Cow Meteorology

I never thought of my grandmother as an "old wife," but she would always tell us an "old wive's tale." Whenever we went on a car trip with her, if we passed a cow pasture and cows were lying down she would tell us it was going to rain soon.

Photo: Boston Public Library - Flickr

Gram grew up on a farm in northern Maine in the early 1900's. She saw a time when there was no electricity and horse and buggies for transportation. Her father planted potatoes, kept cows, and performed many other sorts of farm related activity. She knew her way around a barnyard from what I could tell as she would tell us stories of her life on the farm.

The one thing I'll always remember is her insistence about the cow/rain tale. We would tease her and tell her it was just an old wive's tale. But the more we observed this, it seemed to be a true tale. It would always rain soon after we spotted cows lying down in the pastures. Gram would beam and simply say, "I told you so!"

To this day I have fond memories of my grandmother and her many tales whenever I see a pasture full of cows lying down, chewing their cud, and waiting for the rain.

To find many more rain related posts click here and ride your cow over to Sepia Saturday.


Brett Payne said…
Well, I'm not too sure of this tale. Our cows spend an awful lot of time lying down, chewing the cud, but I've never tried to correlate that with impending rain. The trouble is, it rains pretty often here. I think those cows are waiting to be moved to a new pasture, having eaten all the available grass in that one.
La Nightingail said…
Cow Meteorology is probably as good as any other - including the weather folk on TV who gamely try to tell us what the weather is going to do.
Wendy said…
My husband got in trouble at school when he was a kid over such a story. The teacher had just told about cows lying the field as a predictor of rain. My husband raised his hand and asked, "Then what does it mean when one cow jumps on another cow's back?" Ah, sweet innocent boy!
Postcardy said…
I never heard about cows predicting rain. There must be some reason they are all lying down at the same time.

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