If there was a silver lining to a recent massive snowstorm that essentially brought this area to a standstill, was that the storm occurred on March 1. As I made my rounds last Wednesday, I think I heard at least a dozen times the old saying of “In like a lion, out like a lamb.” The old folklore states that if March comes in with bad weather it will leave with nice weather. By contrast, if March comes in like a “lamb” it will leave like a “lion.” 

I’m not a scientist, nor have I spent much time studying old folklore, but I’m hopeful that the saying concerning how March weather at the beginning of the month affects things 30 days later comes to fruition. I am officially sick of winter, and if nothing else, the saying concerning lions and lambs gives us hope that spring is right around the corner.

I’ve always found these different folklores fascinating, especially when people put their own spin on these sayings. 

A number of years ago I was talking to someone around this time of year who swore that the snow would be gone in 30 days. If I remember right, we had quite a bit of snow at the time on the ground, and inquired about how they were so sure that all of the snow would be gone so quickly.

“Because my dog told me so,” she replied. 

I have heard of people being fluent in a number of languages, and had friends in college who swore they could speak Klingon, but I had never heard of someone being able to actually communicate with dogs. I asked a few questions and got a response that still makes me laugh to this day.

“I know the snow will be gone because my dog was dragging his butt across the yard last weekend. When he acts like this it means that spring is right around the corner and the snow will be gone in less than 30 days,” the person said.

She went on to tell me that in six of the past eight years when her dog drug its butt across the yard the snow was gone in less than a month. There were so many questions I wanted to ask and one of my big regrets over the past decade or so was not asking what made this person keep track of their dog dragging their butt across the yard in the first place. 

Nonetheless, the local weather folklore (which was completely accurate that year by the way as all of our snow was gone in less than 30 days from that conversation) is just one example of stories that can provide some hope in the midst of a long winter. After all, people had to predict the weather before we were launching satellites into space.

Here are a few of my other favorite sayings in regards to weather, and I promise none of them revolve around a dog and its butt.

“If the goose honks high, fair weather. If the goose honks low, foul weather.” This saying has to do with the altitude of the flight of a goose. If a goose “honks high” it’s an indication of high barometric weather, which means good weather. If a goose is flying low the barometric pressure is low and poor weather could be on the horizon. This is because geese are incredibly adept at flying with optimum air density.

“Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky in morning, sailors take warning.” A reddish sunset means that the air is dusty and dry. Since weather in North American latitudes usually moves from west to east, a red sky at sunset means dry weather—good for sailing—is moving east. Conversely, a reddish sunrise means that dry air from the west has already passed over us, which clears the way for a storm to move in.

“Clear Moon, frost soon.” When the night sky is clear, Earth’s surface cools rapidly, meaning there is no cloud cover to keep the heat in. If the night is clear enough to see the Moon and the temperature drops enough, frost will form. 

“Ring around the moon? Rain real soon.” A ring around the moon usually means an advancing warm front that could lead to precipitation. Under these conditions, high, thin clouds get lower and thicker as they pass over the moon. Ice crystals are reflected by the moon’s light, causing a halo to appear. 

“Frogs croaking in the lagoon, means rain will come real soon.”As cold-blooded amphibians, frogs require moist skin and high temperatures to be active. This means that their croaking implies that both temperatures and humidity are high. High humidity is a sign of incoming rain. 

Finally, “when your joints all start to ache, rainy weather is at stake.” Have you ever had an old uncle or grandparent who swears up and down that when their joints start to ache that inclement weather is on the horizon. This is just a theory and old proverb of course, but the theory is that low pressure allows human tissue to expand, which can put pressure on your joints. So when your bum knee aches a little more for seemingly no reason, look to the skies and prepare for rain in the next day or so.