Appalachian Wisdom: Predicting the Weather

A little while ago at the recommendation of my grandfather, I began reading the Foxfire series.  It’s unlikely that many of y’all have heard of this series of field guides, but they’re quite an interesting read.  

Written and published in 1966 by a group of group of Appalachian high school students in Georgia, these books recorded the daily life of the hill-folk in the Appalachian mountains. The topics these books cover include everything from moonshining to log cabin building.  


A section I found interesting was a short segment tucked away in the back on predicting weather.  

According to Appalachian lore, it will rain:

  • "Within three days if the horns of the moon point down."
  • "If leaves show their backs."
  • "If cows are lying down in the pasture."
  • "If there is a ring around the moon.  Count the stars in the ring and it will rain within that many days."
  • "If the sun sets with clouds."
  • "Within three days, if you see a black snake in a tree."
  • "If an ant covers the hole to his ant hill."
  • "If smoke goes to the ground."
  • "The same time the next day, if  the sun shines while it rains."
  • "If earthworms come to the surface."
  • "If birds fly low."

"If it hasn’t rained in a long time, and it starts before 7 a.m., it’ll quit before 11 a.m."

"If it rains on Easter Sunday, it will rain every Sunday for seven weeks."

"The first twelve days after Christmas indicate what each month in the next year will be like."

"The weather will be fair if:

  • "You hear a screech owl."
  • "Smoke rises."
  • "Crickets holler: the temperature will rise."

Every Southerner (living in Appalachia or not) should give these books a read.  They cover so many topics and are so varied that there will surely be something to your liking in one of them!  

Source: Foxfire Book 1

piedmontporch asked:

5 and 9?

5. Three things on my bucket list?  Write a book, cross the Mason-Dixon Line and live in my dream house.

9. What’s my dream job?  Definitely, definitely, definitely writing for Garden & Gun.  Putting both of my low-paying majors to good use.

piedmontporch asked:

16 and 25?

16 - if i was an element on the periodic table, i would be La and B because that’s as close to LB as it gets and i hate science.

25 - i’ll be realistic.  in the zombie apocalypse, i will die very quickly.  there is nothing about me that would fare well in a zombie apocalypse. 

The Propensity to Preserve

THE SOUTH has a tendency to hold onto traditions and old habits.  The same goes for Southerners.  We like to hold doors open for women, carry around our pocket knives, and say ‘yes ma’am’ and ‘yes sir.”  Some practices, however, have fallen by the wayside. One such practice I would like to revive is carrying around a pocket notebook.

If you’re like me, you forget things often: names, phone numbers, dates, anything and everything!  My grandfather always carries around his pocket notebook and a fountain pen.  In it he keeps track of the mileage of his BMW, his expenses, and any random thoughts he might have throughout the day.  To me, it makes perfect sense to carry around a little notebook in your back pocket.  However, since the development of iPhones and other smart phones, pocket notebooks have become less and less commonplace.  High-tech apps, which are supposed to increase efficiency, can be complicated and take too long to write a simple sentence or two.  I don’t want to spend 3 minutes opening an application, waiting for it to load, navigating my way to the right screen, and then fiddling with a keyboard that is way too small.  I just want to reach in my pocket, grab my notebook and a pen, and start writing.

Colonel Littleton makes a great pocket notebook that incorporates the iPhone.  

I really like this design because of its steer-hide construction and the fact that it keeps your phone from getting scratched.  

There is, of course, the classic Field Notes journal:

These provide a much cheaper option to the Col. Littelton steer-hide product (which comes in at $69).  A three pack of Field Notes is only $10.  

One thing I might add about the Col. Littleton pocket journal is the level of quality.  This is something you might pass down to your son - it’s that high quality.  An option for the pocket journal, also, is having it embossed with your initials which is a nice feature.

Either way you go, you’ll be doing something that famous men like George Patton and Mark Twain did.  Also, it’s nice to look back at a filled notebook and see what you were thinking on a particular day.  So I’d like to ask the readers to sacrifice a little bit of pocket room and carry around an essential item that can really improve your productivity and your sense of tradition.


Hey y’all, my name is Matt and I’m going to be your Monday’s blogger.

I was born and raised in South Carolina and am currently a freshman at a small liberal arts college in the Upstate.  For now, I plan on majoring in history and eventually going into historic preservation.  Although I don’t go to the University of South Carolina, I’m the biggest Gamecocks fan you’ll meet!  

The city of Charleston is one of my biggest inspirations and besides posts about Charleston, you’ll probably see a lot posts about traditions of the South. 

In addition to text, I’m going to try and put a couple of pictures up every Monday as well.  

I’m really looking forward to doing this every Monday and I hope you enjoy! 

Tumblr: PreppyPonderings

Twitter: PreppyBowties

Blogger: Southern and Seersuckered