Happy to live in a four-season state

Published 6:10 am Wednesday, November 15, 2023

By Bonnie Brown

This summer has been hot—really hot! And dry too. We saw records rewritten and as the change of seasons approached, Mother Nature rolled out a snap of cold weather, just to see if we were paying attention. We weren’t so much. And I for one was surprised at the cold temperatures visited upon us for a few days.  

The poor little trick-or-treaters had to endure chilly temperatures as they visited the neighbors hoping to fill their sacks with candy.  

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Then just as we were digging out our winter wear, here comes another round of warm weather. Well, warm for early November, setting record high temps for the season, into the 80’s!  

What is going on? Mother Nature seems to always be full of surprises, most of which are often unwelcome. Think hurricanes and tornadoes.  But thankfully none of those are for our area.

Neighboring Louisiana is experiencing the worst drought in more than two decades.  Millions of Louisiana residents are facing a possible drinking water crisis as saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico threatens to contaminate the freshwater supply.  Some residents are calling for “rainwater harvesting”, the practice of catching rainwater from downspouts.  But of course, it will only work if they have rain.  

So how can we prepare for the winter?  Well, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, we can look to the Persimmon tree for the answer.  Persimmon tree, you say?  Yes.  Native to China, the persimmon is an edible fruit that has been cultivated for thousands of years.  Have you ever eaten a persimmon?  My dad always told us not to eat persimmons, that they tasted awful.  So, I’ve never personally tried one.  

According to folklore, if you split open a locally-grown persimmon seed, the shape inside looks either like a fork, spoon, or knife.  A spoon means lots of snow, a fork predicts a mild winter, and a knife means winter will be harsh.  So, should you find a persimmon and conduct this experiment to see what lies ahead, please share your findings with us.  

But to revert to the scientific side of predicting our winter weather, there are indications that an El Nino which could affect our weather.  

I used to cycle my closet in the winter and move my warm-weather clothes to a different closet.  I no longer do that since I found myself digging around in one closet and the next to find appropriate wear for the weather, rather than the season.  

I’m happy to live in a four-season state.  I lived in Florida for a while, and it was just weird seeing Christmas decorations sharing space with patio furniture.  I like the change of seasons since that is what I grew up with.  I am not, however, a pumpkin spice drink fan.  And I eat ice cream year ‘round.  I understand rushing the Christmas season and decorations because all the preparation invites the child that still lives inside us to enjoy all the magic and the happiness of the celebration of the season.

So, stand aside Punxsutawney Phil.  Your predictions for when spring will arrive are only 39 percent accurate.  You may be bested by a persimmon seed in predicting the weather.