Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Rain, Rain

Image: Mourning Doves Zenaida macroura (Taken 12-21-2008 after an ice storm - note the ice on the feathers and bills.)

As I sit here typing this afternoon, the Doves are cooing. They usually do this about dusk as they prepare to roost for the evening. Since it's a cloudy day, they're apparently discussing a nap. I often think it's time for a nap on a cloudy afternoon, too.

There's quite a bit of folklore or superstition surrounding the behavior of birds, insects, and the weather. It was important for Native Americans, travelers and farmers to understand and use signs from nature to know when and how to go about their business.

Many hold true today. Here's a few of my favorites concerning rain.

  • Red at night, sailors' delight. Red in the morning, sailors' take warning.
  • Rain before seven (p.m.), quit by eleven (a.m.).
  • Lack of dew in the morning - it will rain later in the day.
  • If the contrails of jets are longer and wider, it will rain.
  • If you can hear the train (in the country) - it isn't going to rain.
  • Before it rains, the birds find perches to sit.
  • Ants will walk in a straight line (and not scatter) back to their nest if rain is imminent.
  • Bees don't fly if it's going to rain soon or if the temperature is below 60 degrees.
  • If there's a ring around the moon at night it will rain within the next three days.
  • A sky that looks like Mackerel scales means it will always rain the next day.
  • Rainbow colors around the moon is an indication there will soon be rain.
  • Kill a snake and hang it in the sun to insure rain the next day.
  • If the leaves on the trees are showing their undersides, there's a big storm on the way.
  • If it's going to rain all day, the birds will come to the feeders in the rain. If it's going to stop, the birds will wait and come after it stops.
  • If you have a water weather barometer and the water drips out the spout, head for the basement!
And the one everyone in the Midwest has said, "If you don't like the weather, wait fifteen minutes and it will change."
Now, about that nap - cooo.

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