July 28, 2011
A few weeks ago I went to Kansas City, Missouri for work. Wow, was it hot! The temperatures were well over 100 degrees during the day, and at night they were still in the 80s. It was really humid too. It was thick and sticky.
In New England, we've been lucky to escape the worst of the monster heat wave that's torturing the middle of the country. But although most people hate the heat and humidity, it may have a positive side.
Well, at least according to the Old Farmers Almanac. The almanac's writers claim that the warm, damp air so prevalent in July is good for growing corn. The term "cornscateous air" was supposedly used by early almanac writers to describe hot, humid, corn-promoting weather. Cornscateous. Things in Kansas City were really cornscateous.
I kind of wonder if the people at the almanac's office in Dublin, NH are just pulling our legs with this word. I've never seen the word "cornscateous" anyplace except in their almanac or someplace that references their almanac. I couldn't find it in any dictionary. And who exactly were these early almanac writers anyway?
Maybe I'm being too skeptical. Perhaps if I were a farmer, or liked miserable humid weather, I'd be more familiar with the word. However, I did buy some local corn at the farmers' market, and it was great. Whether I like it or not, I guess we're getting just the right amount of conscateous air in Massachusetts.