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1 Weather Folklore on Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:48 pm


Weather Folklore
The weather signs are taken from "The Household Cyclopedia of General Information" by Henry Hartshorne, M.D., published by Thomas Kelly, New York, in 1881.

A few of the traditional weather signs that are common to weather folklore, useful alike to the seaman, farmer, and gardener, are the following:

By Observing Sky Color
Whether clear or cloudy, a rosy sky at sunset presages fine weather; a red sky in the morning bad weather, or much wind (perhaps rain); a gray sky in the morning, fine weather; a high dawn, wind; a low dawn, fair weather.

Also, a bright yellow sky at sunset presages wind; a pale yellow, wet; and thus by the prevalence of red, yellow, or gray tints the coming weather may be foretold very nearly; indeed, if aided by instruments, almost exactly.

By Observing Clouds
Soft-looking or delicate clouds foretell fine weather, with moderate or light breezes; hard-edged, oily-looking clouds, wind. A dark, gloomy, blue sky is windy, but a light, bright, blue sky indicates fine weather.

Generally, the softer clouds look, the less wind (but perhaps more rain) may be expected; and the harder, more "greasy," rolled, tufted, or ragged, the stronger the coming wind will prove.

Small, inky-looking clouds foretell rain; light scud-clouds driving across heavy masses show wind and rain, but, if alone, may indicate wind only.

High, upper clouds crossing the sun, moon, or stars, in a direction different from that of the lower clouds, or the wind then felt below, foretell a change of wind.

After clear, fine weather, the first signs in the sky of a coming change are usually light streaks, curls, wisps, or mottled patches of white distant clouds, which increase and are followed by an overcasting of murky vapor that grows into cloudiness. This appearance, more or less oily, or watery, as wind or rain will prevail, is an infallible sign.

Usually, the higher and more distant such clouds seem to be, the more gradual but general the coming change of weather will prove.

Light, delicate, quiet tints or colors, with soft, undefined forms of clouds, indicate and accompany fine weather, but gaudy or unusual hues, with hard, definitely outlined clouds, foretell rain, and probably strong wind.

Misty clouds forming or hanging on heights, show wind, if they remain, increase, or descend. If they rise or disperse, the weather will improve or become fine.

By Observing Bird And Animal Behaviors
When sea birds fly out early, and far to seaward, moderate wind and fair weather may be expected; when they hang about the land, or over it sometimes flying inland, expect a strong wind with stormy weather.

As many creatures besides birds are affected by the approach of rain or wind, such weather folklore indications should not be slighted by an observer who wishes to foresee weather.

There are other signs of a coming change in the weather, known less generally than may be desirable, and therefore, worth notice, such as when birds of long flight, rooks, swallows, or others, hang about home, and fly up and down or low, rain or wind may be expected.

Also, when animals seek sheltered places, instead of spreading over their usual range; when pigs carry straw to their styes; when smoke from chimneys does not ascend readily (or straight upwards during calm), an unfavorable change is probable.

By Observing Dew And Fog
Dew is an indication of fine weather; so is fog. Neither of these two formations occurs under an overcast sky, or when there is much wind. One sees fog occasionally rolled away, as it were, by wind, but seldom or never formed while it is blowing.

Remarkable clearness of atmosphere near the horizon; distant objects, such as hills, usually visible, or raised (by refraction), and what is called "a good hearing day," may be mentioned among the signs of wet, if not wind, to be expected.

By Observing Night Sky
More than usual twinkling of the stars, indistinctness or apparent multiplication of the moon's horns, haloes, "wind-dogs," and the rainbow, are more or less significant of increasing wind, it not approaching rain, with or without wind.

Near land, in sheltered harbors, in valleys, or over low ground, there is usually a marked diminution of wind during part of the night, and a dispersion of clouds. At such times an eye on an overlooking height may see an extended body of vapor below (rendered visible by the cooling of night), which seems to check the wind.

By Observing Wind Movement
Another general rule requires attention, which is, that the wind usually appears to veer, shift, or go round with the sun (right-handed, or from left to right), and that when it does not do so, or backs, more wind or bad weather may be expected, instead of improvement.

Enjoy experimenting with the old-fashioned weather folklore. Your accuracy in interpreting the weather signs will improve with practice.

