Appalachia Seasons Weather

Winter’s Springtime Capers

snow covered blooms

Spring snow 2014

Winter’s Springtime Capers written by Ethelene Dyer Jones

Old Man Winter whom we’d bade farewell,
Reluctant so soon to leave
Came sweeping back over hill and dale,
To prance, to dance, to tease.
Heat turned off was turned back on;
Fires stoked and logs ignited;
Warm wraps and winter garb donned
And plants covered and coddled.
“Weather’s like this,” we say making the best
Of winter blast amidst springtime’s beauty;
Try not to freeze, “This, too won’t last,”
We go on to our living and duty.

Ethelene’s poem is fitting for the cold weather headed our way this weekend and my recent video on the little winters of Appalachia.

Last night’s video: DON’T Plant Tender Vegetables in Appalachia Until You Know About the 6 Little Winters.


Subscribe for FREE and get a daily dose of Appalachia in your inbox

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    April 11, 2022 at 4:07 pm

    When we used to have a garden, the only early things we planted were kale, collards, spinach, and lettuce. We waited until May to plant tomatoes because they won’t grow outside until the ground warms up.

  • Reply
    Kathy Patterson
    April 10, 2022 at 1:26 am

    The poem was wonderful. I had a first cousin named Ethelene!
    It was hard from my mother and grandmother to get their plants out in the spring. Several years they got caught by the frost. Mommy always put shade on her transplanted plants. We would go to our “mountain laurel” patch (really rhododendron plant) and gather “mountain laurel” leaves with long sticks on them. Mommy’s garden looked like something was already growing in early spring. She didn’t fight frost after that.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2022 at 8:20 pm

    Poem tells it like it is! Thank you for sharing it!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    April 7, 2022 at 4:09 pm

    I think f the note of caution contained in those various “winters” stood our farming and gardening ancestors in good stead. And they still do. Better to be prudent and have some caution than risk losing seed or plants. Just last week a friend said his potatoes he planted in early March 2022 rotted in the ground and he had to re-plant. I even had a failure with radish seed.

    As I’ve posted here before, weather and growing things involve both air and soil temperatures. Frost kills or damages the plants. Soil too cold can kill the seed or tubers. Both have to be right. Some ‘signs’ to use helps a body stay within the lane that is bounded by trouble on each side.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2022 at 12:52 pm

    Thanks so much for that Ethelene poem. It is a gentle reminder of that wonderful lady who left behind her poetry to remind us of the everchanging works of nature. I was blessed to learn poetry very young when our wise teacher introduced us to poems. One I distinctly remember was the simple poem by Joyce Kilmer. Our teacher treasured poetry and instilled in us a love of such. Particularly these lines should strike a chord with all of us in Ethelene’s poem. “Old Man Winter whom we’d bade farewell, Reluctant so soon to leave.”

  • Reply
    April 7, 2022 at 11:10 am

    I enjoyed your video about the little winters. Here in Pa we have the “onion snow”. It’s a snowfall that occurs after the spring onions have been planted and are starting to sprout. Other people say it’s an indicator of when to plant the spring onions. It’s light, melts quickly and is usually the last snow before the end of spring. I’ve read that it’s a regional expression originated from the Pa Dutch culture. I have already had to dress for Easter church service with the “onion snow” on the ground. There is also a “Spring-bender”. A wet heavy snow that weighs down tree limbs and a “Crack-stuffer”. A dry fine-grained snow that settles into the cracks.
    I enjoy hearing the expressions you share on the videos and hope you enjoy hearing some from “my neck of the wood”

  • Reply
    Angelyn McLain
    April 7, 2022 at 9:06 am

    I was amazing how fast it cooled off yesterday! I am back to covering up with my “binky” lol!
    I have been so busy lately that I welcome the moment to be still.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2022 at 8:51 am

    Unlike Ethelene’s poem, my heat has not been turned off and back on. I carried in enough firewood to get me through a few days of cold rain mixed with snow before spring comes back next week. This has been a miserable weather week for the kids who didn’t leave town for their spring break.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2022 at 8:05 am

    Tipper, I didn’t write this last night but I need to correct what I wrote to Randy. That should have read future and not funeral. What in the world was I thinking? ED, I must have read your message to Randy at least 5 times and it was so touching and much to be learned from it. So sorry.

    I feel like this has been one of the ugliest springs I remember. I noticed last week the Sarvis in bloom and now the Redbuds are in bloom. Seems like we have mostly had overcast,rainy,damp, and a cool breeze blowing. This weekend is supposed to be cold here too. Redbud winter on the way!

    • Reply
      April 7, 2022 at 3:13 pm

      When I read your comment last night, I didn’t catch that. Sometimes I feel like funeral (my own) would be more correct. Thank you, Larry, Ed and Tipper for your comments. Ed knows a lot about how i feel. I have regrets too. Someone else mentioned their husband being gone for 9years and how important it is to enjoy every minute you can with each other, I would just like to say Amen and add your family to that. They can eat gone in the blink of an eye.

      • Reply
        April 7, 2022 at 3:16 pm

        I messed up too I don’t know how I wrote eat instead of be gone.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    April 7, 2022 at 7:18 am

    It’s good to hear from Ethelene, who has gone on to that springtime forever place. Just yesterday, not having seen the weather forecast, I noticed how some of the dogwoods are getting close to full bloom, and thought of how dogwood winter must be coming soon.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2022 at 6:46 am

    I love this poem. One day windows wide open to let in fresh air and short sleeve shirt on, next day windows closed, heat turned on and sweaters on. Another “little winter” is on the way.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 7, 2022 at 6:37 am

    So sweet and totally accurate!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    April 7, 2022 at 6:26 am

    This was great, very informative. I hsve always heard there was a cold spell judt before Eadter. As an adult I have watched gor yhis and every year iI have seen it within 2 eeeks of Easter

  • Leave a Reply