Pat Shingleton: "Indian Summer, Apache Fog and Spiders"
Wednesday's Nor’easter offered damaging winds and flooding in the Northeast. This item has been mentioned in other articles with somewhat of an update. Indian summer occurs in mid to late autumn, usually after the first killing frost. It’s difficult to experience this in our south Louisiana climate but is greatly appreciated through other sections of the country. Its usage has been traced to 1778 as Native Americans utilized these days to increase their winter food stores. In Europe a similar weather pattern has been called Old Wives’ summer, Halcyon days, and St. Martin’s summer. Years ago, I referenced Indian summer on one of our broadcasts and received an e-mail from Marsha Reichle. She wrote, “Dear Pat: It’s called Indian summer when we have Apache fog.” In closing, in October of 1881 a bunch of spiders spun a web that was observed from Milwaukee to Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Acts of God, The Old Farmer’s Almanac noted that it was not rainfall that caused the huge cobweb but the migratory habits of a certain species of spiders. The spiders reportedly spun their silk and with the breeze on the western shore of Lake Michigan, they tagged along for a long ride. Residents believed that the webs came across the lake nearly 100 miles away then began their decent to the ground. In Green Bay, Wisconsin residents noted the strong, white strands which varied greatly in size. Some were mere specks while others were 60 feet in length, thickly filling the sky as far as the eye could see.