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dry, clean barnyards or paddocks are essential to the health of farm animals." Care also should be taken to obtain stock adapted to climatic and local conditions. A case of local "rain from a clear sky" at Central, near Parkersburg, W. Va., was noted in a Washington newspaper last October. On inquiry of the proprietor, the following facts were obtained: "We noticed it on the 11th day of October first. The sky was perfectly clear: not a cloud could be seen. We could actually see the little droplets of rain falling.....the ground did not become can be seen on a clear day better than on a dark cloudy day”. A diagram showed: "Rain falls in this block 20 feet square."


Mr. H. C. Howe, official in charge of the Parkersburg station of the U. S. Weather Bureau was asked to investigate and he reported as follows:

"Upon investigation [by a citizen living near Central] it was found that the so-called rain was produced by sap in the form of a light mist falling from a dying apple tree. The upper limbs of the tree were full of holes made by insects or worms. Possibly some of the holes were made by birds. A looking glass was held above the limbs of the tree and a short distance from the tree and the glass gathered no moisture. The old apple tree might be called a weeping tree.... "The credulity of the public made it possible for the owner of the farm to make money out of the so-called phenomenon. A small charge was made to enter the field."

Cooking by natural electricity [?]-"South Norwalk, Conn., Aug. 13. Freshly baked apples were obtained for breakfast to-day from a tree owned by Mrs. Annie E. Byrnes of this City.

"The tree, heavily laden with early 'greenings," was struck by lightning in the night and the fruit was thoroughly cooked."-New York Times, Aug. 14, 1920.

Dr. Henryk Arctowski, who is a professor in the Geophysical Institute of the University of Lwow (Lemberg) writes; "I teach meteorology 2 hours per week and geophysics 1 hour. From October 1st I will have a laboratory and hope to pursue experimental researches." He says he would greatly appreciate receiving sets of reprints from authors of meteorological papers.

The importance of sunshine in seed culture is indicated by the following note (Meteorological Mag., (London) Jan. 1921, p. 282.):

"I have long wanted to know what it was that made Essex and Suffolk and part of Norfolk the super counties for seed growers, and now I can see it is the excess of sunshine in July and August—the seed-maturing months."-J. L. North.

In a recent letter Dr. Th. Hesselberg, director of Det Norske Meteorologiske Institut, says: "In Norway [there] are two institutions besides the Meteorological Institute, which have their separate services for prediction of the weather and for warning of storm and gale, viz., the Weather Forecasting of Western Norway (Viervarslingen paa Vestlandet) and the Geophysical Institute in Tromsø. These two institutions have their own libraries, but no separate publications, these being joined in the above cited [yearbooks, annual reports and 'Geofysiske Publikationer'], common for the whole country.

Rainfall intensity recorder.—"Messrs. Negretti and Zambra have designed and produced an instrument called a rainfall rate recorder which registers on a revolving drum a graph of the actual rate of rainfall at any moment in inches per hour. The principle involves weighing the water as it passes down an inclined surface. The inclined surface is a tube in the shape of a spiral, and is suspended at one end of a balanced lever, the other end of which carries the pen. The spacing of the recording scale is more open for the lower than for the higher intensities. The instrument is capable of being made of great use, especially for engineers concerned with main drainage and similar works. An examination of the records obtained suggests that the initial record of a rainfall is fallacious, drops accumulating in the tube and starting with a record much higher than is true, while the curve at the end of a rainfall is similarly fallacious owing to drops remaining in the tube. These objections are far from trifling, and require to be got rid of before the instrument is really trustworthy, though when rain is falling heavily the changes in the rate of fall are very clearly shown. The price of the instrument with the necessary charts and plant is 55 pounds."-Nature, Mar. 24, 1921, pp. 117-118.


During the passage of the Pons-Winnecke comet exposures were made for a period of ten days for the purpose of gathering specimens of meteoric dust. The exposures consisted of plain glass slips, balsam smears and vulcanite cells. There was nothing unusual in the catchment. Stray particles of meteoric dust occasionally land upon exposed slips but none of the few discovered could be recognized as cometary matter. Particles of meteoric dust escape from a slide very readily unless imprisoned in balsam. They are apt to fly into the air when examined unless the slip rests on a magnet. It is a good plan to expose the slips on a magnet. The particles composing cometary haze are too small to be distinguishable under the highest power of the microscope. Particles of meteoric dust 1 mm. in diameter may be examined fairly well with 1/8 inch objective: some are discernible with a 21⁄2 inch objective. During the time while the exposures were made the results were distinctly negative. Perhaps other observers were more fortunate than I. . Cometary dust is likely to be left in the stratosphere for some time to come.-J. W. Redway.

Members of the Rotary Club at Phoenix, Ariz., after listening to a talk on weather forecasting by Robert Q. Grant, Meteorologist at the United States Weather Bureau in that city, indulged in a weather forecasting contest. Fourteen prizes were awarded to those who came nearest the correct forecast.Arizona Republican, Nov. 6, 1920.

Field surveying with a barometer. (By J. Cecil Alter, Salt Lake City Telegram, May 8, 1921.)-The aneroid barometer has been used with considerable success in the field. Engineers have employed it in connection with a recording barometer to make preliminary surveys for railroad and pipe lines, irrigation systems and highways. A careful comparison between the two instruments and the making of the necessary allowances for the temperature and pressure at the end of the day's work renders the use of the aneroid fairly accurate. The U. S. Army Engineering Corps made use of the aneroid barometer in locating positions for artillery units, measuring the heights of hills, and other "terrain" work in France. ]-G. H. B.


