San Antonio Express (San Antonio, Texas) Dec 11, 1963
The Chronicle Telegram (Elyria, Ohio) Nov 18, 1931
Troy Record (Troy, New York) Dec 17, 1962
The Chronicle Telegram (Elyria, Ohio) Dec 5, 1928
Lima News (Lima, Ohio) Sep 15, 1950
O, fickle winds of March, blow warm, blow cold!
Your ever-changing temper matches mine.
Today my mood in love is fearless, bold.
O, fickle winds of March, blow warm, blow cold!
What tender passions may tomorrow hold,
If winds blow warm and thus my thoughts incline?
Or, fickle winds of March, blow warm, blow cold!
Your ever-changing temper matches mine!
– Susan Doudican
The Oshkosh Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Mar 14, 1936
Slayer of winter, are thou here again?
O welcome, thou that bring’st the summer nigh!
The bitter wind makes not thy victory vain,
Nor will we mock thee for thy faint blue sky.
Welcome O March! whose kindly days and dry
Make April ready for the throstle’s song,
Thou first redresser of the winter’s wrong!
Yea, welcome, March! and though I die ere June,
Yet for the hope of life I give thee praise,
Striving to swell the burden of the tune
That even now I hear thy brown birds raise,
Unmindful of the past or coming days;
Who sing, “O joy! a new year is begun!
What happiness to look upon the sun!”
O, what begetteth all this storm of bliss,
But Death himself, who, crying solemnly,
Even from the heart of sweet Forgetfulness,
Bids us, “Rejoice! lest pleasure less ye die
Within a little time must ye go by.
Stretch forth your open hands, and while ye live,
Take all the gifts that Death and Life may give.”
– William Morris
The Oshkosh Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Mar 26, 1936
WRITTEN IN MARCH
The Cock is crowing,
The stream is flowing,
The small birds twitter,
The lake doth glitter,
The green field sleeps in the sun;
The oldest and the youngest
Are at work with the strongest;
The cattle are grazing,
Their heads never raising;
There are forty feeding like one!
Like an army defeated
The snow hath retreated,
And now doth fare ill
On the top of the bare hill;
The plowboy is whooping-anon-anon,
There’s joy in the mountains;
There’s life in the fountains,
Small clouds are sailing,
Blue sky prevailing;
The rain is over and gone!
– William Wordsworth
The Oshkosh Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Mar 12, 1937
SONG IN MARCH
Now are the winds about us in their glee,
Tossing the slender tree;
Whirling the sands about his furious car,
March cometh from afar;
Breaks the sealed magic of old Winter’s dreams,
And rends his glassy streams;
Chafing with potent airs, he fiercely takes
Their fetters from the lakes,
And, with a power by queenly Spring supplied,
Wakens the slumbering tide.
With a wild love he seeks young Summer’s charms
And clasps her to his arms;
Lifting his shield between, he drives away
Old Winter from his prey –
The ancient tyrant whom he boldly braves,
Goes howling to his caves;
And, to his northern realm compelled to fly,
Yields up the victory;
Melted are all his banks, o’er-thrown his towers,
And March comes bringing flowers.
– William Gilmore Simms.
The Oshkosh Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Feb 25, 1938
THE PASSING OF MARCH
The braggart March stood in the season’s door
With his broad shoulders blocking up the way,
Shaking the snow-flakes from the cloak he wore,
And from the fringes of his kirtle gray;
Near by him April stood with tearful face,
With violets in her hands, and in her hair
Pale, wild anemones; the fragrant lace
Half-parted from her breast which seemed like fair,
Dawn-tinted mountain snow, smooth-drifted there.
She on the blusterer’s arm laid one white hand,
But he would none of her soft blandishment,
Yet did she plead with tears none might withstand,
For even the fiercest hearts at last relent.
And he, at last, in ruffian tenderness,
With one swift, crushing kiss her lips did greet.
Ah, poor starved heart! — for that one rude caress,
She cast her violets underneath his feet.
– Robert Burns Wilson
The Oshkosh Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Apr 1, 1938
Image from Power of Babel
The door was shut, as doors should be,
Before you went to bed last night;
Yet Jack Frost had got in, you see,
And left your window silver white.
He must have waited till you slept;
And not a single word he spoke.
But penciled o’er the panes and crept
Away again before you woke.
And now you cannot see the hills
Nor fields that stretch beyond the lane;
But there are fairer things than these
His fingers traced on every pane.
Rocks and castles towering high;
Hills and dales, and streams and fields;
And knights in armor riding by,
With nodding plumes and shining shields.
And here are little boats, and there
Big ships with sails spread to the breeze;
And yonder, palm tress waving fair,
On islands set in silver seas.
And butterflies with gauzy wings;
And herds of cows and flocks of sheep;
And fruit and flowers and all the things
You see when your are sound asleep.
