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Appalachia Through My Eyes - The Sun Draws Water

My life in appalachia the sun draws water

Once a week I take Granny to get groceries. She hasn't drove in years, but she instructs me on the finer points of driving almost weekly. Most of the time it's just me and her other times the whole gang tags along for the trip.

Do you see the 2 shafts of sunshine coming through the clouds just to the left of the road? On our grocery trip this week, we were treated to a spectacular sky. The picture in no shape or form captures the beauty of the rays coming through the dark clouds. As we were driving along marveling over the scene Granny said "When the sun was shining through the clouds like that Momma always said the sun was drawing water."

Sounds like an old Appalachian saying to me-have you ever heard it?


Appalachia Through My Eyes - A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.

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i love reading your blogs and getting to know your family thru them (you have a lovely family). if you took that picture while driving no wonder Granny is instructing you on the finer points of driving lol.
sandy xoxo

I've never heard that, but it is a gorgeous site! Love seeing His work like that!

Ed-sometimes : ) But not in a long time!

Blind Pig The Acorn
Celebrating and Preserving the
Culture of Appalachia

I have lived in Central Alabama nearly 70 years and have always heard that the sun was drawing water. It meant we should get a shower within four to five days. We mostly just see that in the hot summer months.

Maybe the term is more Southern than just Appalachian. Over in Southern Mississippi, we heard that frequently when growing up, and 60+ years later, my hubby and I still think of that term when we are are blessed to see those translucent shafts of light parting the clouds.

The curious things is that we most often see this beautiful sight when we are on the highway between LA and our hometown in MS.

On one trip, when those ribbons of sun popped through what looked like storm clouds, we commented that the Lord was giving us a special sight to remember our trip make us feel better about having to go back to LA one more time.

We have seen those same ribbons on a trip around the mountains of Northwestern NC, too!!

Tipper: up here in the pacific north west,we are called sun dodgers,because of all the rain. oops we haven't had any for almost 2 months. maybe the sun drew it away? regards from Sedro Woolley .k.o.h

Gorgeous picture! LOL! I just took my 85 year old mother on her first trip to West Virginia-all that drivin' she did from the passenger seat wore us both slap out! PS- Please tell Jackie that a cucumber tree is a wild magnolia. There are three kinds-the other two are fraser & umbrella. I believe they are part of the poplar family(?).

Yes I've heard it my whole life..

never heard that. we called suns like that "easter cards"!

I never heard that one, but I can visualize a big glowing "straw" that is being used to suck the water up to the sun...

Has your day ever been dark and cloudy and suddenly the sun breaks through and everything looks bright and clean and clear. That is when "Gods finger" is directly on you!

That was the first thing I thought of when I saw the picture. Mother always told us the sun was drawing water. I told my daughter the same thing, but she'd already had a science class or two and didn't believe me!

Love the photograph; a wonderful treat while off to do an errand. I think the Man upstairs was looking over you as you drove and wanted to let you know he was protecting you and ma. You might enjoy it being framed with the title - Heaven is thirsty. It is a new saying for me as I had never heard of drawing water that way.

Hadn't heard it called that before, but like it as others have.

My brother used to call rays of the sun like those "Jesus rays."

B.Ruth-Art is the heart, mind and soul of the artist. The viewer takes away from it what he will but can never away what the artist put in it.

Jackie-I know the cucumber tree you are talking about. We had them in Swain County too. They have a big white bloom in the spring and then a fruit that looks like a wilted cucumber. I always thought they were some kind of deciduous magnolia (because of the bloom, I guess.) But I ain't no horticulturalist. Or is it a botanist that I ain't?

wow tipper i am always amazed.. at the vivid thoughts and comments i see here.. the photo you shared is something that i always love to see.. but as one of your other readers had said... its rays from heaven shining through.. but i also love the straws comment... i will also see if i notice rain after seeing them in the sky next time.. thanks again for giving me something new that i have learned..
hope granny had a wonderful day out , im sure she enjoys being with you and the girls.
big ladybug hugs

I've seen the Sun burning holes
through the clouds and marveled
at the Beauty, but I don't recall
ever hearing that Appalachian
Folklore. Maybe I just wasn't
paying attention cause evaporation
has to take place, or we'd never
get the needed rain. It's all in
His Hands anyway...Ken

