My Field Trip to Spring


| 3/5/2014 2:24:00 PM


Tags: Weather, Spring, Folklore, Native Americans, Susan Rutz,

My Field TripIt’s been a harsh winter and I’m not sure we are done with it yet. We had a few days where it warmed up to the 60s and melted off the snow, and then a new round of arctic air would fall over us and turn nasty again.

This last spell happened at the end of February, which really gave way to spring fever and the need to plant. I was ready to uncover the flower beds, till up the garden, or just clean away some of the winter mess. We ran about four days straight of blazing sunshine and warm temperatures. Birds were coming around more, and I even caught the glimpse of a red bird as it flew by. On the drive home a bug smashed into the windshield; now that has to be a true sign of spring coming, right?

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the Native Americans deciphered the seasons by the moon. February’s moon was known as the Hunger Moon, Bony Moon and even the Little Famine Moon to some tribes due to the harsh weather conditions and lack of hunting days. The Native Americans in the north and east of the country referred to it as the Full Snow Moon.

The early settlers called February’s moon the Trapper’s Moon because the beaver’s pelts were so thick during winter and made the most money.

I’m glad I fought that urge to go out and play with the garden because the weather changed again and brought us sub-zero temperatures with 2 more inches of snow. I guess it was like a brief Indian summer that we have in fall; a taste of what’s to come and then, bam, right back to winter. Indian summer actually comes in the fall between November 11 and 20 and is determined by particular details as outlined in the Farmer’s Almanac.

“As well as being warm, the atmosphere during Indian summer is hazy or smoky, there is no wind, the barometer is standing high, and the nights are clear and chilly. A moving, cool, shallow polar air mass is converting into a deep, warm, stagnant anticyclone (high pressure) system, which has the effect of causing the haze and large swing in temperature between day and night. The time of occurrence is important: The warm days must follow a spell of cold weather or a good hard frost.”




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