For creeping softly underneath
The door when all the lights are out,
Jack Frost takes every breath you breathe,
And knows the things you think about.
He paints them on the window pane
In fairy lines with frozen steam;
And when you wake you see again
The lovely things you saw in dream.
The Oshkosh Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Feb 25, 1936
Title: The Child World
Author: Gabriel Setoun
Illustrated by: Charles Robinson
Jack Frost – Page 86
Image from Skulls and Bones
OLD HUNTER SAYS RABBIT BONES TELL OF MILD WINTER
A mild winter is ahead according to Joe Cole, a famous weather prognosticator of Chargin Falls, Ohio.
Cole is a famous hunter and fisherman out in his section. He has discovered that if a rabbit’s bones go dry half and hour after having been taken from the carcass, nothing but a mild winter is in store.
His other reasons for hazarding his reputation on a prediction are these:
The goosebone indication — The bones break easily, hence dry weather.
Corn has remained dry in the shock unusually long this year.
Geese have not gone south yet.
Certain signs, known to the initiated, seen on the top of sour milk pans early in the morning.
All these and more, too complicated for ordinary minds to grasp, make Mr. Cole absolutely sure of his forecast.
New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Nov 20, 1907
Image of Virgil from Buzzle
Primitive Portents That Are as True Now as in Virgil’s Time.
At the beginning of the Christian era, and before that time the signs of the heavens and the behavior of animals and birds were noted with reference to changes of weather. If we read Virgil we shall find numerous references to these portents, and the translation usually quoted will furnish us with information which must be as true nowadays as it was in Virgil’s time, for wild animals do not change their habits. Speaking of wet weather in the Georgics, the poet wrote
The wary crane foresees it first, and sails
Above the storm and leaves the hollow vales.
The cow looks up and from afar can find
The change of heaven, and sniffs it in the wind.
The swallow skims the river’s watery face,
The frogs renew the croaks of their loquacious race.
The careful ant her secret cell forsakes
And draws her eggs along the narrow tracks.
At either horn the rainbow drinks the flood,
Huge flocks of rising rooks forsake their food,
And, crying, seek the shelter of the wood.
* * * * * * *
And owls, that mark the setting Sun, declare
A starlight evening, and a morning fair.
We might quote further selections respecting the signs in the heaven and earth mentioned but the foregoing verses will be sufficient to illustrate our position, and to show us that weather forecasting is, at any rate, as old as the Christian era. The moon is generally supposed to influence the weather — a Saturday’s moon” being particularly objectionable, or when she appears anew at some hours after midnight thus
When first the moon appears, if then she shrouds
Her silver crescent tipped with sable clouds,
Conclude she bodes a tempest on the main,
And brews for fields impetuous floods of rain.
For generations, as today, a red sky foretells fine weather a yellow sky changing into green means rain, or rain and wind, on the other hand when the red rays appear we many anticipate fine weather, as the atmosphere is becoming less and less moist.
A “low” dawn is known as a good sign, so when the first rays appear at or near the horizon we may anticipate a fine day, as we may when the morning is gray.
Evening red and morning gray
are almost unfailing tokens of fine weather.
Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) Mar 23, 1892
Virgil’s Georgics, Book I (google book link)
Image from Quote a Gentleman
The poets sing
Of gentle spring
In language that is rich
They hand a bluff
And sell the stuff
To magazines and sich.
They rave and shout
And rhyme about
The fragrance of the air,
And of the joy
That lingers everywhere.
But when it snows
And rains and blows
And does a dozen stunts
With hail and sleet,
and lightning sheet
and does ‘em all at once;
When nature drops
And deftly flops
A back-hand somersaults
I think right now
You will allow
It’s time to call a halt.
My lyre is still
And never will
Twang for you as of yore
Oh, gentle spring
You fickle thing
I’ll boost your game no more.
Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) Mar 16, 1912
Groundhog Produces Conclusive Evidence of His Ability as Prophet.
Thursday of last week was groundhog day, and for winter it was one of the most perfect days we have had this season. The air was warm and balmy, the sun shone brightly, and his procine majesty had not the slightest difficulty in distinguishing his shadow. The next two or three days following were also ideal ones, and we fear that some of our people so far forgot themselves as to make remarks fraught with levity and volatility, thus exasperating the groundhog custodian of the weather.
Jealous of his time-honored perogatives, and incensed at the aspersions cast upon his good name, the groundhog lost all patience Sunday and sent down a blast straight from the head-quarters of old Boreas. Sleet and snow, with plenty of wind for musical accompaniment, made things mighty interesting all day. Trains were late, wires were down, and while the roads were not blockaded, traffic was hard and impeded. The blizzard was general, but did not last longer than one day.
It was sufficient to instill a wholesome respect for the groundhog.
