Old-Time Country Wisdom & Lore: 1000s of Traditional Skills for Simple Living
Jerry Mack Johnson
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when damp and limp, it indicates rain. • Mushrooms and toadstools are abundant before rain. • Clover tells us that rain is coming by turning up its leaves, showing their light undersurface. • If milkweed closes at night, rain will follow. • Before precipitation the leaves of the linden, plane, poplar, and sycamore trees expose more of their undersides when fluttering in the wind. • Rain can be expected when the pink-eyed pimpernel closes during the day. • Before a storm, trees turn dark. • When
ifbut few spots are evident, a mild winter is due. • After martins appear there will be no killing frost. Days~ Months~ Seasons~ and Years Rural folk paid special attention to weather during winter and spring because ofits effects on the seasons of planting and harvesting. Saints' days were believed to have particular influence on the weather. Day bring clouds and rain, winter is gone and won't come again. • Badger, bear, and woodchuck come forth at noon on Candlemas Day to look for their
kept in mind at all times. These general rules were closely observed and followed by the most accurate early-day weather prognosticators. To improve your own forecasting skill always keep these in mind: • In forecasting weather the critical moments of the day are sunrise and sunset. • All weather signs fail in a drought. The same theory is true during a wet spell. At these times nature is caught in a rut and reverses itself slowly. • On most occasions the weather is very sure to declare itselfby
together by similarity of size, form, and methods of searching for food. Flight patterns, too, differ. Some birds-blackbirds, wax-wings, snow buntings, shore birds-move in close formation; others, such as vultures, blue jays, warblers, larks, and bluebirds, fly in loose order. Still others travel separately-owls, wrens, shrikes, grebes, kingfishersflocking occasionally where food is abundant along the way. In certain species males migrate first, reaching their breeding grounds to stake out
recognize changes of temperature within a fraction of a degree. A highly developed sense of "touch" helps fish to reject objects that they cannot eat. The larger the size of a fish the faster it can swim. A general rule is that fish can swim about eight miles per hour for each foot of body length. A fish striking a bait or making any other sudden move can accelerate to about 50 per cent more than its usual cruising speed. Fish can hear low-frequency sounds from all directions by means of an "ear"