Editors' Musings

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About this Blog

Your Old Farmer's Almanac editors occasionally share our reflections, advice, and musings—and welcome your comments. too.

March 18, 2016

LIVE this Saturday night! It’s the March Equinox 2016 show!   OK, this is not “Saturday Night Live” you may know. It’s more of a “Celebrate Spring” party! Ready to have some fun? Live on Saturday! Here at the Almanac, we’re hosting a live show to celebrate spring this Saturday, March 19 at: 2PM PDT / 5PM EDT.  It’s a half-hour and free! (Some people asked whether the equinox is on March 20.  It depends on your time zone. For many North Americans, it falls on Saturday; for others on Sunday. See... more

February 6, 2016

I love ferns, fiddleheads, and fauna. Did you know that ferns have a prominent place in folklore?   Ferns are an ancient family of plants—which first show up in fossil records from a time over 100 million years BEFORE dinosaurs walked the Earth. In fact, ferns grew before flowering plants existed. Long ago, people couldn’t explain how ferns reproduced since they lack flowers or seeds. (Today we know that ferns reproduce from spores.) It was this mystery of the non-flowering fern that led to... more

February 2, 2016

Late winter is maple syrup time! One of my favorite signs of spring is seeing sap buckets hanging on maple trees around our small town of Dublin, New Hampshire. The buckets are everywhere—at the local school, in neighbors’ woods, and along the road. Sugar’s sweet, but sap is sappier; Cold nights make the farmers happier! –The Old Farmer’s Almanac, 1989 When I drive by one of our local sugarhouses, Morning Star Maple, and see steam billowing, I know that they’re boiling the sap. I quickly pull... more

December 31, 2015

Though New Year’s resolutions have a checked history in my own life, it surprised me to find out that the practice of reflection and renewal at the start of a new year is an age-old tradition. New Year’s History and Traditions The practice of making New Year’s resolutions goes back to ancient times. In 2000 B.C., the Babylonians celebrated the New Year for 11 days (starting with the vernal equinox). One popular resolution was the returning of borrowed farm equipment (which makes sense for an... more

November 30, 2015

Every December, we cook up a storm for the annual Almanac Christmas party. Last year, a huge ice storm forced us to cancel our festivities—so we were looking forward to this year’s celebration. Below are photos of the holiday table. Can you tell that we love to bake and cook?! This year, we hosted a holiday afternoon tea; the table was loaded with sweets, breads, and decorative tea cups. Here are a few of the holiday recipes: Buche de Noel Cranberry Punch Christmas Fruit Cookies Cranberry... more

July 1, 2015

Every January, the members of my community garden have a potluck supper, during which we thumb seed catalogs and order for the coming season. To this day, I do not know what possessed me to raise my hand to get “put down” for two ounces of scarlet runner beans. Only later in spring, standing on my patch of soil with the glossy bean seeds in my palm, did I pay attention to the fine print in the catalog: “Need trellis, fences, or pole; will grow to 10–12’.” Ten to twelve feet? What was I ... more

April 10, 2015

At breakfast, I sit near my backyard window and listen to birds’ sweet songs in the morning light. Did you know that birds are one of the best cues to the length of a day? The changing daylight has a hormonal trigger in birds, and starts them whistling. Our wooded backyard draws all kinds of birds; my favorites are the tiny jeweled hummingbirds who are attracted by our bee balm and other plants. (On the gardening page, you can find our guide on best shrubs and trees for birds as well as best... more

December 17, 2014

As you sweep out the old year and ring in the new one, be aware that not all of the ice will be in your glass. If the Almanac weather prediction for cold, snow, and frozen surfaces is even close to its traditional 80 percent accuracy rate (and we’re doing pretty well so far this season), you might glide into 2015 in ways that you do not plan or expect. Wet or slick, icy roads and walkways will be under, before, and around most of us on December 31 and/or January 1. For those walking or driving... more

December 16, 2014

Dreaming of white Christmas weather? For many folks, the quintessential Christmas is one that sees snow flurries on the holiday eve followed by a blanket of fluffy white flakes on Christmas day.  In areas that do not normally see snow, a little chill in the air is usually welcome to set the festive mood. For the 2014 Christmas season, we at the Almanac believe that we will all get the weather we want—on or in advance of the big event. The Almanac’s long-range weather forecast for December,... more

December 9, 2014

For the past four months, we’ve shown you photos of clouds that might remind you of a certain object, character, or creature. This month, we decided to be a little different. You’re looking at a typical “mackerel sky,” so named because its wavy striped pattern resembles the markings on certain mackerel fish. This photo was taken from our Almanac office in Dublin, New Hampshire; you can see the church steeple next door and the American flag in our town center. Several proverbs are related to... more

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