Here is an added bonus...

How To Make A Pioneer Weather Indicator
Carefully tie a rope around a rock and hang it perpendicular from the branch of a tree so that it rests about two feet from the ground. If the rock hangs still, there's no wind; if it sways to and fro, there's a moderate wind blowing; if it hangs level with the branch, there's a hurricane; if it's wet, it's raining; if it has snow on it, it's snowing; if it's missing, somebody stole it.

Sorry, but I couldn't resist a wee bit of weather folklore humor.

2 Re: Weather Folklore on Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:54 pm


I enjoyed reading these some are funny

Old-Fashioned Household Tips And Tricks
These old fashioned household tips and tricks are taken from a number of vintage publications, including "Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping," "The Perry Home Cook Book," "The White House Cook Book," and "Young's Demonstrative Translation of Scientific Secrets."

Enjoy experimenting with these old-time household tips and tricks. You are sure to find an idea or two that will help you with a household problem.

Household Tips And Tricks Continued

Troublesome Ants
A heavy chalk mark laid a finger's distance from your sugar box and all around (there must be no space not covered) will surely prevent ants from troubling.

To Drive Off Fleas
Sprinkle about area a few drops of oil of lavender.

To Keep Flies Off Items
Boil three or four onions in a pint of water and apply with a soft brush, let dry.

To Prevent Lost Children
Label children's hats, scarves, etc., with the name and place of residence so that, if lost, they may be easily restored.

To Soften Hard Water
Hard water becomes nearly soft by boiling.

Household Tips And Tricks Continued

Coal Ashes For Walking On
Make excellent garden walks with coal ashes. They become very hard by use, and no weeds or grass will grow through them.

To Temper Glass
Lamp chimneys and glassware for hot water are made less liable to break by putting in cold water, bringing slowly to boiling point, boiling for an hour, and allowing to cool before removing from the water.

To Start A Fire In Damp, Still Weather
Light a few bits of shavings or paper placed upon the top of grate; thus by the heated air's forcing itself into the chimney and establishing there an upward current, the room is kept free from the gas and smoke which is so apt to fill it, and the fire can then be lighted from below with good success.

To Preserve Old Books
Bindings may be preserved from mildew by brushing them over with spirits of wine. A few drops of perfumed oil will secure libraries from the consuming effects of mold and damp. The Romans used oil of cedar to preserve valuable manuscripts.

To Hang Pictures
The cheapest and best material with which to hang pictures is copper wire, of a size proportioned to the weight of the pictures. When hung the wire is scarcely visible, and its strength and durability is wonderful.

Household Tips And Tricks Continued

Finish For Room
A room with plain white walls is finished beautifully by placing a black walnut (or the same wood with which the room is finished) molding, around the room where the border of paper is usually placed, at the junction of wall and ceiling. The molding, finished in oil, is easily put up. The upper edge should be rounded, and a space of a quarter inch left between it and the ceiling.

To hang pictures, buy an "S" hook, sold at all hardware stores, place one hook over the molding, hang the picture cord on the other, and slip to the right or left to the desired position. This saves the wall from injury for picture nails.

Laying Carpets
A carpet wears better if put down well, and it is better to have it done by experienced persons when the expense can be afforded and such help can be had.

Stair Carpets
They will wear much longer if extra thicknesses of paper are placed over the edge of each stair, the full width of the carpet, before fastening down.

A Cheap Carpet
Make a cover for the floor of the cheapest cotton cloth. Tack it down like a carpet, paper it as you would a wall with paper resembling a carpet in figures, let it dry, varnish with two coats of varnish, and with reasonable usage it will last two years.

Household Tips And Tricks Continued

To Soften Corks
When corks are too large to go into a bottle, throw them into hot water a few moments, and they will soften.

To Keep Cutlery From Rust
Wipe dry, and wrap in coarse brown paper.

To Prevent Iron Rust
Kerosine applied to stoves or farming implements, during summer, will prevent their rusting.

To Destroy Cockroaches
The following is said to be effectual: These vermin are easily destroyed, simply by cutting up green cucumbers at night, and placing them about where roaches commit depredations. What is cut from the cucumbers in preparing them for the table answers the purpose as well, and three applications will destroy all the roaches in the house. Remove the peelings in the morning, and renew them at night.

