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What They Say In New England
you see the sun drawing water at night, know that it will rain on the
morrow. The sun is said to be drawing water when its rays can be seen
shining through rifts in distant clouds.
As the old woman said, "I never knew it to begin in the mornin' and rain all day in my life. But I've known it to begin at noon and rain all day lots of times."
Six weeks after you hear the first katydid look for a frost.
Notice your cat when it washes its face. The paw it uses and the direction it faces will show the point of compass whence the wind is blowing. For instance, the cat faces the north and washes with its left paw; the wind is blowing from the north-west.
Blow out a candle, and if the wick continues long to smoulder, look for bad weather. If it goes out quickly, the weather will be fair.
When the camphor in its bottle is "riley," it shows that a storm is brewing.
is a rainbow jingle much like this, which runs as follows:
When you hear the first frogs in the spring, you may know the frost is out of the ground.
The last Friday of each month is the almanac index for the next month. If the weather is fair, the month will be likewise; if foul, so will the month be.
The twelve days after Christmas indicate the weather for the following year. Each day in order shows the weather for one month.
If it storms the first Sunday in the month, it will storm every Sunday in the month.
you take up the tea-kettle and find sparks on the bottom, it is a
sign of cold weather.
When a person kills a snake he does well to consider what kind of weather he would like. If he hangs the snake up, it will rain; if he buries it, the weather will be fair.
Rub a cat's back the wrong way, and if you see sparks, it is a sign of cold weather.
If the sun sets in a cloud; it will rain on the morrow. The person who takes this saying as literally true would do well to remember that unless the cloud that hides the sun from his sight is extremely large, a spectator a short distance to the north or south would at the same moment see the sun set in clear sky.
If you see sun-dogs, expect rain soon.
In winter when you see the wild geese flying south, expect cold weather. They fly south because the ponds to the north are frozen over. When the geese are seen flying north, warm weather is to be expected.
Three white frosts and then a storm.
When you see whitecaps on the pond or river, it is going to rain.
When the smoke from a chimney does not rise, but falls to the ground, it is going to storm.
When the squirrels lay in a big store of nuts, look for a hard winter.
foggy mornings and then a rain.
If the corn-husks are thicker than usual, the winter will be colder than usual.
If the melt of the hog killed in the fall is big at the front end, the winter will be sharpest at the beginning. If the melt is biggest at the rear, the winter will be coldest in the latter part.
If in the autumn you find the skin of the apples tougher than usual, look for a cold winter.
When the cattle lie down as soon as they are turned out to pasture in the morning, it is because they feel a rheumatic weariness in their bones, and you can look for a rain soon.
the chickens' feathers are very thick at Thanksgiving time, the
winter will be a hard one.
A ringing in the ears is the sign of a change of weather. Others say it is a sign that several people are talking about you.
When the rooster crows at nine o'clock in the evening, expect a change of weather.
If the chickens come out while it rains, it is a sign that the storm is to be a long one. If they stand around under the shed, the storm will be short.
If it rains on the first dog-day, it will rain on each of the other thirty-nine. If, on the other hand, the first dog-day is dry, all the rest will be dry.
the chickweed blossoms are open, it will not rain for at least three
But if instead of rising the fog descends, it is going to clear off.
If you see froth along the shores of the streams, you may know it is going to rain.
On such mornings as you see the cobwebs on lawns and grass-fields shining with dew, the day will be fair.
All signs fail in a dry time.
When the farm animals are unusually frisky, it is a sign that it is going to rain.
If the breast-bones of the Thanksgiving chickens are light in color, there will be a good deal of snow in the winter following. If the color is dark, there will be little snow.
When a night passes and no dew falls, it is a sign it is going to rain. This omen loses much of its mystery when one remembers that dew has not fallen because the night was clouded.
Northern lights are a sign of cold weather.
After the frogs begin to sing in the spring, if they are frozen in three times,
you may be sure that afterwards you will have warm weather.
When the fire snaps and sparkles, it is a sign cold weather is coming.
If some night you hear a cricket chirping in the house, look for cold weather soon.
When the wind whistles about the house, that is a sign of a storm.
When you hear an owl hoot, it is safe to conclude it is going to storm.
When you hear a cuckoo calling, you may know it is going to rain. Bob White sings at such times too. Some say he is calling, "More wet, more wet." When you hear the tree-toads crying, you can also know it is going to rain.
If the rooster crows on the fence, it is a sign that the weather is going to change.
If the rooster crows when be goes to bed,
He will get up with a wet head.
If the water boils out of the kettle, it is a sign that it is going to storm.
If the snow on the roof melts off, the next storm will be rain. If it blows off, you can calculate on snow.
The day of the month on which the first snowstorm comes gives the number
of storms you can expect in the following winter.
the breast-bone of the Thanksgiving goose is dark, it shows that you
will have more rain in the succeeding winter than snow.
jingle referring to much the same kind of a clouded sky is this:
If you see an old cat running and playing and feeling good, it is a sign the wind is going to blow.
