South Dakota Says, ‘Indian Summer, Please!’
Thanks to the weather here in the midwest, we have something other than Covid to talk about. But, when the weather pulls something like it did the weekend of October 23-26 here in South Dakota, longing for spring become more prevalent.
As I get older, I recall fond memories of conversations of Indian Summer. This year's earlyish cold snap and in cases like Mitchell, Huron, South Dakota, and Sioux City, Iowa record snowfall for the early date conjure up hopes of an Indian Summer for the midwest.
I first heard of Indian Summer in grade School. It probably was out of a Laura Ingalls Wilder book our first-grade teacher read to us. Indian Summer is one of the weather descriptors that has always fascinated me. According to Wikipedia,
In an article on the US National Weather Service's website, weather historian William R. Deedler writes that Indian Summer can be defined as "any spell of warm, quiet, hazy weather that may occur in October or November." The warmer, more pleasant weather has to come after a frost and more importantly after a Killing Frost.
We've certainly seen that! Temperatures are predicted to get down to single digits Monday night and parts of South Dakota have seen temperatures below zero already.
I've also been intrigued by Native American History and Folklore. Native Americans first described Indian Summer to Europeans as Warm and Hazy conditions in autumn when they hunted. I'm sure they were thankful for additional days to hunt and gather for their families!
In my opinion, Indian Summer should be considered sort of a Hall Pass from Mother Nature. If we get one, we should get out and savor and enjoy warmer temperatures before we settle in for another South Dakota Winter.