To Banish Rats Or Mice
Sprinkling cayenne pepper in their holes will banish them.

Household Tips And Tricks Continued

Everlasting Fence Posts
I discovered many years ago that wood could be made to last longer than iron in the ground, but thought the process so simple and inexpensive that it was not worthwhile making any stir about it.

I would as soon have poplar, basswood, or quaking ash as any other kind of timber for fence posts. I have taken out basswood posts after having been set seven years, which were as sound when taken out as when they were first put in the ground. Time and weather seemed to have no effect on them. The posts can be prepared for less than two cents a piece [circa 1860].

This is the recipe: Take boiled linseed oil and stir it in pulverized charcoal to the consistency of paint. Put a coat of this over the timber, and there is not a man that will live to see it rotten.

Honey Uses
Honey is good for sore throat; also good for bee stings.

To Treat Neuralgia
For neuralgia nothing is better than a muslin bag filled with hot salt.

For headache
2 or 3 slices of lemon in a cup of strong tea will cure a nervous headache.

For Bilious Headache
A teaspoon full of lemon juice in a small cup of black coffee will relieve a bilious headache.

Household Tips And Tricks Continued

To Mend A Crack On Inside Of Kitchen Range
Use a filling made of equal parts of wood ashes and common salt, made up into paste with a little water, and plastered over the crack. This will prove hard and lasting whether the stove, etc., be cold or hot.

To Keep Out Red Ants
A small quantity of green sage placed in a pantry will keep out red ants.

To Cure A Burn
Cut open and scrape a raw potato, bind on burn. Repeat if burning sensation returns.

Cure For Hiccoughs
Sit erect and inflate the lungs fully. Then, retaining the breath, bend forward slowly until the chest meets the knees. After slowly rising again to the erect position, slowly exhale the breath. Repeat this process a second time, and the nerves will be found to have received an excess of energy that will enable them to perform their natural functions.

Flowers May Be Kept Very Fresh Overnight
If they are excluded from the air. To do this, wet them thoroughly, put in a damp box, and cover with wet newspaper, then place in a cool spot.

Household Tips And Tricks Continued

To Clean Hands
Tomato juice will remove stains from and whiten the hands.

To Keep Bar Soap
For this household tip to work with modern soap, you must first remove the bars of soap from their wrappers and allow them to dry out. Not only do the dry bars last longer, but they leave less of a soap residue in the soap dish. This tip works!

It is a great saving to have bars of soap dry. Dry, hard bars will last longer when used. It should be bought by the quantity.

To Soften Hands
Mutton tallow is considered excellent to soften the hands. It may be rubbed on at any time when the hands are perfectly dry. Another good rule is to rub well in dry oatmeal after every washing, and be particular regarding the quantity of soap. Cheap soap and hard water are the unknown enemies of many people, and the cause of rough skin and chapped hands. Castile soap and rain water will sometimes cure without any other assistance.

To Soften Hands After Soapsuds
One can have the hands in soapsuds with soft soap without injury to the skin if the hands are dipped in vinegar or lemon juice immediately after. The acids destroy the corrosive effects of the alkali, and make the hands soft and white.

To Soften Hands Where Roughened
Indian meal and vinegar or lemon juice used on hands where roughened by cold or labor will heal and soften them. Rub the hands in this, then wash off thoroughly.

Household Tips And Tricks Continued

To Prevent Wooden Bedsteads Creaking
If a bedstead creaks at each movement of the sleeper, remove the slats, and wrap the ends of each in old newspapers.

To Prevent The Cracking Of Bottles And Fruit Jars
If a bottle or fruit jar that has been more than once used is placed on a towel thoroughly soaked in hot water, there is little danger of its being cracked by the introduction of a hot liquid.

To Preserve Oil Cloth
If oil cloth be occasionally rubbed with a mixture of beeswax and turpentine, it will last longer.

Packing Glass Bottles
India-rubber bands slipped over them will prevent breakage.

To Remove Putty
A red-hot iron will soften old putty so that it can be easily removed.

