November 25, 2008

Weather predictions for Thanksgiving


Here, from 19th century Massachusetts, are some ways on Thanksgiving to predict what the weather will be in the upcoming winter:

Method #1 - Examine the feathers of your chickens. Do they seem particularly thick? If so, a hard winter is on its way.

Method #2 - Examine the breastbones of your chickens (after you have cooked and eaten them). Do they seem particularly light in color? If so, you can expect a lot of snow. If they are dark, you won't get much snow at all.

Method #3 - Look at the breastbone of your goose (again, after you have cooked and eaten him). Is it particularly dark? Yes? You can expect more rain than snow.

Method #1 seems to be the most "scientific" - the chickens will grow heavier feathers if a cold winter is coming, although this assumes that chickens somehow know a cold winter is coming. (Maybe they can sense what color their breastbones are). Method #2 seems more magical, and relies on similarity in color - white breastbone = white snow. Method #3 also relies on magical color similarity, but can't tell you if heavy snow is coming, only the proportion of rain to snow. I guess this is because of the goose's affinity for water!

I suppose someone could try to test the accuracy of these methods, but most people eat turkey now for Thanksgiving, so there aren't too many goose bones lying around. I'm vegetarian and am having seitan loaf, so I'm completely out of the game.

All of this is from Clifton Johnson's What They Say in New England.

No comments: