962. Signs of the Weather.
963. Dew.--If the dew lies plentifully on the grass after a fair day, it is a sign of another fair day. If not, and there is no wind, rain must follow. A red evening portends fine weather; but if the redness spread too far upwards from the horizon in the evening, and especially in the morning, it foretells wind or rain, or both.
964. Colour of Sky.--When the sky, in rainy weather, is tinged with sea green, the rain will increase; if with deep blue, it will be showery.
965. Clouds.--Previous to much rain falling, the clouds grow bigger, and increase very fast, especially before thunder. When the clouds are formed like fleeces, but dense in the middle and bright towards the edges, with the sky bright, they are signs of a frost, with hail, snow, or rain. If clouds form high in air, in thin white trains like locks of wool, they portend wind, and probably rain. When a general cloudiness covers the sky, and small black fragments of clouds fly underneath, they are a sure sign of rain, and probably will be lasting. Two currents of clouds always portend rain, and, in summer, thunder.
966. Heavenly Bodies.--A haziness in the air, which dims the sun's light, and makes the orb appear whitish, or ill-defined--or at night, if the moon and stars grow dim, and a ring encircles the former, rain will follow. If the sun's rays appear like Moses' horns--if white at setting, or shorn of his rays, or if he goes down into a bank of clouds in the horizon, bad weather is to be expected. If the moon looks pale and dim, we expect rain; if red, wind; and if of her natural colour, with a clear sky, fair weather. If the moon is rainy throughout, it will clear at the change, and, perhaps, the rain return a few days after. If fair throughout, and rain at the change, the fair weather will probably return on the fourth or fifth day.
967. Weather Precautions.--If the weather appears doubtful, always take the precaution of having an ambrella when you go out, as you thereby avoid the chance of getting wet--or encroaching under a friend's umbrella--or being under the necessity of borrowing one, which invites the trouble of returning it, and possibly puts the lender to inconvenience.
968. Leech Barometer.--Take an eight-ounce phial, and put in it three gills of water, and place in it a healthy leech, changing the water in summer once a week, and in winter once a fortnight, and it will most accurately prognosticate the weather. If the weather is to be fine, the leech lies motionless at the bottom of the glass, and coiled together in a spiral form; if rain may be expected, it will creep up to the top of its lodgings, and remain there till the weather is settled; if we are to have wind, it will move through its habitation with amazing swiftness, and seldom goes to rest till it begins to blow hard; if a remarkable storm of thunder and rain is to succeed, it will lodge for some days before almost continually out of the water, and discover great uneasiness in violent throes and convulsive-like motions; in frost as in clear summer-like weather it lies constantly at the bottom; and in snow as in rainy weather it pitches its dwelling in the very mouth of the phial. The top should be covered over with a piece of muslin.