Adams County Free Press (Corning, Iowa) Feb 8, 1911
THE GROUND HOG AS A WEATHER PROPHET
As the weather forecast as indicated by the conditions on Groundhog Day is often rather rudely shattered by subsequent developments, we have thought it worth while to look into this matter with a view to ascertaining how the proposition has worked out in years gone by. While, of course, there is no scientific basis for the tradition associated with the groundhog it is quite a robust theory tliat holds to the view that if the sun is shining on February 2nd (Candlemas Day) and the groundhog can see his shadow when he comes out of his burrow, the weather will be cold and stormy; in short, that six weeks more of winter will follow. On the other hand, if the day is cloudy and he does not see his shadow, he remains out in anticipation of warmer weather and an early spring.
Whatever of coincidence might be revealed by an examination of a longer period is not known but it is certainly not very striking for the following tabulation:
In conclusion we think it can be said that even the most ardent admirer of the groundhog forecast must admit that it is not only unreliable but that, based on the evidence of the last eleven years, it has several times shown a strong reversal of form.
Title: Saward’s Annual: A Standard Statistical Review of the Coal Trade
Editor: Frederick William Saward
Publisher: Frederick W. Saward, 1921
Page 187 (google book link)
February — fortnights two –
Briefest of the months are you,
Of the winter’s children last.
what do you go by so fast?
Is it not a little strange
Once in four years you should change
That the sun should shine and give
You another day to live?
Maybe this is only done
Since you are the smallest one,
So I make the shortest rhyme,
For you, as befits your time;
You’re the baby of the year,
And to me you’re very dear,
Just because you bring the line,
“Will you be my Valentine?”
- Frank Dempster Sherman in Exchange.
The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Feb 4, 1899
Month of the valentine,
Month of the frosted pain;
Month of the groundhog and
Of snow on hill and plain;
Month of the lengthening days –
Thrice welcome and thrice dear –
Come sit before the blaze
And help us make good cheer.
Month of the chilling winds
That howl across the waste;
Oh, sharp and soulless month,
When Jack Frost must be faced –
Month of the frozen pipes,
Thrice welcome and thrice dear –
For the simple reason that
You’re the shortest of the year.
The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Feb 6, 1899
Not many love thee, February,
By few thy praise is sung;
While thousand cherish Maytime merry,
And June’s on every tongue.
Half like thy brother stern before thee,
And half like March, so rude,
Soon sped withal, bards quite ignore thee,
Or chant with listless mood.
And yet, my February, dearly
I prize thy four brief weeks;
Thy many an early sign that clearly
Of days still distant speaks.
I love thee for each certain token
That gleams ‘mid melting snow;
Each sure hint of the summer spoken
In kindlier winds that blow.
I scent e’en now the roses’ savor,
I see yon green expanse;
And, as men own some future favor,
“I thank thee in advance.”
– Ladies’ World.
The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Feb 18, 1899
It is warm outside today,
Very like the first of May
Eastern men I know will start
At the statement, but dear heart,
You can’t tell the months apart
You can hear the wild birds sing
Any time from fall till spring
But the pride and joy of all
Is that cornstalks grow so tall
And the snows melt when they fall
The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Dec 11, 1897
The Nebraska State Historical Society has many wonderful old pictures on their website. These two images are from the Kimble County Album, but there are several collections to look through at the main link.
Weather Forecasts for Nebraska:
December 11th: A balmy 28 degrees!
December 17th: A little cooler, with a high 16 degrees. Definitely still flip-flops and shorts weather.
There are tons and tons of snow
And the cold winds do not blow
Like a blanket on a floor,
Seven inches deep or more,
Rests the snow at every door
It is packed and solid now
And when farmers come to plow
What a joy to stir the soil
softened, as it were, with oil –
There’ll be crops next year to spoil
How the winter wheat will boom
How the trees will bud and bloom
We can stand the ice and snow
For next summer, don’t you know,
We shall hear the glad corn grow
One more year of golden crops
Will exterminate the pops
Fusion, now has lost its grip,
Cannot make another trip –
Let us not give up the ship
Better days are now in sight
Day dispels the long dark night
Let us hail the rising sun –
Bryan only is undone
And his old “sixteen to one”
The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Dec 24, 1897
Homesteading is back! Pack up the wagons and head for Nebraska — or one of the other fine states offering free land.
Image from Dan Kalah’s Motorcycle Trip Reports (trip 16)
According to the Yahoo article, 7 Towns Where Land is Free:
The Homestead Act of 1862 is no longer in effect, but free land is still available out there in the great wide open (often literally in the great wide open). In fact, the town of Beatrice, Nebraska has even enacted a Homestead Act of 2010 .
This image also from Dan Kalal’s Motorcycle Trip Reports (trip 11)
From the same Yahoo article:
This 3.266-square-kilometer community of approximately 832 persons in southern Nebraska’s Medicine Valley has the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture and an airport three minutes away.
Evidently, the folks in Curtis, Nebraska are offering two different land deals, which are briefly described in the article linked above.