Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Riding this evening, I exclaimed, "Wow, look at that mackerel sky!" My husband said he'd never heard that term. I pointed to the pink and purplish striations in the clouds and said, "It's supposed to resemble fish scales." I told him it's supposed to be an indicator of rain. I repeated the old couplets:

"mackerel in the sky,
three days dry"

"mackerel sky, mackerel sky,
never long wet, never long dry"

I asked, "Have you heard of buttermilk sky?" He said that he had. (Of course, I started singing "Ole Buttermilk Sky", from my mother's repetoire.) I said, "Buttermilk sky is the same as mackerel sky." He said, "Well, I've seen a mackerel and I've seen buttermilk and they don't look the same!"

I guess it's poetic license.


Mona Lisa said...

Knowing you IS a liberal education! I looked up "mackerel sky" and I found a poem referencing "mackerel sky" by Elizabeth Bishop about MARIANNE MOORE (another treasure I found from reading your blog). THANK YOU for never being boring!

Mona Lisa said...

I just saw a mackerel sky!