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negligible, if indeed it has any influence at all. As has been well said:

The moon and the weather

May change together;
But change of the moon

Does not change the weather.

If we'd no moon at all,

And that may seem strange,
We still should have weather
That's subject to change.

However, the appearance of the moon depends upon the conditions of the atmosphere, and, therefore, proverbs based upon phenomena of this nature are more or less sound and have much value. Thus,

Clear moon,
Frost soon,

Moonlit nights have the heaviest frosts,

and others of this class are true enough, because on the clearest nights the cooling of the earth's surface by radiation is greatest, and hence most likely to cause, through the low temperature reached, precipitation in the form of dew or frost.

The meaning of halos and coronas about the moon has already been explained, and the proverbs connected with them foretelling bad weather fully justified.

The following is a somewhat interesting moon proverb:

Sharp horns do threaten windy weather.

When the air is clear, bad seeing is due to atmospheric inequalities which the free mixing caused by winds will eliminate. When the moon's horns, then, appear sharp-that is, when the seeing is goodwe know that these inequalities do not exist, and the natural inference is that they have been smoothed out by strong overrunning winds, which later may reach the surface of the earth.


The stars, like the sun and the moon, have furnished a number of proverbs concerning the weather, and, while most of them are only nonsense, a few have decided merit, as, for instance,

When the stars begin to huddle,

The earth will soon become a puddle.

This proverb furnishes, in general, a correct forecast. It also affords a curious illustration of the ignorance that once was perhaps it would not be far wrong to say still is-so prevalent in regard to stars.

When a mist, due to the beginning of condensation, forms over the sky the smaller stars cease to be visible, while the brighter ones shine dimly with a blur (really a faint corona) of light about them, each looking like a small, confused cluster of stars. Hence the idea, as above expressed, that stars can huddle together at one time-before a rain—and be scattered asunder at another.

There is also some ground for the proverb that declares the number of stars within a lunar halo to be the number of days before a storm, for the nearer the storm the denser the condensation, and therefore the smaller the number of stars seen through it. However, as an entire day is a pretty long unit of time to use in sign forecasting, it would be better simply to say that the fewer the stars within the ring the nearer the rain, though even in this form it is not very trustworthy, owing to the fact that the brighter stars are unevenly distributed.

An entirely different star phenomenon that has given rise to a few proverbs is twinkling, or the irregularities with which they shine. This fluctuation in their light is caused mainly by irregular refraction, due to numerous inequalities in the distribution of temperature, such as necessarily accompanies the over and under running of air currents of different temperatures and different humidities, a condition that often precedes a storm. Hence the justification of the prosaic proverb that says:

When stars flicker in a dark background rain or snow follows soon.


There are numerous proverbs based on the directions and changes of the wind, but their value, in the main, is only local, except when taken in connection with the height and rate of change of the barometer. However, in middle latitudes the direction of ordinary undisturbed winds is from west to east. Therefore a radically different direction commonly indicates an approaching, or, at any rate, not very distant storm. There is, then, some justification for such proverbs as the following:

When the smoke goes west,

Gude weather is past;

When the smoke goes east,

Gude weather comes neist.

When the wind's in the south,

The rain's in its mouth.

The wind in the west

Suits everyone best.


The height, extent, and shapes of clouds depend upon the humidity and upon the temperature and motion of the atmosphere, and consequently they often furnish reliable warnings of the coming weather. One proverb correctly says:

The higher the clouds, the finer the weather.

The formation of clouds is caused mainly by cooling due to convection, the rising mass of air expanding and losing heat because of the work it does in lifting the weight that presses upon it. Now, the greater the height reached the colder, correspondingly, is the air, and hence we correctly infer that high clouds are formed only at the expense of much cooling, and therefore that the amount of moisture they contain can not be great enough to produce falling or bad weather.

This proverb must be restricted to stratus and other of the more common clouds. It does not apply to those thin wispy or cirrus clouds, the highest of all, that float from 5 to 8 miles above sea level, for, as everyone knows:

Mackerel scales and mares' tails

Make lofty ships carry low sails.

