First Minus Day of December 2019

The temperature on the big thermometer on the hill hit -1 this morning. It was snowing--or at least slushing. The slush sloshed around on the roads for awhile, but did not stay; it turned to rain by mid-morning and washed away all semi-solid precipitation. Rain continues to bombard Tottori as it has since the beginning of the week. 
I put these little reminders up here so that years from now if the internet still exists we can look back and say, "Winter has always been snowy. What were those alarmists thinking?" or "Hey, it was still cold in December back then! Ah, those were the days. Before the weather went to hell and took the rest of the world with it." 
Mornings have been rather biting over the course of the past week. This is the first week the figs have failed to ripen on the trees. The growing season is quite over. Peppers of various sorts, and kale, continue stubbornly to grow. Scattered reports of frost on the grass have been heard throughout the neighbourhood, though I have not personally confirmed this.
An old wives' tale in the region says that the placement of the egg sacs of the praying mantis (in whatever season they lay their eggs) is a barometer for the height of the snow in the following winter. They are supposed to sense the depth of the impending snow and construct their egg sacks a certain distance above that, on whatever surface it is they construct them. Those of you who have seen praying mantis egg sacks might remember how high off the ground they were; take note, and wait and see.