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been mentioned by many writers, both ancient and modern : when Cocks crow at uncommon hours, and clap their wings a great deal, it is said to be a sign of rain ; as is the appearance of the Redbreast near houses.

Sparrows chirp particularly loud during rain, and often begin before it falls, affording thereby for some time previously a prognostic of its coming.

If Toads come from their holes in great numbers ; if Moles throw up the earth more than usual; if Bats squeak or enter the houses; if Asses shake their ears and bray much; if Hogs shake and destroy the cornstalks; if Oxen lick their forefeet, or lie on their right side; or if mice contend together or squeak much, according to many authors we may expect rain. Sheep and other cattle gamboling or running about and appearing very uneasy also portend the same.

Sometimes previous to rain, Sheep and Goats seem more desirous to graze, and quit with reluctance their pastures.

Among other things the activity of Ants in carrying about their eggs, the voice of the solitary Crow, and the frequent immersion of many waterfowl, have been considered as indications of rain.

The garrulity of Crows, Ravens, Rooks, and other birds of this sort, is indeed well known; “ Corvus aquatis a proverb cited by Erasmus : but we must distinguish between the voice of the Raven before rain, perched solitary on a tree and uttering a harsh cry, from his deep and peculiarly modulated voice when sailing round and round high up in the air before and during serene weather.*

The hooting and screeching of Owls often indicates a change of weather. They hoot in fact during variable weather: when fair is about to be changed for wet, or wet for fair, a similar disturbance of their feelings from atmospherical causes probably takes place, which makes them hoot more than ordinary. Refer to Virgil's observations in Georg. lib. i. and Professor Heyne's note on them. Authors have added, the snapping of the flame of a candle or lamp, mentioned by Aratus and Virgil, as a sign of wet.

Hesiod mentioned the singing of a bird, which he calls Kuuuuě, as foreboding three days’ rain; and a Leipsick editor understands by it a Cuckoo.

The Missletoe Thrush Turdus viscivorus frequently sings particularly loud and long before rain. We have known this bird sing throughout a severe storm. It is from this circumstance called the Stormcock.

* For numerous collateral passages about this and other prognostics, we must refer to an edition of the Diosemeia of Aratus, London, 1815. This work is reprinted in the Classical Journal published by Mr. Valpy.

Mariners at sea expect a Storm when the Stormy Petrels Procellariae pelagicae shelter themselves in numbers under the wake of the vessel.

Pennant observes, that on the Island of St. Kilda the Fulmar Procellaria glacialis is very useful in foreboding the direction of the wind. When these birds return to the land in numbers, there will be no West wind for a long time; when, on the contrary, they return to the Ocean, a Zephyr is expected. Several prognostics of Storms are mentioned by the old Greek writers which are not observed on our shores, neither do we know exactly what birds they alluded to. Previous to windy weather Pigs seem very uneasy, and run about throwing up their heads and squeaking: hence it is said that they can see the wind.

Magpies before and during wind fly about in small companies, and make a fluttering noise.

When Seagulls come in numbers to shore, and make a noise about the coast; or when, at sea, they alight on ships, the sailors consider it a sure foreboding of a Storm. These circumstances were known of old. Before Storms, too, the Porpus, Dolphin, and Grampus, come to the shore in large bodies.

When Dolphins play about the surface of a calm sea, Pliny observes wind may be expected from that quarter from which they have come. Authors have added tame Swans flying against the wind as a sign of rain, which we have observed to be true at Withyham, where Swans and numerous other waterfowl inhabit the ponds. See March 5.

March 4. St. Casimir, Prince of Poland in 1483.

St. Lucius, Pope in 253. St. Adrian, Bishop of St. Andrews.

Flora. GRAPE Hyacinth Hyacinthus botryoides flowers. This plant should be distinguished from the H. racemosus, which much resembles it, and flowers about the same time. The fine dark blue colour of these species, flowering on parterres, as yet very bare of bloom, has a very pretty appearance. The Grape Hyacinth is a native of the southern parts of Europe, but bears the winter well, and is apt to increase very much by offsets from its roots.

Pales.-Dyer, in his Poem of The Fleece, gives a very excellent description of the sporting of young Lambs in this month:

Now spread around thy tenderest diligence
In flowery springtime, when the newdropt Lamb,

Tottering with weakness by his mother's side,
Feels the fresh world about him, and each thorn,
Hillock, or furrow, trips his feeble feet:
Oh! guard his meek sweet innocence from all
The innumerous ills that rush around his life!
Mark the quick kite, with beak and talons prone,
Circling the skies to snatch him from the plain!
Observe the lurking crows ! beware the brake,
There the sly Fox the careless minute waits!
Nor trust thy neighbour's Dog, nor earth, nor sky:
Thy bosom to a thousand cares divide !
Eurus oft slings his hail; the tardy fields
Pay not their promised food; and oft the dam
O'er her weak twins with empty udder mourns,
Or fails to guard, when the bold bird of prey
Alights, and hops in many turns around,
And tires her, also turning: to her aid
Be nimble, and the weakest, in thine arms,
Gently convey to the warm cote; and oft,
Between the Lark's note and the Nightingale's,
His hungry bleating still with tepid milk:
In this soft office may thy children join,
And charitable habits learn in sport:
Nor yield him to himself, ere vernal airs

March 5.

St. Adrian and Eubulus Martyrs in 309.

