Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Dogwood Winter

Dogwood winter in Appalachia
Over the last week, our summer like weather has taken a hiatus, and cool damp air has took it’s place. I’ve heard more than a few comments about it being Dogwood Winter. The Dogwood trees near my house aren’t in full bloom yet-but they’re almost there.

Is it Dogwood Winter at your place too?


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.


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  • Reply
    April 6, 2011 at 6:48 am

    YES, Mother Nature either can’t make up her mind what she wants to do or she is having a hard time getting Old Man Winter to take a vacation.

  • Reply
    Melissa P - Misplaced southerner
    April 1, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I’m afraid it’s just still plain, ol’ winter up here in Michigan. Snow hasn’t completely melted yet. One hopeful sign, though, was seeing our first crocus bloom. Our dogwoods (not quite the same as down home)haven’t even started to swell leaf buds yet. I don’t want to hurry my life away, but it sure seems like this time every year since I had to move north moves slower than any other. Waiting to get up to 50 degrees and for the flowers to bloom.

  • Reply
    April 1, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Don’t know if it’s Dogwood winter or not, but it sure is cool and damp. It’s dampened my spirit, too.

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    March 31, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Our dogwoods haven’t popped open yet — but it sure feels like winter here. Hoping we escape a freeze tonight.

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    March 31, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Never heard of sarvis shivers, but I’m definitely feeling them! We have a lovely winter mix falling on White Oak tonight-BRRR!

  • Reply
    Robert Loftis
    March 31, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Hey Tipper:this isnt a comment,but i wonder why i cant get the radio on the page anymore?

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    March 31, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Most definitely over this way Tipper. My one “early” dogwood has been in full bloom for a week or so. The others are just beginning. Freeze warnings….what is wrong with those weather folks?

  • Reply
    March 31, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Sad to say still to cold!!!!

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    March 31, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    Ooooo-weee, we woke up this morning with a frost so thick you could skate on it … well, it was heavy anyway.
    It was so cold that the neighbor’s rooster crowed and the sound just froze in the air. In a few days, when it warms up, that frozen screech from the rooster will break loose from the freeze and puzzle the whole neighborhood … unless it’s 6 AM. We’re used to it about then.

  • Reply
    March 31, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    No it’s not dogwood winter -just winter! Snow tommorrow!
    Now my mother-in-law knows all the winters -I remember the blackberry winter too. But I think she has a few more up here sleve!

  • Reply
    Joe Mode
    March 31, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Yes, it is Doqwood Winter here on the outskirts of Knoxville. The Dogwoods have little buds, as do the Redbuds, but that’s about it. It seems to do this every year right when my son start playing soccer. They play, we freeze watching, waiting for the cold winds and rain to pass on.

  • Reply
    March 31, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Dogwoods and Redbuds are in bloom here in east Texas. Had some really nice 80 degree days for awhile then it got cold again but is warming up again. Hope that’s the last of the cold weather.

  • Reply
    Cheryl Soehl
    March 31, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    We had our cold spell the first part of the week — warming up now. I love driving home and seeing the wild dogwoods (as opposed to the tame ones in our yards) blooming at Fort Jackson — you can look deep into the woods which are just leafing out and see the white of the dogwoods sprinkled everywhere…

  • Reply
    March 31, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    I’ve never heard of a dogwood winter…but our nice warm days have left us for cold, damp, and even snow in the forecast for tonight!

  • Reply
    March 31, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    After a nice stretch of daytime temps in the 50’s, we got a couple inches of snow yesterday. This is a nice family-friendly blog, so I won’t say what kind of winter I call this!
    I found Donna W.’s comment about blackberry winter interesting; we usually have our last snow sometime in April, I wonder if that’s what it refers to?

  • Reply
    March 31, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Our dogwoods are just starting to bloom (barely). It’s definitely cold out there, but is supposed to warm up by tomorrow!

  • Reply
    March 31, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Dogwoods are one of my favorite blooming trees but they are not blooming here yet!

  • Reply
    March 31, 2011 at 11:13 am

    I recon this is the beginning of
    Dogwood winter. Last night I heard
    Peep Frogs near my creek and garden spot. First time they’ve
    made a sound this year. Recon
    there’s anything associated with
    them pertaining to the weather, or
    just a mating call? Its good to see all the folks commenting on
    the changing seasons…Ken

  • Reply
    March 31, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Never heard the term. But in Mississippi the dogwoods and magnolias would team up to perfume the air. Great memories from this post!

