The Autumnal Equinox passed us last week. During that week, we have had overcast to rainy sky every day. Four inches of rain fell one day, then three more a couple of days later. Mist kept us inside for most of the weekend. Fall may be here, but Winter will be following quickly. Watch the garden, birds, and critters to see the forecast.
As to this year’s “Fog In August” tally, for this region of the Appalachian Mountains, we had 4 days with Heavy Fog, 4 days with Moderate Fog, and 6 days with light fog. By last year’s standards, they foretells of 8 major snow storms, plus a lot of little dustings along the way. Our local almanack, The Hagerstown Town and Country Almanack, calls for 5 Heavy Snow Storms, 8 Snow Storms, and 9 Light or Lake-Effect Snows. Given that their predictions include snow in the northern or southern parts of our region (Mid-Atlantic), and we are in the middle, we might be on the southern or northern edges of some of those storms. That suggests that 8 snow storms is pretty well on track.
As to when the cold weather systems will knock on our door, the almanack calls for snow the first week of November. However, most of the farmers around here have been calling for an early and hard winter. I noticed a number of signs starting in July. I found pumpkins ready to harvest the last week of July. That should be in September. Then I noticed birds (probably Starlings) flocking in mid-August. That should be in October. Then the yellow-jacket nests all went dormant in last August. They should be eating our raspberries in October. Similarly, our sunflowers set seed-heads in August, rather than September. The birds did not hesitate to fill up on the seeds. And, the black-gum and dogwood trees turned red in August, rather than October.
Well, the sure sign of early winter, this Hermit had 6 cords of wood stacked… in August. Time to put the garden to rest.