CATCH A FALLING LEAF – Today is the first day of autumn–yay! I LOVE fall with cooler days, blue skies, glorious leaves, and apple picking. But TODAY is extra special in Appalachia because this is your chance to guarantee you stay healthy this winter (and who’s not up for that right now?!?). Superstition says if you catch a falling leaf sometime today, you won’t be sick all winter. Easy, right? Trust me. This is harder than it sounds! Of course, running around in the fresh air laughing while you try to catch a leaf has it’s own health benefits, so what do you have to lose? If you catch one, email and let me know!

WOOLY WORMS & WINTER WEATHER – I saw my first wooly worm last week. I can report that it had four black rings on its nose, a brown middle and two black rings on its tail. That’s four weeks of harsh weather to kick off winter starting on December 22. After January 12, we should enjoy a stretch of seven weeks of mild weather taking us through March 1. Those first two weeks of March will be harsh again and then we’ll be in the clear after March 15. So says the first Wooly Worm.

OTHER OMENS – I love folk wisdom like predicting the weather based on caterpillars. And I’d like to point out that a heavy acorn crop this year seems to counter my wooly worm’s prediction of a relatively mild winter. Hmmm. One of them is probably right.

Here are a few more to carry us on into winter:

  • When it snows while the leaves are still on the trees in the fall, it’s a sign of a long, hard winter.
  • The number of snows in the month of December subtracted from 31 give the total snows for the winter. You can count it as a snowfall if you can track a goose on a board. A duck works as well.
  • The number of fogs in February will equal the number of frosts in May.

How about YOU? What superstition or folk wisdom do you beleive?