En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Monday - July 20, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seasonal Tasks
Title: Rainfall for Central Texas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What dance will produce abundant rainfall in Central Texas?

ANSWER:

While, strictly speaking, this falls out of the range of our expertise at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, it nevertheless is of concern that the native plants (and everybody else) are drying up and desperately needing a little wet help. We have searched for rain dances in arid areas, which we are right now, and found the following, with instructions and costume:

Rain Dance of Zuni Pueblo - conducted on August 19th at Zuni Pueblo. Possibly you could contact them and inquire if they could include a few steps for Central Texas?

About the Indian Rain Dance - from EHow, by Ann Johnson

From a YouTube video on the Indian Rain Dance, we also picked up this unattributed quotation:

"The rain dances were never done to bring rain. The Native American Indians were so in touch with nature and the planet that they could feel the energy brewing before rain storms; therefore, they would celebrate the coming of the rains with dance and singing."

Along these same lines, we were recently asked about the folklore that the blooming of Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) is forecasting possible rains, as the Cenizo is blooming abundantly in Austin right now. Quoting from that answer:

"We had heard the same tale that blooming on a Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) was a predictor of rain; however, our observation was that they were much more likely to bloom AFTER a rain, rather than before. We searched around for someone more expert than we are to tell us the truth. The consensus is that this flowering is triggered by high humidity or soil moisture after it rains. If there is a lot of humidity in the air, even if it hasn't rained yet, that can cause blooming too. This plant can bloom intermittently 12 months of the year, and is really a tough desert plant. Apparently, there has been a lot of humidity in the Austin area lately, although who could believe it, with the heat?  So, does all the blooming around Austin (and we have noticed it, too) portend rain? We can only hope." So, maybe the Indians are on to something: the Rain Dance is not a cause, it is an effect. 

Finally, out of the mouths of babes: Here is How To Do a Rain Dance from the students at the Middleton Cross Plains (Wisconsin) school district. Two of the links no longer work, but the instructions are very specific.

 

 

More Seasonal Tasks Questions

Time to cut back Turk's Cap in Austin
January 27, 2011 - I did not find my question answered in the database. My question is: When is the best time to cut back Red Turks Cap? I live in Central Austin.
view the full question and answer

Winter pruning for yucca in Adrian, Michigan
October 11, 2010 - Can I cut yucca plants down for winter months.
view the full question and answer

Using a brush hog on acreage on Bear Creek in Austin, TX.
July 25, 2012 - We have 8 acres off 1826 situated on Bear Creek. It has open areas with scattered large trees (cedar elm, live oak, white oak). Cedars or junipers only along the the lot lines. We've been told we...
view the full question and answer

Pruning for Spring
January 21, 2007 - When should I cut back (and how far should I cut back) the following plants in order to promote growth in the spring: Salvia gregii, Salvia leucantha, Ruellia (Mexican petunia), Plumbago, Sku...
view the full question and answer

Leaves on 3 year old maple turning brown in Lebo, KS.
July 16, 2011 - Hello, one of our five Maple trees which is is 3 yrs. old now, we saw a week ago that the leaves started turning brown and dropping. My question is: Will the tree survive this and return healthy next ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center