2 August 2020 – St Sidwell’s Day

After all the excitement of yesterday plus a lot of Other Life happening today, I settled in for something quick and easy today: the weather. As I mentioned in August’s #FolkloreFOMO, last month’s weather predictions seemed mostly to be about catastrophic rain, but for some reason August’s skies switch up a gear and start to predict the winter. 

And it’s a bit of a poisoned chalice, because it’s said that:

If the first week in August is unusually warm,
The winter will be white and long.

Which hardly seems fair. And not to be alarmist, but having looked out the window today, I can confirm we’ve already had two days of bright sunshine, and the Met Office is predicting us to be back up to 30° by the end of the week. However, if we think short-termist, this is good for it’s said a thunderstorm this week will mean thunderstorms all month. 

But then there’s the fog. The number of fogs in August is said to correspond to the number of times it snows in the winter. Now as I live by the sea, I don’t know if by fog, this also includes fret, but I’ll be totting them all up regardless. For previous attempts at observing this particular weatherlore, check out the Hermit’s Door annual fog forecast in the Resources below.

However generally, a dry and warm August is welcome for the harvest, and is said to be predicted by heavy dew early on in the month. But if the drizzle starts:

A rainy August
Makes a hard bread crust

And no amount of butter, peanut butter and melted cheese can ameliorate a hard crust. And I’ve tried. 

So as my barometers are next to useless, I’ll be looking at other indicators to try and gauge the weather. Like my hair and it’s natural propensity to frizz at the first hint of moisture in the air (not frizzy today), or to look out for scarlet pimpernels, tulips and dandelions to see if they’re closed up against impending rain, or checking out the moon for blushing, as it’s said that the redder it is, the more likely it is to rain. And it’s a full one tomorrow. Anything else I should have a go at observing?

Veg Vig
I have my first bean casualties, while several others are still going strong. As is my parsley and my garlic. I’m not really sure what my mangelwurzels are supposed to look like, but they don’t appear to be dying. Yet. 


Resources

Cooper, Q. and Sullivan, P. (1994) Maypoles, Martyrs & Mayhem: 366 Days of British Myths, Customs & Eccentricities, London, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/5162177/5161174/5162421?pageNum=1

https://www.almanac.com/fact/if-the-first-week-in-august-is

https://hermitsdoor.wordpress.com/?s=fog+in+august

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/how-to-predict-the-weather-using-nature

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