Our area is know for the Famous ground hog “Punxsutawney Phil”, from the state of Pennsylvania and Dunkirk Dave, resident of our northern bordering state, New York, going head to head predicting the arrival of spring. This holiday tradition happens on Ground Hogs day, February 2nd of each year. When you live in between the two big rivals, Ground Hogs Day takes on a new meaning.
photo credit: PburghStever
But here in NW PA., the Conewango Creek predicts spring. I realize I am taking on both furry ground hogs with this declaration but the creek has never been wrong.
The Conewango creek flows from NY State and runs behind my house before it enters the Allegheny River. As is passes through NY and Pa it wanders though several small towns and the Ackley swamp, a nature swamp well known for its rare plants and wildlife. The creek measures close to 100 feet wide behind my house and is over 35 feet deep. It is home to many waterfowl and animals.
As I watch winter wind down and loose its hold on this area I know that winter is not over until the Canadian Geese leave the Ackley Swamp. Four days ago I saw the Canadian Geese on the creek and two other duck species. The prediction is also based on far in the swamp they return in the evening. So far the geese are close to the edge of the creek.
As the geese have returned to the banks spring is here. We may have those teasing snowflakes but it’s time to think about serious gardening and yard work.
In the past the farmers looked to mother nature to help them predict storms, seasons and much more. I learned a t a young age that when leaves turn upside down it will rain. How close a ring is around the moon is also a sign of rain. Have you heard any garden lore from the past? If so please share it.