Household Tips And Tricks Continued

To Make Rag Rugs
Cut rags and sew hit and miss, or fancy-striped as you choose; use wooden needles, round, smooth, and pointed at one end, of any convenient length. The knitting is done back and forth, always taking off the first stitch. --Anna F. Hisey

To Make A Rustic Picture Frame
A neat, rustic frame for pictures may be made of cattail rods. Hide the corners where they are joined with handsome autumn leaves and the berries of bittersweet.

To Make An Ant Trap
Procure a large natural sponge, wash it well and press it dry, which will leave the cells quite open; then sprinkle it with fine white sugar, and place it near where the ants are troublesome. The ants will soon collect upon the sponge and take up their abode in its cells. It is then only necessary to dip the sponge in boiling water, when the ants will be destroyed, and it may be set over and over again.

To send Messages in Cypher
These old household tips and tricks are great for keeping kids busy playing international spies on a rainy day.

Any document written in cypher, by which signs are substituted for letters, or even for words, is liable to be deciphered. The following plans are free from such objection:

The correspondents select two copies of the same edition of a book, the word to be used is designated by figures referring to the page, line, and number of the word in the line.

Or, the message may be written on a slip of paper wound spirally around a rod of wood; these can only be deciphered by bringing them into their original position, by wrapping around a second rod of the same size.

Household Tips And Tricks Continued

Castor Oil as a Dressing for Leather
Castor oil, besides being an excellent dressing for leather, renders it vermin-proof; it should be mixed, say half and half, with tallow or other oil. Neither rats, roaches, nor other vermin will attack leather so prepared.

Substitute for a Corkscrew
These old household tips and tricks might come in handy sometime when you find yourself without a corkscrew.

A convenient substitute for a corkscrew, when the latter is not at hand, may be found in the use of a common wood screw, with an attached string to pull the cork.

Another: Stick two forks vertically into the cork on opposite sides, not too near the edge. Run the blade of a knife through the two, and give a twist.

Another: Fill the hollow at the bottom of the bottle with a handkerchief or towel; grasp the neck with one hand, and strike firmly and steadily with the other upon the handkerchief.

Household Tips And Tricks Continued

To Keep Up Sash Windows
This is performed by means of cork, in the simplest manner, and with scarcely any expense. Bore 3 or 4 holes in the sides of the sash, into which insert common bottle cork, projecting about the sixteenth part of an inch. These will press against the window frames along the usual groove, and by their elasticity support the sash at any height which may be required.

To Repel Moths
Instead of moth balls, try using dried lavender blossoms, dried mint leaves, or cedar shavings (the kind available as pet bedding works well). The odors of these natural materials are pleasant, yet they repel moths, and there are no dangers involved as with moth balls.

Moth balls are poisonous and are considered a pesticide. Avoid inhaling moth ball fumes and do not use them around young children and pets.

Old-Fashioned White Wash Recipe
7-1/2 lbs unslaked lime, 1-1/2 lbs rock salt, 3/4 lbs cement. Dissolve salt in 1 gallon of cold water. Pour the salt solution on the lime. Next add 1-1/2 gallons of water to the lime slowly allowing it to slake (it will get very hot). Finally, sprinkle the cement on a little at a time and stir mixture thoroughly. Be sure to apply this wash while it is still hot.

The white wash will take about 2 days to harden, but after it hardens it will withstand almost any amount of rain or washing. Warning: Do not spill this mixture on your skin or clothing. It gets very hot, and lime will burn.

Household Tips And Tricks Continued

For A Flower Bowl
Cut a piece of stiff paper the shape and size of the top of an ordinary bowl. Cut holes in it, as many as desired, for the stems of real or artificial flowers. Fit paper in bowl and put flower stems through holes.

To Make Rice Glue
Mix rice flour smoothly with cold water, and simmer it over a slow fire, when it will form a delicate and durable cement, not only answering all the purposes of common paste, but well adapted for joining paper and card board ornamental work. Rice glue is excellent for use in scrapbooks.

Economy In Carpets
In buying a carpet, as in everything else, those of the best quality are cheapest in the end. As it is extremely desirable that they should look as clean as possible, avoid buying a carpet that has any white in it. Even a small portion of white interspersed through the pattern will in a short time give it a dingy appearance.

If you cannot obtain a hearth rug that exactly corresponds with the carpet, get one entirely different, for a decided contrast looks better than a bad match.

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