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A bit of weather lore for the week

Planning a 2020 year of the four o’clocks. The seed racks in hardware, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ace Hardware and Walmart already feature seed racks filled with packets of flower and vegetable seeds for the 2020 season at a cost of less than $2 per packet. The four o’clock could well be considered as America’s most colorful heirloom flower. It was always a traditional flower that lined the pathways in my Northampton County flower garden and also my mother’s flower garden. The four o’clock is a floral showcase of red, yellow, pink, white, and white and adorned in a background of dark green leaves. My grandma always ordered speckled varieties of four o’clocks from Burpee and they still have them in their catalog. All four o’clocks bloom from late spring until frost.

Seeing a halo around the moon. An old classic Christmas song titled “Twas in the Moon of Wintertime.” The song reminds us that in wintertime, the moon can sometimes have a “halo” around it. It occurs on a cold night when a full or near full moon. Such a moon will occur on the night of Sunday, Feb. 9, and is named “Full Snow Moon.” On nights prior to and after the full moon, conditions aloft may be ideal to see a halo around the moon. The halo occurs when the air aloft is cold enough to form ice crystals that form a halo around the moon, and a beautiful sight to behold. My grandma in Northampton County always counted the visible starts that were inside the halo and referred to them as the days before we would have a snow. My mother always said the stars in the halo were the number of inches of snow we would receive. Both their predictions were about snow. Their predictions had plenty of merit because air aloft has to be cold for snow to fall.

Fog on a January morning can bring wet news. While on the subject of weather lore, this bit of lore says that a foggy morning in January sends a message that we will have a wet spring. Fogs in January are rare but a possibility. Two things we hope for is that there is no fog in the month of January, and if it does come a fog, this lore becomes only a bore! The last thing a garden needs in spring is a washout.

A small row of radish to start the 2020 garden season. A couple of attributes of the radish is that it is tough and winter hardy and it has an almost 100% germination factor. A packet costs around $2 and there are so many varities such as the Cherry Belle, Cherriete, Cherry Bomb, Early Scarlet Globe, Easter Egg, and Crimson Giant. Even in cold temperatures, they will sprout in ten days. A small packet will produce all the radish you need. The seed can be planted in a short row or small bed. Plant radish in a two- or three-inch furrow. Fill furrow with a layer of peat moss, sow see thinly on peat moss and top seed with another layer of peat moss and application of Garden Tone organic garden food. Hill up soil on each side of row and tamp down hill with a hoe blade. Radish produce a harvest in only 45 days. Another great variety is Champion.

Interesting weather lore with interesting results. Weather lore for this week says that when limbs on the mighty oaks bend with the weight of snow, a good crop year can be expected at harvest time. This can be a double bonus because a snow that bends the limbs is definitely a heavy snow that will cover the garden plot and kill off wintering insects and pests and add nutrients to the sleeping soil as well as beautify the landscape.

The Valentine countdown continues. It’s just a few more weeks until Valentine’s Day. Most shops and businesses are adorned in a decor of red, white, pink and well-stocked with all manner of gifts and Valentines. They have gifts for every age and person. You can even get gift cards from Chick-fil-A, Burger King and McDonalds. If you still can’t find anything, purchase a Valentine currency card and place money (paper) in it.

A heart of greenery on edge of garden. Mother Nature has provided a Valentine on the edge of the garden in the form of a heart-shaped cluster of leaves of American violets. This is also a sure sign that spring is on the way. For an interesting perennial, dig up a clump of American violets and transplant the clump in a large container of potting medium. By the last of February and all through March, they will produce a beautiful display of colorful blooms with plenty of heart-shaped leaves.

A fragrant herald of spring is here. Many spring flowers have not been producing even any foliage, but the hardy Carolina Jasmine has plenty of foliage and also bouquets of fragrant yellow flowers in mid-January. We know the bees that may venture out on a rare warm January day will enjoy a taste of spring. A Carolina Jasmine produces dark green foliage and presents a show of blooms several times during the year.

Making a much-like oyster casserole. We know oysters are expensive but you can make a casserole that taste like it has oysters in it. You will need one can Campbell’s chicken rice or chicken noodle soup, one can Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup, two cans of white albacore tuna (drained and flaked), one three-ounce can or jar of mushrooms, one two-ounce jar of diced pimentos (drained), one diced onion, half-teaspoon pepper, three cups oysterette crackers, one teaspoon Old Bay seafood seasoning, two beaten eggs. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend the soups together and fold in all remaining ingredients. Pour into a 13x9x2 inch glass baking pan or dish sprayed with Baker’s Joy or PAM. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until firm.

A bit of weather lore in Saint Paul Day Yesterday was known as Said Paul’s Day, in memory of the Apostle Paul. On his special day, it is said if the weather is bright and clear, we can expect a great gardening year. We certainly hope this was a bright and clear day even if it was cold. We would love to see this lore become a reality in 2020!

Hoe Hoe Hoedown “Til death do us part.” This couple had been dating for several months. Every time he tried to ask her to marry him, he became speechless. He finally decided to find the nerve to ask her. On a beautiful Sunday afternoon he drove her to the graveyard. They walked and talked along the pathways until they came to a lot with a space for two graves. Looking down, he gathered all the courage he had. “I bought this lot yesterday,” he said “how would you like to be buried here by my side?” “

Alright, I guess,” she answered. “But I would a whole lot rather get married and live together for many years!”

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Ray Baird

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