The sun shines every Saturday but one in the year. On some Saturdays there may not be more than a few stray gleams, but with the single exception it will at least shine a little.
If the sun sets clear on Friday, it will storm before Monday night.
when you want the wind to blow.
If the cat comes in and sits on the hearth with its back to the north, it is a sign of cold weather.
If you see the cat or the dog eating grass, you may look for rain soon.
If the children find the dog eating grass when they do not wish it to rain, they will chase him away, with the idea to in that way gain fair weather.
When the scales are thick on the buds, the winter will be long and cold.
If it rains while the sun shines, it will rain on the day following.
When it rains thus, the saying is that "the devil is whipping his wife."
When in the evening you see the swallows flying high, the morrow will be fair. When the swallows fly low, it is a sign of rain.
When the leaves of the poplars or other trees turn up their under sides, look for rain. Know, too, that it is going to rain when you see the hens "greasing" themselves.
When of a morning you find tiny heaps of dirt thrown up by the ants during the night in the hard-packed earth of the paths and dooryard, you can calculate on a fair day.
When the coals in the old fireplace were ruddy, and the fire burned up brightly, it was said cold weather was approaching. When the fire sparkled and snapped, they expected wind.
A curdly sky is the sign of a rain within three days.
If the ice on the trees melts and runs off, the next storm will be rain. If it is cracked off by the wind, the storm that comes next will be snow.
If you see an unusual number of crows flying about in the autumn, look for a cold winter. This is accounted a very sensible saying by some, on the ground that many more of the birds will naturally be hovering about on their way south when a hard winter is approaching than when the season promises to be mild.
the sky looks brassy in the west at sunset, it is a sign of high
Thunder after midnight means that the next day will be lowery.
If the sun shines clear in the early morning, and then the sky very soon clouds up, it will rain before night:
When you see the frogs jumping around in the meadows with greater activity than common, look for rain soon.
When you hear the frogs piping of an evening, you can calculate on a fair morrow.
When the chimney swallows flock out in great numbers, and dart about high in the air, diving and whirling in great excitement, there is soon to be a thunder-storm or a high wind.
Snowy winter, a plentiful harvest. The snow is supposed to protect the roots of grass, vines, and trees, so that they put forth more vigorous growths the summer following.
If March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb. If it comes in like a lamb, it will go out like a lion.
Kill a beetle, and it will be sure to bring rain.
that comes in the old of the moon is apt to last. Snow that comes in
the new of the moon is apt to melt quickly.
When you see the pigs carry straws in their mouths, look for high winds.
peck of March dust is worth a bag of gold. The idea is that when you
have much dust blowing about there must be much wind; and winds at
that season dry the mud, and prepare the earth so that all crops can
get an early start.
That is, you can expect rain when the clouds open and shut.
When the wind is in the east,
neither good for man nor beast.
This means that if early in a cloudy morning the sun comes out for a little, it will rain by noon.
The sunlight always dawns on the wall on Easter morning.
after it has been raining you can see through the clouds enough blue
sky to make a pair of Dutchman's breeches, you may know it is going
to clear off.
savage rhyme must have descended from very ancient times. The idea
is, that when the old man found the second of February clear, and
remembered that this meant there was still hard winter weather ahead,
he wished his wife dead because of the trouble it would be to support
The old farmer at this time takes a critical survey of his woodpile and haymow; and if there is not in them half what there was at the beginning of winter, he lays plans for their replenishing before the opening of the new season.
It is related that there
was a time when the men would occupy a part of their leisure on
Christmas Day in making a tour of the neighbors to see how their hay
was holding out.
It's a sign of rain when the flies bite.
As long as the dogstar reigns, there will be dry weather.
"I was sure 'twas goin' to rain when I started out this mornin', it looked so dark and dull. Then I see one o' these little whirlwinds, and it turned around from right to left like you wind your watch, and I knew we wouldn't have no rain that day anyhow." A whirlwind has to turn from left to right to mean rain.
On some days of autumn you may see the grass full of stringy lines of cobwebs that make a glistening path sunward. They are a sign of frost.
When it begins to snow, notice the size of the flakes. If they are very fine, the storm will be a long one ; if large, the storm will soon be over.
When you see a cloud in the sky that grows larger, it is going to storm. When you see a cloud grow smaller and melt away, it is going to be fair.
There is going to be a change of weather when you hear the telegraph poles buzz. It is going to be either colder or warmer.
It is a sign of a storm when you see the sheep feeding more eagerly than usual.
If a storm clears off in the night, you can expect another storm soon.
The bones of rheumatic people ache when a storm is brewing.
boys," says the farmer, "you want to hustle round this morning and get
that hay in. My bones have been achin', and there's always a storm
within forty-eight hours after they begin to ache."