Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/440

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Among them we have:

"Frost year,
Fruit year."

"Year of snow,
Fruit will grow."

Or, in still another form:

"A year of snow, a year of plenty."

That these and similar statements commonly are true is evident from the fact that a more or less continuous covering of snow, incident to a cold winter, not only delays the blossoming of fruit trees till after the probable season of killing frosts, but also prevents that alternate thawing and freezing, so ruinous to wheat and other winter grains. In short, as another proverb puts it,

"A late spring never deceives."

A different class of proverbs, but one meaning practically the same thing as the foregoing, and justified by substantially the same fact, that is, that an unseasonably early growth of vegetation is likely to be injured by later freezes, is illustrated by the following examples:

"January warm, the Lord have mercy!"
"If you see grass in January,
Lock your grain in your granary."
"January blossoms fill no man's cellar."
"January wet, no wine you get."
"January and February,
Do fill or empty the granary."
"All the months in the year
Curse a fair Februeer."

There are hundreds of other proverbs dealing with seasonal forecasts, but, except those belonging to such classes as the above, they have very little to justify them. Many are purely fanciful and others utterly inane.


"Above the rest, the sun who never lies,
Foretells the change of weather in the skies."

While proverbs concerning the seasons, in the most part, are built upon the shifting sands of fancy and of superstition, many, but not all, of those that concern the immediate future—the next few hours, or, at most, the coming day or two—are built upon the sure foundation of accurate observation and correct reasoning. Among these perhaps the best are those that have to do with the color of the sky and the appearances of the sun, the moon and the stars, for we see the first because of our atmosphere, and the others through it and, therefore,