Kentuckians are Incorrectly Predicting the Weather With Persimmon Seeds
Over the past few weeks, we have talked a lot about predicting what our winter weather will be like. Throughout history, our ancestors have used nature to prepare for the coming snow or extreme cold. However, as this folklore is passed from generation to generation, sometimes the instructions for how to properly examine the signs get lost in translation. It's important to follow all of the steps associated with each legend to get the most accurate prediction. When it comes to one in particular, we have totally been doing it wrong.
Signs in Nature Thought to Predict Winter Weather
Folklore says that observing Woolly Worms can give us an idea of the type of winter to expect. The more brown/rust color they have, the more mild the season. If they are mostly black/dark brown we better be prepared to bundle up and get our snow shovels ready.
I just learned this year about how some people believe counting the number of foggy mornings in August will correlate with the number of major snowfall events later on. It's also important to keep in mind that the heavier the fog, the heavier the predicted snow.
I haven't seen many people keeping track of the first two this year, but my Facebook feed has been chock full of folks sharing pictures of their Persimmon seeds to see whether we will have a white winter or not.
Persimmon Seeds and Their Meanings
The seeds can take different shapes and those shapes are known to have different meanings. If the seed is in the shape of a fork, that means we will have a mild winter and if there is any snow, it will be powdery and manageable. If the seed is in the shape of a knife, we should expect a bitterly cold winter that "cuts." If the seed is in the shape of a spoon, everybody better get their shovels ready to scoop lots of snow.
What Have Kentucky Persimmons Predicted for the 2023-2024 Winter?
Like I said, a LOT of people have been sharing pictures of their Persimmon seeds online and all of them have been spoons. Like this one shared by Lake Cumberland State Park.
The Persimmon Folklore Requires Patience
However, Lake Cumberland and other folks sharing their halved Persimmons are forgetting something very important. Or maybe they don't know the full folklore. According to appalachianhistory.net and pretty much everyone in the Appalachian American Facebook group, it is way too early to be cutting open your Persimmons. In order to get an accurate prediction, you need to wait until after the first killing frost to look at the seeds. Otherwise, they are going to be mostly spoons. Kentucky hasn't experienced that yet this year
Was the Persimmon Prediction Correct for the 2022-2023 Winter?
I took a look back at what Lake Cumberland State Park Persimmons predicted last year to see if it was accurate. They made this post in mid-September last year before the first killing frost. Spoons!
According to the National Weather Service, last winter was one of the warmest on record. We did not have very much snow at all and it was actually Lexington's 2nd least snowy winter ever. Here is the report overall and broken down by month if you'd like to read further.
Long story short, The Persimmons have not been an accurate predictor of winter weather probably because we are cutting them open too soon! Pretty interesting stuff! So, if you'd like to try out the Persimmon prediction, the magic word here is:
"P A T I E N C E"
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Gallery Credit: Anuradha Varanasi