the weather turns bad! Thundershowers, lighting,
the sun is blotted out! And there is nothing we
can do to warn or prevent this act of Mother
headlines appeared in the St. Louis Messenger on
July 27, 1837
the article goes on about, "the
terrible heat wave and drought of 1833-1834 and
how the earth was parched, creeks turned into dry
rock beds and crops burned in the fields. During
the drought the temperature hovered near
100-degrees for the entire growing season and
questioned how some families made it with
available food supplies! "
was of coarse, extreme weather seldom seen in the
country, but the threat of changes like this and
an earlier period in 1816 had people talking of
building food supplies like natures animals do
every year. The start of storing grain and other
field products was born.
get back to the 1816 weather change, reported in
Harper’s Magazine, of that following year,
January and February of 1816 were warm and spring
like, so much so that settlers let their
fireplaces die. The cold started in March, with
each day windy and blustery. Despite the weather,
spring crops were planted, with vegetation well
under way by April when unusual cold moved in.
Snow or sleet fell for 17 different days in May,
killing the fruit trees. June saw frost and snow
for all but 3 days, it lasted through July. August
was worse, with ice coating the fields, vegetation
was gone, wildlife had moved to distant lands and
panic felled upon the people." This
strange change in the weather was caused by a
volcano thousands of miles away, that sent so much
ash into the heavens it changed lives around the
world and was not found out until a few years
others have written of this unusual condition in
North America in later years, Sunshine and Life
magazines did several articles in the early
old-timers had several weather signs they used,
"when cows lie down in the pasture - expect rain", "spider
webs on the morning grass with dew - expect rain",
birds build their nests close to the trunk -
expect a rainy summer - if nests are built low -
expect high winds" or "frogs croaking in early spring - expect rain".
Franklin had several similar sayings, as did
Thomas Jefferson both interested in growing
edibles. These pioneers, as others that followed
had weather sayings for each cloud formation, wind
from different compass points or anything of
1839 the Messenger reported, "We’re
predicting the weather more accurately than in the
past, but it’s not harnessed and earthquakes,
hurricanes and tornado could happen at anytime."
on such predictions, was considered in bad taste,
it could raise our blood level far too high!
the changes in the weather, in the same area in
the last few years, things haven’t improved that
much with some of the experts reporting!
warmer weather coming and the chance of rain
and storms and a good possibility of
lightning. We need to start thinking about
this act of Mother Nature and keep some
simple precautions in mind. Lightning kills
50 to 100 people each year in the
alone, whether outdoors or indoors, everyone
– adults and children need to be aware of
lightning’s danger. There’s an old
saying that Ben Franklin wrote, him being
the man about this subject.
can hurt you and me.
under a tree
the worst place to be.”
a list of safety tips to keep in mind and share
shelter in a substantial, permanent shelter at the
first crack of thunder or a lightning flash,
don’t wait for rain. Unsafe places are small
sheds or small outbuildings, canopies or near
water, high ground or open spaces.
away from tall, isolated trees or water or
railroad tracks, (anything metal). Get into the
woods and find shelter in a low area, just as you
would if on the plains. If possible get under a
thick growth of small trees.
in a level field and the hair feels like its
standing on end, lightning is about to strike.
Kneel or squat, hands on your knees, not the
ground. This is safer than lying down according to
the National Safety Council, because: 1) you keep
low to the ground and, 2) only a small part of
your body is in contact with the ground. With a
party of people, spread out.
“If lightning is striking nearby, put your feet together and crouch down.
Avoid being close to another person or animal,
keep a minimum of 15 feet apart.” Per
John Hill of the National Lightning Safety
cover in a fully enclosed vehicle with a metal
roof, but don’t touch any metal surfaces, keep
all windows shut.
away from windows and doors when lightning is
water (e.g., baths and showers).
talk on the telephone. Turn off, unplug and stay
away from appliances, computers, power tools and
how to recognize the signs of an oncoming
thunderstorm. Watch the clouds, darkening skies,
distant rumbles and flashes of lightning. Don’t
wait for lightning to strike nearby before taking
cover and keep that rifle down low.
seen a few guys duck into a tent and think
they’re save or get out of a canoe and duck down
in ankle deep water thinking they’re safe, boys
your not thinking with what God gave you.
mentioned before go to a low place, a ravine or
valley. If in a canoe your probably better off
under it than laying down in it, I’d would
rather get to shore and take cover.
Until next time, we leave as friends and followers of
those that went before us.