crow on pumpkin

Come to Vermont in Autumn…

You’ll be greeted by cool, crisp days, deep blue skies, and mountains ignited in a blaze of oranges, yellows, and reds. But in stark contrast to the colorful foliage, you’ll also find crows, black as midnight, wheeling in the sky or scratching for leftover kernels in the recently harvested cornfields. However, more than just a full time resident, crows have long been associated with prophecies and predictions throughout all of New England.

In fact, some older farmers claim they can predict the weather just by the number of crows they see take flight. They say, “If crows fly in pairs, expect fine weather; a crow flying alone is a sign of foul weather.” Though this may sound like nothing more than a superstition, when was the last time you saw a farmer caught unexpectedly out in the rain? Coincidence? I think not.

Now another bit of crow folklore-

Another bit of folklore you’ll come across while visiting Vermont has to do with determining one’s luck. Tradition has it that if you spot a crow flying across your path from the right, then you’re in for a bit of good luck. However, if the crow approaches from the left, the opposite is true, and let’s just say you may want to stay home that day.

Then there’s the old rhyming wives’ tale that mothers would sing to their children to get them to fall asleep. It’s based on the number of crows that gather together and predicts everything from happiness and riches to weddings and even childbirth.

According to the rhyme, “One’s for sorrow, two for mirth, three for a wedding, four for a birth, five for silver, six for gold, and seven for a secret not to be told.”

Who knew this all-too-common bird could be so prophetic? And whether true or not, you’ll never look at the crow the same. For the wonderful superstitions that surround this fascinatingly mysterious creature are sure to give rise to many a tall tale when we’re gathered around the fire on a cool autumn night.

Cabot Orton
Cabot Orton
photo of Vermont homes during fall