If It Begins To Rain From The South

If it begin to Rain from the South, with a high Wind for two or

three Hours, and the Wind falls, but the Rain continues, it is like

to rain twelve Hours or more, and does usually rain till a strong North

Wind clears the Air. These long Rains seldom hold above twelve

Hours, or happen above once a Year.

THIS depends entirely upon Observation, and Experience shews us that

whenever the Wind falls, Rain follow
. It has been likewise observed,

that when the Wind changes often there fall heavy Rains. All these

Alterations in the Atmosphere, are less observed by Men than by

Animals, for two Reasons. The first is, that we live much within Doors,

by which they are less obvious to us, and it is for this Reason that

the Husbandman, Seamen, Fishermen, but above all Shepherds, who are

more in the open Air than other Men, are better acquainted with, and

more able to distinguish and judge of the Signs of the Alteration of

the Weather, than those who live altogether within Doors, or go out but

seldom. Another Reason is our having so many Things to mind, which

takes off our Thoughts, and renders us less attentive to the Signals

which would give up Notice of such Alterations. It is for this Reason

that we ought to serve ourselves of that Sort of Instinct which Nature

has given to other Animals, and which as it is a Gift of Nature, is in

a Manner infallible.

THUS if small Birds prune themselves and duck and make a shew of

washing. If Crows make a great Noise in the Evening, if Geese gaggle

more than usual, these are all Signs of Rain, because these Animals

love wet Weather, and rejoice at the approach of it. On the other Hand,

if Oxen lie on their Right Sides, look towards the South, and lick

their Hoofs, if Cows look up in the Air, and snuff it, if Asses bray

violently, and if Cocks crow at unusual Hours, but especially when a

Hen and Chickens crowd into the House, these are sure Signs of Rain.

INSECTS also are very sensible of such Changes of Weather. Frogs croak

more than ordinary, Worms creep out of the Ground, Moles throw up more

Earth than usual, because such Weather is more agreeable to them;

Hornets, Wasps, and Gnats, sting more frequently against wet Weather

than in fair. Spiders are restless and uneasy, and frequently drop from

the Wall, the humid Air getting into their Webs and making them heavy.

But the surest and most certain Sign is taken from Bees, which are more

incommoded by Rain than almost any other Creatures, and therefore, as

soon as the Air begins to grow heavy, and the Vapours to condense, they

will not fly from their Hives, but either remain in them all Day, or

else fly but to a small Distance.