The Journal Pioneer
Thanksgiving is already behind us and the next time we blink, it’ll be Christmas.
Will there be snow on the ground Christmas Day? I get that question a lot. Most people tell me that they would like snow for Christmas and ask that I turn off the snow guns once the holiday season is over. Ah, to have that kind of power!
While I can't control the weather, I do my best to forecast it; scientifically, it's not reasonable to put out a detailed product beyond seven days.
But, if we leave science behind for a moment and turn to observation and blessed experience, we can have some fun with long-range seasonal forecasts.
Grandma would tell you that there are many signs, but I want to talk about the turkey right now. I realize that not everyone chooses to feast on turkey for Thanksgiving, but we certainly did and still do back on the farm. My grandmother wasn’t fussy for turkey meat, but she could not wait to carve the bird. Once enough meat was removed from the carcass to reveal the breastbone, she would release her winter prognostication.
According to Grandma, the breastbone of a turkey held the key to how cold or snowy the upcoming winter would be. The length and the colour are both significant: the longer the breastbone, the longer the winter.
As for the colour, it’s a little more complicated. A plain white bone points to a mild winter. If the breastbone is mottled, darkish, or even tinted blue, the winter will be severe. A keen observer can even look beyond the winter months: purple tips on the breastbone are a sure sign of a cold spring!
Is there any science to back this one? Well, some. An overall dark colour means that the bird absorbed a lot of oil, which acts as natural protection against the cold. The darker the blue colouring, the tougher the winter ahead! How would the bird know? Your guess is as good as mine.
There is a caveat: the turkey must be local. If you bought a local bird, let me know what the breastbone is telling you.
If you don’t like what you see, there’s another bone you should seek out before the carcass goes to the green bin – the wishbone. It couldn't hurt!
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Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network