I've heard it and say it all the time. I agree with Barbara and Stephen about the rain/unstable weather, Dad always said that it was the sun drawing water that was stored in the clouds and when the clouds were full it would rain.

and Ed...I have never seen the Sun Dogs play hockey...LOL

Do you think the Sun Dogs are named (pair of reflections surrounding the sun) for the pair of Foo dogs sitting on the mantel. Holding the ball that represents the sun/moon as Yang?
Just wondered, it is just a Ying and Yang thing...sorta like this and that, but it is neither here nor there...Love it..
Thanks Tipper, Thanks Ed..hadn't thought of Sun dogs in a "coons age"...

My parents and Grandparents said this. I thought it was just Sunlight through the holes in the clouds illuminating moisture in the air.

I have'nt seen a response to my question yesterday about the cucumber tree. I don't know the real name - all I ever heard it call was cucumber tree.

My grandmother always used the term, "Drawing water."
Over here in Georgia, we pronounced the name, Edwards, with a "g" sound. I remember addressing valentines for my third-grade class and spelling the name as "Etterge" because that's what it sounded like to me.

Jane-My Daddy used to talk about the "old El Ederds place." It wasn't until years later, after I starting researching my family tree, that I discovered that El Ederds was Ellen or Eleanor Edwards.
Woodard is a common name in the area I am from, but no Wooderds I know of.

Not a familiar saying to me, but I like it. I will share it with my grand boys next time I see it. Their minds are like sponges drawing up little bits of info that I pass along. Keeps me on my toes as I like to kid but don't want them to remember my joshing as fact.

Never heard that saying. That is a beautiful sky, for sure!

Yes, I have heard that all my life...but that "God was drawing water!"
One time I painted a lake scene with dark clouds...I showed it to my art teacher, he said "Did you purposefully draw the rays of the sun thru the clouds going down to the ground?"..."Course I did...they are drawing water!" He laughed and said, "I don't know about that!" and a few other comments about my shafts of light..
Kinda broke my heart, as I was sorta proud of the effort...
You know what, just for spite, I didn't change it and still have that painting today..."Please teachers, give students some kind of encouragement, even if you differ in their beliefs...After all, art is in the heart and mind of the artist as well as the viewer!!...
Thanks Tipper, for the memory although you probably didn't think it would conjure a spitefull response from me...

Tipper, I can't recall having heard that but it surely was a wonderful looking sky.

I had never heard of the phrase before, but Sterling has. They are one of my favorite skies! I used to call them God's fingers as a child. I have taken some pictures of them that I love, but it is difficult to capture them well with a digital camera. Nothing like a co-pilot to keep you focused on the road :D

I wish I had written down all my grandmother's sayings. She would say that was an old "Ederds" saying . I believe this was old English for Edwards. There was an old mill near us called "Wooderd's" Mill. It was near what is now Mall of Georgia. There are several things in the area named Woodwards now such as Woodwards Elementary. Has anyone heard of old Ederds sayings?

Interesting! I have never heard that the sun is drawing water when the rays look like that. The next time I see the beautiful sight, I will be paying close attention to the timing of the next rainfall.

I know I have heard the saying somewhere in the past but I can't figure out where. It is not one that I use but I do like it. When I see the sun shining through the clouds like that I think that it must have looked that way when Christ ascended.

Ed, I know what a sun dog is. I'm not sure what causes them but they are cool to look at.

I've heard that all my life here in Arkansas, so it's not just an Appalachian thing.

Have always heard that's what's happening.

I agree with Stephen about the falling air and barometric pressure and stuff. I think we should call them "sun straws" because it looks like the sun is sucking up water getting ready to spew it all over everwhar. You know, like when you get milk up your nose!

Do you suppose there is a way to check lake levels in the area of a storm to see if they coincide with the barometric pressure and see just how just much water the sun sucked up and therefore predict the amount of rainfall can be expected from a particular meteorological event.

LOL.. all this time I thought my Grandmother just made that up, I've passed it along to my sons also. Thank you, glad to know others have heard this also.

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