Tennessee Mountain Stories

Tennessee Folklore in Weather Prediction

From Harry Lane’s Tennessee Memories

Among the interesting humor stories associated with weather in this area is the folklore of weather prediction.  There seem to be uncommonly many weather prognosticators in the Cumberland Plateau area, of whom the best known may be Mrs. Hellen Lane of Crab Orchard.  Many observers might readily ascribe this lore to ignorance and superstition, but there is little doubt that some folk wisom is derived from keen observation of nature.  Perhaps the long-range prognostication is not god, but it has been shown that close study of nature can often produce short-term weather forecasts with reasonable accuracy.  For example, there is an old belief that when Lookout Mountain (a continuation of Walden Ridge, part of the Cumberland Plateau) “has its’ cap on,” it will rain in about six hours.  Experience has shown that when the sky “lowers,” that is, when the cloud ceiling decreases, rain commonly follows in a short time; so this piece of folk wisdom is a reasonable prediction.

Another example of weather-forecast wisdom sometimes set forth by Tennessee prognosticators is that swallows and bats will fly closer to the ground before a rain.  This seems to be true, since these birds (and mammals, as bats are!) have sensitive inner-ear mechanisms, and a sudden drop in air pressure preceding a rain may cause them to seek the somewhat higher pressure that is found near ground level.

Still another piece of weather lore that has validity is the saying that when katydids say “Kate,” they announce the nearness of frost.  It has been demonstrated that the katydid call slackens from “Kate-ee-did-n’t” at 87° F to “Kate” at 58°F, to muteness at 55°F or below.  It follows that the gradual cooling of air in autumn will eventually silence these insects as frost approaches.  The same thing is true of the chirps of crickets.

As for the presumed associations between other natural phenomena and weather events, the writer can claim no proofs for the accuracy of studies involving wooly worms, spider webs, the number of fogs in August, and many other such “keys!” Society would be poorer, however, without such colorful weather folklore.

Announcing: Plans for Emma

Plans for Emma Retail.jpg

It’s been 2 years since I released the novella Replacing Ann and you were all so kind in reading it and reviewing it on Amazon.com.  And then you asked for more! 

Well it may have taken a little longer than many of us hoped but here you go… I am thrilled to announce the release of Plans for Emma

Here’s the short synopsis from the back cover:

Everyone has plans for Emma England but she knows she must follow God’s plan for her life.  She meets Preston Langford by chance at the creekside near her family home.  They are immediately drawn to each other; in fact, Preston knows the first day that this is the woman God would have him marry.  Now he needs only to convince her father. 

Honest and hard working, Preston is penniless, has little formal education and is currently out of the practice of attending church regularly.  He is nothing TomEngland wants in a son-in-law. 

Emma is drawn to Preston from the beginning but knows she must honor her father and mother.  Which should she honor first - her father’s direction or God’s calling?  Would God truly call her to rebel against her godly parents?

Printed copies of the book are available at Hall Family Pharmacy in both Jamestown and Clarkrange, TN.  I'll be there signing books next Thursday at noon and would love to see you.

If you aren't in the area and want to order a copy, you can go get one straight from the publisher here.  You can also order a copy from Amazon.com where you can get either a paperback or an eBook.

After you’ve read the book, please consider writing a review on Amazon as this will help other people discover Plans for Emma.

Over the next few weeks I’ll share more about the who, when and where of the story and characters.