Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes Folklore

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Evil Flowers

My life in appalachia - Evil Flowers

Yesterday, I was reminded of one of my favorite folklore sayings about flowers. At work we were discussing how warm this winter has been so far. A lady said her sister-n-law’s hydrangea had buds all over it.

The folklore I was reminded of is: Flowers which bloom out of season are evil.

Now don’t ask me why I like it so much-but I do. Every time I think of the saying I smile.

If the warm weather continues one other bit of folklore may be appropriate: Trees that bloom twice in one year will have a bad crop. That one does not make me smile.

Warmer than usual for this time of the year at your place?


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


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  • Reply
    betty stephenson
    July 24, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    no its winter over here and been very cold and wet hope every one over there is staying safe and well greetings from new zealand

  • Reply
    Kent Lockman
    January 12, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    Tipper, We up here in Indiana have had mild (40’s) weather for a week or two, but tonight…..temp of 10 outside with 30mph winds making the wind chill well below zero. Ain’t fittin’ for man nor beast. And when you have low blood pressure like I do, it is even colder. No buds blooming here… least not outside. Two inches of snow predicted tonight blowing in from Iowa and Illinois. Makes me want to be in Georgia seeking out folk potters in warmer weather. Kent

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    January 12, 2012 at 12:46 am

    wow i love all the stories they have said.. and the one that struck me was from Don C. it really spoke to my heart.. i too want to see the best in things.. and hope is a great thing in times of hardship.. all i know is its cold here and calling for snow.. wherever you are.. may you be happy and healthy.. sending big ladybug hugs to all.. and hey Don… tipper will always be an angel in my eyes πŸ™‚
    lynn l

  • Reply
    January 12, 2012 at 12:06 am

    Yes it has been warmer over here in our part of God’s Country than usual for this time of the year, but they are calling for *SNOW* tomorrow evening and into the night…………YAH…….

  • Reply
    January 11, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    Yes! We’ve got things blooming that should have been killed by a cold snap and/or shouldn’t be up til late spring. For heaven’s sakes, there’s a second crop of lettuce volunteering in the garden. LETTUCE!!! And it’s a concern, because many crops require a certain number of days of cold snaps to prosper. I pray we won’t pay for this weather, but it’s all in His mighty and capable hands.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Darlene LaRoche
    January 11, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Has been a mild winter so far here in NW Ohio…not complaining…lol some of my flowers are starting to come up..the weather is going to take a turn for the worse here on Friday…calling for 2-4″ of snow…yuck…

  • Reply
    January 11, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Sure like Don Casada’s take on all of this! He certainly has a way with words and I always enjoy reading his posts and those of his brother Jim. Tipper, it is unusually warm here this winter in my part of Kentucky. We have had only about 5 days of cold weather so far all season. Hoping the bottom doesn’t fall out soon. Have a sneaky feeling that real winter is right around the corner!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    There’s some little yellow flowers growing on a vine at the mailbox. They look like tee-niney Jonquills. Maybe they are growing out of season – I don’t know but, it is hard to think of them as evil. They are so beautiful.

  • Reply
    John Stonecypher
    January 11, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    We all talk about the weather all I can say is what ever the weather is its better then no weather at all.
    young sqrt of 77 will be 78 march 26. I do love BPA. When I learn to
    type I will send yall a long letter

  • Reply
    January 11, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    I haven’t heard of flowers being
    evil, but then I don’t know much
    of our Folklore. And this warmer
    weather we’ve been having for so
    long is something I don’t remember
    ever before. I even went trout
    fishing on Christmas Day…Ken

  • Reply
    January 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Never heard of evil flowers but our seasons have been messed up here for ages. Things start blooming and then we get a freeze. Crazy weather patterns!!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    January 11, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    I haven’t noticed anything budding out around my place. Of course it’s January here and I’m still in hibernation and haven’t been outside to see. I might go out on Feb 2nd and look around.