St. Kiaran. St. Roger.

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Boötes citius, Vindemiator tardius occidit cosmicè. —Rom. Cal.

Bootes is a northern constellation near to Ursa Major, also called Bubulcus and Arctophylax. Some suppose it to be Icarus the father of Erigone, who was killed by shepherds for inebriating them. Others maintain that it is Arcas, whom Jupiter placed in heaven.- Ovid. Fast. III. v. 405.Cic. de Nat. D. ii. c. 42.

The principal star in this constellation is Arcturus-see February 11. ' This star, however, as well as its fabulous representative, is distinguished from the constellation to which he belongs; thus it is common to speak of Arcturus in Bootes.

We shall resume today our collection of prognostics of the weather, with which the reader should become acquainted early in the year.

Coelum.– Of Prognostics of Weather taken from the Observance of Plants and Flowers. —Chickweed has been said to be an excellent weatherguide: when the flower expands freely, no rain will fall for many hours; if it so continue open, no rain for a long time need be feared. In showery days the flower appears half concealed, and this state may be regarded as indicative of showery weather; when it is entirely shut, we may expect a rainy day.

If the flowers of the Siberian Sowthistle remain open all night, we may expect rain next day.

Before showers the Trefoil contracts its leaves, as does the Convolvulus, and many other plants.

Lord Bacon observes that the Trefoil has its stalk more erect against rain.

There are, however, many plants whose flowers are opened at particular periods of the day, as the Tragopogon porrifolius and T. pratensis; which do not open their flowers much earlier or later according to the state of the weather.

Lord Bacon mentions a small red flower, growing in stubble fields, called by the country people Wincopipe, probably the Anagallis arvensis, which, if it opens in the morning, ensures us a fine day.

To these, the closing of the flowers of the Pimpernel, and numerous other prognostics, might be added, but it would swell this subject beyond its due limits.

Of the Prognostics of Weather from the Appearance of the Sky.-After clear weather the appearance of light streaks of Curlcloud in the sky is often the first sign of a change. These increase, descend, become Waneclouds, then Stackenclouds form underneath and inosculate, and Rainclouds are the event of the process-begun by fine filaments of the cirrus.

When the Curlcloud is seen in detached tufts, called Mares' Tails, it may be regarded as a sign of wind, which often follows, blowing from the quarter to which the fibrous tails have previously pointed. The change from Curlcloud to Wanecloud, and indeed the great prevalence of the latter cloud at any time, must be regarded as an indication of an impending fall. The most formidable features of this modification are the large spreading and dense sheets of it which veil the sky before rain, and in which the Sun often sets shrouded, foreboding a rainy day.

The prevalence of Wanecloud at eventide had been noticed as a sign of rain long before the specific nature of the different clouds was attended to; and the vivid colours of red and crimson seen in this cloud when the Sun is near the horizon, gave rise to many proverbs about the red evening, and its favourable omen to the traveller; a remark quite as trite among country people, as the grey morning before a fair day. Both these prognostics are noticed by Jesus Christ, and recorded by St. Matthew. But he answered them: In the evening you foretell fair weather when the sky is

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of a bright red; and in the morning foul weather when the sky is of a dusky red."* Dappled grey mornings, or those marked by the lofty confluent nubeculae of the Sondercloud, often usher in a fair warm day.t Indeed the appearance of cirrocumulus in general indicates fairness of the weather. Long cirrostrati and other elevated clouds often alight on the summit of real mountains, as they do on mountainlike cumulostrati, and are equally indicative of wet weather. Descending Mount Jura, in Switzerland, on Monday the 29th of July, 1822, we noticed the tops of the Alps of the Savoy across the Lake to be cloudcapped, particularly Mount Blanc: in twenty minutes afterwards there fell a violent storm.

When the rapid formation and disappearance again of clouds take place in fine days, as is often the case, we may suspect the serenity we enjoy, and look forward to a change. We have seen little Stackenclouds form and disappear in the space of a few minutes; while Curlclouds form, change their figure to spots of Sondercloud, and disappear, at the same time, at a more elevated station.

Luminous phenomena about the Sun by day, or the Moon by night, being generally produced by the intervention of the Wanecloud, indicate the fall of rain, snow, or hail, according to circumstances ; indeed, many of the signs of rain are likewise in winter prognostics of snow.

The Halo is one of the most certain.

When cumuli sailing along have their fleecy protuberances curling inward, variable weather may be expected : such cumuli often rapidly anastomose with cirri or with cirrostratus above them, and produce showers.

When a dense and uniform veil of cloud covers the sky, as is often the case before rain, with a still air, music and noises are heard a great way off, which has caused the far propagation of sounds to be regarded as a prognostic of rain. The sound of distant church bells in the country often serves this prognosticative purpose. We remember well, being in Cornwall in August, 1804, that the bells of St. Vepe on such occasions could be heard as far as Boconnoc.

* Οψιας γενομενης λεγετε ευδιά: πυρραζει ουρανος προϊ σημειον
χειμων: πυρραζει γαρ στυγναζων δ ουρανος.-Μatt. vi. 2.
† An old proverb reminds us,

An evening red, and a morning grey,
Are sure signs of a fine day;
Be the evening grey, and the morning red,

Put on your hat, or you'll wet your head,
The Italians have:

Sera rosa e nigro matino
Allegra il Pelegrino.

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