The May Cow Quake – May 1923

There is an old saying meant as a caution against putting cows out to grass too early that, after the 12th May, comes a cow quake. A quake that is like to be memorable arrived just before the 12th and lasted for four days.

A few minutes ago I was looking over a few fields to a bunch of milch cows racing in a sort of panic in the teeth of a tremendous hail shower instinctively seeking shelter under the north fence.

The roads are strewn with the tender young leaves of beech and elm, their flowers wrenched off by the furious assault of the wind. The apple blossom is fortunately not fully expanded and the damage — as much of it as I have been able to examine — is not so serious as one would have expected, although in exposed situations there is a certain to be destruction and loss of food crop.

The violence of the wind and the rain are not more marked than the low temperature. For five mornings in succession the hills have been white. The snow disappears from the lower slopes through the day leaving the highest peaks white or streaked or powdered One morning they were white exactly half way down as if a ruler had drawn a line at freezing point.

The aspect of our little bit of world is strange in the mingled signs of winter and summer for, with the mild winter, forage is far advanced and, with the exception of the Ash, most of our forest trees are in partial leaf some such as the chestnuts and elms fully clothed

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