  • Reply
    Melissa P (Misplaced Southerner)
    January 11, 2012 at 11:15 am

    It’s been so warm here in Michigan that I almost feel like I’m at home! Seriously, we’ve had nearly 50 degree highs the past few days. Hardly ANY snow! (I’ve had to change the order of my blog posts, even.) It’s been so bad for the resorts as snowmobiling is HUGE here and there’s no snow. They’ve even had to postpone a major mushing event. S’posed to turn colder the next few days and get a little snow, but this has been one oddball winter, thus far. Even my spring flowers are trying to come up. I’d hate for them to get frozen and then not bloom in the spring.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2012 at 11:07 am

    I am thrilled to still be getting some onions, garlic, and Kale. I will take every little flower I see when I can. Hopefully, there will be at least one really cold month there to kill off the diseases in the ground. The old timers used to say the seasons would be all mixed up in the Endtimes, but I still just love to see God’s handiwork even if out of season.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    January 11, 2012 at 10:42 am

    I have been pondering this weather thingamajig for a while….
    I figure…Winter just really started Dec. 22, 2011 and Spring is March 20, 2012…soooo, I think that the Indian summer we had in the fall slowed down the navigation of the the warm and toasty place in the ground…confusing my Narcissus, Japonica, bud rising on the crabapples…etc. etc..etc..
    Now then what is on time was the January Jasmine, the narcissus, the daffodils the swelling buds on the hydranga…They are in holding pattern…
    What scares the “help” out of me is I have not heard my little Spring peeper that lives close to the house and peeps in the evening in January, if temps are up around 40 to 50ish…He and she are still hold up in the ground…If we don’t hear the chorus frogs in February we may be knee-deep too a Giraffe…
    So I think we will have a good’n a’fore long and we can then say. “What was I think’in!” Winter just started and we already had a ‘skif’ of snow..and it is still 68 days til the first day of Spring…All these maps of zones for Spring, Winter, Fall etc..don’t exactly end where the lines are drawn…LOL
    Nor does Spring begin when Seed catalogs arrive in the mail as bad as we may want it too…I got one this year in early December…LOL but now they are arriving like crazy…
    Right now it is pouring rain with Winter thunder growling over the ridges…which is likely bringing a very cold snap of roller-coaster weather and snow starting here tomorrow…
    Hadn’t heard of evil flower buds..
    Thanks Tipper love it as usual,
    PS..Noticed in Dons’ comments about “farwood” nary a mention of Maple wood of the mountains…he surely could’nt or must not cut’em and saves the leaves for his slippery short-cut ride down the slope!…LOL

  • Reply
    January 11, 2012 at 10:32 am

    36 degrees here in Seattle but the forecast is for much colder temps and maybe the evil white stuff early next week. It has been a bit warmer but still damp here until now. The primroses are blooming. I always look forward to the Snowdrops blooming in March.

  • Reply
    susie swanson
    January 11, 2012 at 9:15 am

    I’ve never heard this one, but there’s a lot of flowers puttin out this winter.. My mom used to say the got their seasons messed up.. Susie

  • Reply
    Lonnie L. Dockery
    January 11, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Sorry Tipper! I with Don on this one. I see them as harbingers of hope. Maybe subconciously you do too…and that explains the smile! Mother always pointed out that the Bible says that everything has it’s season and she reasoned that if something is out of season then it must be a fore-teller of evil. I say bring on permanent Spring!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2012 at 8:48 am

    our weather is so whacky our oak trees are putting out those squiggly things that make us sneeze, they think it is spring and are springing forth with new life.

  • Reply
    Wanda in NoAla
    January 11, 2012 at 8:47 am

    It was a year ago this week that we were covered in a huge snow. We have only been below freezing a few times here this year, but I am not complaining. My neighbor’s quince bush is in bloom now.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2012 at 8:38 am

    I live in Louisiana and you just never know what the weather will be like here. This morning it is 48 degrees with a high of 63 expected. Tomorrow morning it is supposed to be in 20’s. I can remember wearing shorts and playing outside on Christmas day and then it snowing the last week in March. It has been a problem with the fruit trees blooming out and ready to start bearing only to be hit with a hard freeze. We have flowers blooming, but I have never heard of them being called evil flowers.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    January 11, 2012 at 8:38 am

    I’ve not heard that one. Interesting though, and I would like to hear the ‘rest’ of the story.

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    January 11, 2012 at 8:34 am

    I haven’t heard of the evil flowers folklore either. I too worry about the trees which bear fruit of some kind getting tricked into blooming early and then us having a frost or freeze. Two years in a row without my grapes would be tough. I may run out of my canned grape jelly!

