Editors' Musings

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

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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

October 12, 2015

Cook up a Halloween dinner for something fun! Here is an easy Halloween menu with three recipes for a main dish, scary punch drink, and creepy dessert! Jack-O’-Lantern Hamburger Pie This hearty main meal is easy because you use prepared refrigerator pie crusts. Make a meat mix using our Bonnie’s Meatloaf recipe but instead of shaping it into a loaf, put the mix into a pie crust. Take a second pie crust, cut out a jack-o’-lantern’s face, and place the crust top of meat mix. Bake at 350ºF for 45... 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

November 18, 2014

It’s amazing how invisible water vapor can condense into tiny water droplets or ice particles, gather together, and form visible clouds. It reminds us that clear air is not empty, but is instead full of substance. Sometimes clouds will transform into familiar shapes, which often last only a few minutes. Finding these transient recognizable forms is called nephelococcygia. To learn more about this pastime, see our first cloud post. This month, we have posted a photo of another interestingly... more

October 2, 2014

Clouds are always changing shape. Occasionally, they’ll morph into a familiar form, such as an animal, plant, or man-made object. If you like to watch clouds, we invite you to look at the photo here and tell us what recognizable shapes you see. This particular cloud was spotted from the parking lot of The Old Farmer’s Almanac on one fine summer day. (We’ve enjoyed the imaginative comments about our past postings. Thank you, everyone! Keep them coming and have fun!) To learn about this popular... more

September 15, 2014

If you like to look for familiar shapes in clouds, you’ve come to the right spot. Every few weeks, we will invite you to tell us what recognizable shapes you see in a cloud photo, such as a sailboat, tree, or horse. To learn about this popular pastime, take a gander at our previous blog post on clouds here. In the meantime, we think that you will have fun with this next photo, submitted by Annie Allemani. (Thank you, Annie!) Can you spot a familiar form? Please post your thoughts below. Thank... more


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