Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Once Upon a Time

A little chunk of winter came in June. All the plants died and people were hungry. Folks were forced to sell or eat their livestock and nearly starved the following winter.

Yup, the Great June Frost occurred on this day in 1859. The night time temperature was 25 degrees from Iowa to New England, according to the National Weather Service.

Here is an interesting story about what it was like, from the point of view of a Civil War Veteran from Warren County. Do go read it if you have a minute. It is a chilling tale, no pun intended, of the frightening hardship caused by that freak of the weather. Here is a short excerpt:

"In the morning I was up at daylight and saw a sight such as I'd never seen before and I've never seen since. All the crops were gone. Everything was frozen stiff, corn, grass, things in the garden. I was a tough, rugged lad, I'd laid away my shoes early in May and wasn't going to bother looking them up again. So I went off down across the pastures to fetch the cows and the grass and weeds were crisp and crackly with the thick frost under my feet."

As of yesterday the high temperature was only one degree above the record lowest high for the date (if that makes any sense at all), but it was a lot warmer than that. In fact the Warren County story makes fifty-nine seem downright balmy.


TenMile said...

Enjoyed the links. Good stuff.

Ruth said...

This last year or so has been screwy weather all right, but at least its not that screwy....

Rev. Paul said...

A few places in interior Alaska got up to 6" of snow on June 1st ... here, we had 53 and rain. Seems the better of the alternatives to me, too.

Cathy said...

That account was chilling. Truly.

For my money, it's another reason to stop worrying about 'global warming', 'climate catastrophe', 'climate change' . . . all that idiocy about sea-level rise and we're all going to die . .

Cold is the killer of life.

We can manage a little warmth. If the sun's magnetic index continues to tank - 'warming' will be the least of our problems.

(Sorry, Marianne . . . I stole your comment section for a rant )

lisa said...

What a story to have to recall, but I am glad that we did have the balmy 59!

Ed said...

Interesting, seems the weather keeps shifting, two weeks ago it hit 96 degrees in Indiana..

Floridacracker said...

Rained here!

threecollie said...

TenMile, glad you did. I really enjoyed the essay as well.

Ruth, and I sure hope it doesn't get that bad.

REv. Paul, yeah, fifty looks good compared to losing all the grass and leaves and crops

Cathy, I totally agree with you! And, please, rant any time. I enjoy and generally agree with your opinions

Lisa, I sure found it interesting, plus it put things in perspective a bit.

Ed, we had a few warm days but it has mostly been cold and rainy.

FC, I am very glad for you!

Terry and Linda said...

I enjoyed that link very much! Of course I love history!


threecollie said...

Linda, I loved it too...such a clear and poignant glimpse into another time.