  • Reply
    March 31, 2011 at 10:46 am

    I have not heard of this, but have heard sheep rains or cold May rains which happen in May. I love spring, but these cold spells are worse than winter.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    March 31, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Jim I never heard of Cat-bird winter, but there is usally a cool evening snap for a day or two when the cat-birds start mewing so sweet!…The honeysuckle blooms around the same time, you hear the catbirds in the thickets of honeysuckle. In a day or two when the evenings warm, the scent is intoxicating..
    Now I have a new winter to add to my list,
    Thanks Tipper, much to learn on this blog!!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    March 31, 2011 at 10:26 am

    We don’t have dogwood here in south Fl, It is so beautiful though I got to see them bloom last year for the first time, this year I got to see tulips and the sarvis trees.

  • Reply
    March 31, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Sarvis Winter, Redbud Winter (which we are having now in KY), Dogwood Winter, Locust Winter, Blackberry Winter, Chunk or Linsey-Woolsey Britches Winter are the ones I know of in their proper order. :o)

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    March 31, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Our Dogwood Arts Festival starts in Knoxville on April 1st thru the 30th..and it looks like the Dogwoods are going to be right on time…I just hope this Dogwood winter passes over soon…
    We still have Whip-poor-will and Blackberry winter to go…the latter we should be in full June warmth…Have you heard a Whip-poor-will this year?…They are far and few between…we have more Chuck-wills-widows than Whip-poor-wills now-a-days…
    I love the song “My Blue Heaven”, especially the line..When Whip-poor-wills call, and evening is nigh, I hurry to my Blue Heaven!
    I bet Jim and Don remember the song!
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    March 31, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Lise-every year when the dogwood trees are in bloom-we have a cold spell of weather. The old timers call it Dogwood Winter. It doesn’t last long-just a cold snap that remindsyou winter isn’t completely gone yet. We have another cold spell when the blackberry briars are blooming-and they call it Blackberry winter. Thank you for the comment!
    Blind Pig The Acorn
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  • Reply
    March 31, 2011 at 9:52 am

    I don’t know what Dogwood winter actually mean? Nor blackberry winter? Is it late winter?

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    March 31, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Tipper–Dogwood winter is one of countless examples of the way our forebears paid heed to Mother Nature and the signs as things which governed their daily lives. Other examples include:
    (1)Blackberry winter–when buds on blackberries show some white it seems there’s always a spate of chilly weather. Hence the refrain from an old country song, “blow away, blow away, blackberry winter” makes perfectly good sense if you want warmer times, whether in things of the heart or simply in terms of climate.
    (2) Catbird winter–I’ve never been sure what the tell-tale indicator was here–when catbirds first arrived or when they began nesting activity–but Dad and Grandpa Joe often mentioned it.
    (3) Trout fishing (and other fishing) really seems to pick up when swelling buds on dogwoods reach the size of a squirrel’s ear.
    Of course I’m fascinated by this type of folklore, especially weather folklore, and I for one put a great deal of credence in in it. The subject has also been mighty useful to me over the years in terms of giving me topics for magazine and newspaper articles. I wrote a weather folklore column for “Country America” magazine for several years, and the readership seemed to love it. That tells me there are folks all across the country who are, like those of us who read your blog, closely attuned to the good earth and nature’s ways.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Gary Powell
    March 31, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Dogwoods blooms are just opening here, but definitely having winter weather. Went from high 70s to high 30s. My garden spot still too moist to work anyway.

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    March 31, 2011 at 9:46 am

    It feels like ‘dogwood winter’ here, but our trees are far from coming out. It seems our seasons change ever few days … it’s a crazy year so far, weather wise.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    March 31, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Too early for dogwood winter. This is the sarvis shivers.

  • Reply
    Mark Selby
    March 31, 2011 at 9:18 am

    In my neck of the woods, it’s Redbud Winter. Dogwood winter will be here in a couple of weeks.

  • Reply
    March 31, 2011 at 9:12 am

    You are having the rain and cold that we had last week. Rest assured that I am sending you the beautiful weather we are enjoying now in a bit. I have never heard the term “Dogwood Winter”. I like it!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 31, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Oh yes, it was sooo nice and warm….now it’s cold. I knew it would turn cold again and it still hurts my feelings.

  • Reply
    March 31, 2011 at 8:23 am

    it seems like it should be dogwood winter here but our dogwoods are hardly budding at all the other end of the spectrum.. the rhubarb has gone to seed already

  • Reply
    Patty Hall
    March 31, 2011 at 8:17 am

    definitely dogwood winter here, too. We’ had frost on the windshields a couple mornings. Guess March is going out like a lion.
    Patty H.

  • Reply
    March 31, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Have never heard that term — but the bloom is lovely. 🙂

  • Reply
    Rhonda Haslam
    March 31, 2011 at 7:16 am

    Yes, definitely. It went from 80 degrees one day to 50 and damp the next.

  • Reply
    Donna W
    March 31, 2011 at 5:38 am

    Never heard of Dogwood winter, but I know blackberry winter, which comes later.

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