I couldn’t find persimmons last year, so I failed to check the winter weather forecast by slicing a seed in half and examining the cutlery shape. Until recently, I didn’t realize this tradition of cutting into a persimmon seed to look for the shape of a spoon, a fork or a knife was Ozark-based, but according to several sources, it is. Tradition holds that if a split seed exhibits a spoon, the winter will include significant snowfall of heavy, wet snow. If it is resembles a fork, expect powdery, light snow and mild winter weather conditions. If the cut seed shows a knife, we can expect winter to be icy with brisk winds.
This year, with all of the persimmons availing themselves in the northern reaches of the Ozarks, I've cut into several seeds to find a spoon. Repeatedly, a spoon, a forecast of heavy, wet snow for the winter months. While this forecast bodes well for aerial censuses of deer across the landscape, heavy, wet snow is not a great forecast for much needed prescribed fire. 2012 was a wash with the politicization of prescribed fire and wildfire threat, so hopefully this fall will be clement enough and filled with fall days that fall within prescription for fire. The Ozarks are behind schedule, and a forecast of heavy, wet snow is really not what I had hoped to see in the persimmon seed. While I like to put faith in folklore, I hope this time that the forecast is wrong.