Part of the air that forms the strong upward currents near the center of a storm rises to great heights, where, in middle latitudes, it gets into the swiftly eastward-moving layers that carry it and its ice particles far ahead of the rains. There are other ways by which such clouds can be formed, but that just explained is one of the most common, and as in this case they are only the overrunning portion of a storm that is coming on in the same general direction, the proverb just quoted evidently is well founded.

When the air is rather damp and the day is warm, great cumulus or thunderhead clouds are apt to form, as a result of strong convection, and produce frequent local showers. Hence the following proverb:

When clouds appear like rocks and towers,
The earth's refreshed by frequent showers.

Another interesting phenomenon, familiar to all who live among the mountains, is the formation of a cloud along the highest ridges, due, of course, to the upward deflection of the wind as it blows against their sloping sides. This mechanical or forced convection produces the usual cooling, which, when the air is damp, results in the formation of cloud. Hence the truth of the proverb that tells us:

When the clouds are upon the hills,

They'll come down by the mills.


When the air is full of moisture its temperature tends rapidly to become equalized; the colder places are warmed by condensation and the warmer cooled by evaporation. In this way the atmosphere is freed from the innumerable temperature irregularities that prevail during dry weather, irregularities that, as Tyndal showed many years ago, strongly reflect and dissipate sound. We see, then, that when the air is homogeneous, which it is far more likely to be when damp, it will convey sound much better than it will when filled with inequalities, and hence there is good reason to accept the proverb, and other similar ones, that says:

Sound traveling far and wide

A stormy day will betide.

Not only the hearing, but the seeing as well, is improved by the homogeneity of the atmosphere; and this, too, has its appropriate proverbs, of which the following is a good example:

The farther the sight the nearer the rain.


Under this heading one could include a great variety of proverbs— mostly foolish. However, there are two causes, decrease in atmospheric pressure and increase in humidity, that have led to a number of well-founded proverbs, or rather accurate observations, for they are seldom jingled in the typical proverb manner.

Thus we find it stated that the approach of a storm is marked by the rising of water in wells, by the more abundant flow of certain springs, by the bubbling of marshes, by the bad odors of ditches, and by various other phenomena, all of which are due to that decrease of atmospheric pressure that ordinarily precedes a storm.

The increase of humidity-favorable to precipitation-is noted by the gathering of moisture on cold objects, the collection of perspiration on our own skins owing to diminished evaporation, and the dampness of many hygroscopic substances. The last effect is illustrated by the packing of salt, the tightening of cordage and of strings of musical instruments, the dull or damp appearance of stone walls and columns, the settling of smoke, and by a number of other similar phenomena, all of which have been appealed to, with more or less justification, as evidence of a gathering storm.

Of course, many other weather proverbs, of which those quoted in this article are typical, might be given and explained, but it is hoped that enough from each class have been justified to indicate their importance in all those cases and circumstances where, unfortunately, a weather service can not take the place of weather signs.




Bureau of Entomology.


Although, ordinarily, the insect enemies of live stock do not cause death of animals or even complete disability, the damage is by no means inconsiderable, and the watchful care of the stockman is essential to prevent even more serious loss. Death may be produced either by direct attack, by the introduction of disease germs into the animal through bites, or by accidental self-destruction caused by worry. Animals may be so weakened as to cause certain mild or latent diseases to become acute. Loss of weight and reduced productiveness may be caused by worry, or loss of blood, or both.

The ticks and mites are among the foremost enemies of domestic animals. The former are important as parasites, and one of them, the North American cattle tick, acts as the sole transmitter of splenetic or Texas fever in cattle. Among the mites two forms are especially injurious to live stock, one of these producing the wellknown sheep scab and the other causing mange in cattle. Among the true insects there are in the United States about 200 species which commonly attack domestic animals. It will be possible to discuss only a few of the more important ones in this article.

The flies constitute by far the most important insect enemies of animals in this country and throughout the world. Most of our injurious species have been introduced from other countries, and many of them have practically a cosmopolitan distribution. The traffic in live. stock between practically all parts of the world, together with the rapid-breeding and free-flying habits of most of the flies, has made possible the fast spread and wide distribution.


(Simulium pecuarum Riley.)

The buffalo gnat, so called on account of its resemblance in shape to a buffalo, is a widely distributed insect. It has been found to occur in Alaska and throughout the eastern half of the United States, but it has not been known to appear in great numbers outside of the Mis

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