snows in winter.”

  • Reply
    Barb Wright
    February 26, 2015 at 7:26 am

    I am familiar with these folklore. I don’t know if anyone else ever heard these two..if the wild birds are very busy at feeders ( or in the barn,etc.) and if the cows act restless,there will be snow. Both my dad and grandpa said this,and it seems to hold true.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 26, 2015 at 7:25 am

    My mother used to quote the already mentioned predictor. If snow is on the ground for more than three days it’s waiting for more.
    We certainly have a winter wonderland today with several inches of snow on the ground and snow clinging to all the tree limbs.

  • Reply
    PinnacleCreek
    February 26, 2015 at 7:25 am

    My Mom would look out and predict weather by observing nature. She would see small patches of snow clinging to the ground even after a warming spell. It was always waiting on more. I sometimes wonder when some of these sayings started, as obviously they have been handed down through the ages. Thanks B Ruth for your weather folklore.

  • Reply
    TMc
    February 26, 2015 at 5:34 am

    Snow Snow go away come again some other day.. or is it rain.. O well,, looking at 10in this morning… At least it wasn’t ice..

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