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Weather: Offering gifts to Tlaloc, God of Rain made presence felt in April

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news Bemidji, 56619

Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

The Aztecs worshiped Tlaloc, the God of Rain. He was feared for his ability to bring not only rain but lightning, thunder and hail. Pilgrims would climb to the top of Mt. Tlaloc, a 13,000-foot mountain in Central Mexico, to leave gifts for the god. You may find it comforting to know that Tlaloc was married to Xochiquetzai, the Goddess of Flowers. Then again, maybe not. She was kidnapped, and Tlaloc then married the goddess Chalchiuhtlicue - "She of The Jade Skirt."

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Tlaloc visited northwest Minnesota in April. Reports from area weather observers averaged around 4 inches of precipitation. Bemidji's average precipitation in April is 1.75 inches. Normally I would say it rained cats and dogs. But I'm not allowed to have pets at the house I'm renting, so as Norwegians say "Det regner trollkjerringer." Which translates to "It's raining female trolls."

Although spared the major flooding that occurred in other parts of the state, many Bemidji area roads were periodically water-covered. Pioneer carriers reported water covering roads in the Turtle River area as well as southwest Beltrami County.

It is wise to remember to that each year more deaths can be attributed to flooding than any other weather-related phenomenon. Never attempt to cross areas where the water is flowing fast, and be especially cautious at night when it is more difficult to see potential flood hazards. The National Weather Service advises "Turn Around, Don't Drown."

So climb the nearest hill, and offer your gift to Tlaloc. Here is mine, care of Ogden Nash's Always Marry An April Girl:

April golden, April cloudy

Gracious, cruel, tender, rowdy;

April soft in flowered languor,

April cold with sudden anger.

Tom Siemers is the Pioneer's circulation manager. Email him at tsiemers@bemidjipioneer.com

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