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GRANDMA SAYS: Keeping you 'abreast' of the winter forecast

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The annual Thanksgiving turkey helped Cindy Day's grandmother predict winter weather - Contributed

Where does time go?

It’s already October and in just a few days many of us will be enjoying a lovely Thanksgiving meal with family and friends. I realize that not everyone chooses to feast on turkey on Thanksgiving, but we certainly did - and still do - back on the farm.

My grandmother wasn’t fussy for turkey meat, but she could not wait to carve the bird. Once enough meat was removed from the carcass to reveal the breastbone, she would release her winter prognostication.

You see, according to Grandma, the breastbone of a turkey held the key to how cold or snowy the upcoming winter would be. The length and the colour are both significant: the longer the breastbone, the longer the winter. As for the colour, it’s a little more complicated.

A plain white bone points to a mild winter. If the breastbone is mottled, darkish or even with a blue tint, the winter will be severe. A keen observer can even look beyond the winter months: purple tips on the breastbone are a sure sign of a cold spring!

Is there any science to back this one? Well, “some.” An overall dark-colour meant that the bird had absorbed a lot of oil, which acts as a natural protection against the cold. The darker the blue coloring, the tougher the winter ahead! How would the bird know? Your guess is as good as mine.

There is a caveat: the turkey must be a local bird. If you’ve yet to pick up a bird, buy local and let me know what you see after your feast.

Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network.

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