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    January 11, 2012 at 8:28 am

    This has been a warmer than usual winter so far and hardly any snow! I hate it when it warms up real nice in March and everything starts coming to life and then you have the cold weather come back again and it kills all the buds. But, where we live it happens every year, it is just a part of life.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    January 11, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Have you plumb lost the shine off your halo, Angel of Brasstown?
    Flowers that bloom out of season are missionaries who have ventured into an inhospitable circumstance, bringing a glimpse of glory and a bit of brightness to a grim and gray world.
    They apeak to us in three dimensions of time – recalling better days that have been, giving a token of beauty for today, and offering harbingers of hope for life yet to come.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2012 at 8:08 am

    It has been an incredibly warm winter so far in NE Ohio. That works for me! Last year we had about three feet of snow on the ground by now.
    I’ve never heard that flowers that bloom out of season were evil. I suppose it was a bad omen back in the days when we had to grow our own food. Up here if your crops come up too soon, they get blasted by a late frost, and folks would have ended up going hungry.
    Just goes to show that erratic weather patterns are nothing new!
    My Narcissus seem to be pretty confused and are growing leaves by leaps and bounds.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Yesterday after burning off some woods behind the house, we saw a dead tree that had caught fire inside. so the only thing to do was get the chain saw and saw it down. As we were clearing around it, i saw several small trees with buds. the blacksmith tells me they were dogwoods. Not a good sign. Especially our first snow is predicted for tonight and tomorrow with extreme cold wind chills.

  • Reply
    Granny Sue
    January 11, 2012 at 8:00 am

    I have heard that it’s bad luck when flowers bloom out of season but no seems to have told the forsythia–it seems to bloom whenever it feels like it. My Japanese quince (called japonica by my mother) often blooms in winter, and I bring in a few twigs this time of year to force the blooms too. So perhaps I’m responsible for my own bad luck?
    Thank goodness for cold nights or we would be in trouble. At least it’s dropping below freezing most nights.

  • Reply
    Ed Myers
    January 11, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Certainly, I can see “evil flowers” being used to describe early emergents amongst fruit trees, in that they would signal an earlier than normal return to life from dormancy, itself needed to create new fruit. I don’t know, but would guess, that when these buds die, the fruiting potential of the tree would die along with them.
    But, “evil”? If I had to live on the production of said trees, as our close ancestors had to, yes, I would consider them evil.
    On the other hand, in a more wistful mood, if warm weather leads more weeds to sprout and die early on, then it would be a blessing.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2012 at 7:40 am

    I,too have never heard of the evil flower and here in Penna. the temps. too are rather warm—-do agree that if the tree blooms twice not a good thing.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    January 11, 2012 at 7:32 am

    It is currently 62 at 7:30 heading toward a predicted high of 78 here in South Florida. It is just a little cooler than normal for this time of year. We plant impatiens in November and they stay in bloom until April when it gets too hot for them. The country is flat, flat, flat, though. Miss the mountains.

  • Reply
    Canned Quilter
    January 11, 2012 at 7:09 am

    I am concerned that my fruit trees will all bloom out and then get cold. Thus no fruit. I have to admit I have never heard of evil flowers though..

  • Reply
    January 11, 2012 at 7:08 am

    It’s 7am and still 56 degrees here. I think it actually warmed up over night. It’s been rainy/storming here for a week, and I heard hail last night. I don’t mind the warmth, but the extra long tornado season is a different story!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2012 at 6:58 am

    Yes it is, t we may hit close to 50* but then tomorrow & Fri the temps will drop. We’re suppose to have snow too, a possible good 10 inches by Fri. night.
    I actually went out and played fetch with our dog while our chickens scurried to see what’ going on. It was gorgeous and warm.

  • Reply
    Lisa @ Two Bears Farm
    January 11, 2012 at 6:57 am

    That’s a new one – I never heard of evil flowers. But I noticed the other day our apple tree is trying to bloom πŸ™

  • Reply
    Rose C
    January 11, 2012 at 6:55 am

    I never heard of them being called evil flowers, new one on me! Very warm, like I need to weed the flower beds! But I will wait for snow is coming for the weekend and cold temps.

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