Cooler fall temps meant time to clean the chimney

Autumn arrived two weeks ago, but residents across the county could feel a tinge of fall in the air before that with cooler temperatures in the Hill Country.

Though the number of 100-plus-degree days was fewer this summer than last, even the sun worshippers welcomed the cooler weather.

The weather man says that the high pressure dome that’s had its grip on Texas for what seems like forever, has shifted, making for a change in the weather pattern that will allow rain to move in.

In addition to cooler temperatures, the first cool front of the season brought with it rain showers to a parched county suffering through the ravages of perhaps the worst drought ever.

Depending upon which cloud you might be located under, just about everyone has gotten a shower or two.

It seems that we’ve all got a spring in our steps again, and among farmers and ranchers, talk is shifting from culling and downsizing the herd to plowing fields, planting small grain and getting ready for the winter season.

Housewives in the country agree that they’d rather sweep out mud that’s been “tracked in,” rather than plain old dirt!

I don’t consider myself superstitious, but, an old wives’ tale I’ve heard over the years says that if the first cool front of the season brings rain, then a wet autumn will be in store. So, are we on track for more?

Driving down the highways these days, it’s hard not to notice that the “bee brush” has been in full bloom. The fragrant sweet smell of the tiny white blossoms on the grayish-green brush can wreak havoc on those suffering from allergies. But, many believe that when the “bee brush” blooms, there’s sure to be a change in the weather — and as every rancher hopes — rain. And, across town and out in the countryside, the senecias are blooming, another sign. Don’t forget the “wild onions.” In the most out-of-the-way places, I’ve seen them blooming the past few weeks.

Several weeks ago before the “big rain” at Doss, I was blitzing down the highway one evening and dodged a turtle that was lumbering eastward. I nearly stepped on the brakes, jumped out and turned him around. Remember the saying: If the turtle is crawling westward, he’s heading for higher ground because the creeks are going to rise and he’s looking for dry land. But if he’s going eastward, he’s looking for water. A rhyme goes something like this, “East is least, west is best.”

Speaking of creeks, don’t we all keep our eye out when crossing a creek to see if it is “foaming.” Over the years, that has always been a sure sign of rain.

There’s another old superstition that goes something like “if the sun sets behind the clouds on a Sunday, it will rain in three days.”

Some people predict that it is going to rain if their bones “creak” or the corns on their toes become tender.

I don’t quite know if I believe that one since my back is creaky all the time lately. Or, maybe, we’re in for a really wet spell.

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