In our daily newspapers we occasionally see some scientific article or note, marked "Science Service." As stated by the editor, Dr. Edwin E. Slossen, (in Science, Apr. 8, 1921, pp. 322-323):

"Science Service will aim to act as a sort of liaison officer between scientific circles and the outside world. It will endeavor to interpret the results of original research as they appear in the technical journals and proceedings of societies in a way to enlighten the layman. Science Service will spare no pains or expense in the endeavor (1) to get the best possible quality of popular science writing and (2) to get it to the largest possible number of readers. If in doing this it can make both ends meet, so much the better. If not, it will do it anyway.

"Through the generosity of Mr. E. W. Scripps, of Miramar, California, the Science Service has been assured of such financial support from the start as to insure its independence. It will not be under the control of any clique, class or commercial interest. It will not be the organ of any one association. It will serve all the sciences. It will supply any of the news syndicates. It will not indulge in propaganda unless it be propaganda to urge the value of research and the usefulness of science.

"The editor of Science Service desires to receive advance information of important researches approaching the point of publicity in order to arrange for their proper presentation in the press. He also wishes to secure correspondents in every university and center of research who have the time, disposition and ability to write for non-technical journals. He particularly wants to get in

touch with young men and women in the various sciences who have literary inclinations and would be willing to submit to a rigorous course of training with a view to making the writing of popular science a part of their life work.

"The manager (Howard Wheeler) wants to learn from newspapers and periodicals what sort of scientific news they need. If editors will notify Science Service by mail or telegraph whenever they want an article on any scientific subject, an effort will be made to find the best authority to write it."

The headquarters of Science Service are with the National Research Council 1701 Massachusetts Ave., N. W., Washington, D. C. Anyone wishing to aid in the distribution of meteorological knowledge may well devote part of his energy to writing notes for Science Service. Those used are paid for at an attractive rate.

After expressing thanks for favorable mention of his science column in the Washington Herald (July-Aug. BULL. p. 97), Mr. Watson Davis writes as follows: I am now editing for Science Service their Science News Bulletin which is a weekly News Service to newspapers in all parts of the country with a circulation totaling 1,500,000 per day. For this reason I am particularly interested in the statement by Mr. Shepard on page 98 of your Bulletin. It coincides so exactly with just what we are trying to do that I am very hopeful that we can look to your Society for occasional news and for stories. While now we serve largely city newspapers we have hopes and plans which will include papers located in agricultural districts.


Weather plays an important role in the life of one born and brought up on a New England Farm. So many things that one wishes to do, so many tasks that must be performed depend on a particular variety of weather, that the country child of New England begins early to take notice of it. It permits of his having this pleasure or it prevents his carrying out that project. One day he is coasting on the crusts along the roadside, the next he is sailing his boats in the gutter, and in a week or two he is perchance teasing his mother to allow him to go swimming, because the pond has been open so long and the day has been so hot!

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After the winter, which has become a little dreary, comes a day when the air is clear and bracing, the sky is high, with here and there a feathery white, floating cloud to emphasize its blueness. We lift our heads high, take a long, deep breath and remark, "There's a smell of spring in the air." We are already planning the spring work, laying out the garden, overhauling the ploughs and getting ready to put away the old sleigh. But we do not forget to bank the fires well at night for the air grows chill as soon as the sun sets and the mud in the barn-yard freezes and hardens. We spend the evening looking over the seed catalogue which we had sent for in anticipation of just such a day.

But alas for our dreains of gardens! In the morning instead of digging out the hotbed, we find there is a considerable layer of snow to be shovelled away from the doorstep.

Days pass by, rainy and bright, cloudy and clear, cold and warm and the work goes on apace. The first signs of life begin to appear in field and wood and we hasten our footsteps to the neighboring hillside to search for the first arbutus. The wind may be high and raw and chill, but there we find our springtime friend peeping out from beneath its protecting layer of dead leaves. We burry home to learn whether this is not a day or two earlier than we found it last year. If it be so, there is rejoicing. Every New England child knows the pleasure that goes with having been the first one to discover the spring flowers as they follow one another in close procession: shad, violet, gold thread and trillium.


The days grow warmer, our garden shows little ribbons of green, peaches and pears are in bloom and apple trees ready to blossom. It grows suddenly cold. We look at the sky, shake our heads and wonder if there will be a late frost. If there is, alas for our hope of peaches! We look out of the windows in the early morning and our hearts sink when we find that the roofs of all the buildings are covered with frost and the bare brown soil is white. We hurry out to discover what damage has been done. The apples are safe, but the peach trees look doubtful. When the sun begins to shine the blossoms shrivel, blacken and finally drop off.

But there is no use in crying over spilled milk nor frost-bitten apple blossoms. We go about our tasks with renewed energy because of this set back, and make our garden more extensive in hope of making good the loss of the fruit. We watch the weather anxiously, rejoicing when there are frequent changes from sunshine to rain, from cloudy days to clear. We grow apprehensive when toward the last of June two or three weeks pass by with no rain! The garden looks so good, but the soil is growing hard and dry. How we need rain! During the night the wind shifts, a fresh breeze begins to blow, the skies become overcast and soon it is raining gently. How happy it makes us.

Soon July is here with its hot humid days, its hot dry days and its variety of other weather. It is haying time. We have had several days of hot, clear, dry weather. Everyone has been lending a hand at the work. How hot it is! There has been a change in the weather and it has grown very humid and depressing. There does not seem to be much choice between the low, hot hayloft and the hot, sunny field. Suddenly, in the northwest, dark clouds begin to roll above the horizon, rising rapidly with the high wind that is driving them along. We're going to have a thunder-shower. With much hustle and bustle on the part of horses and man, all of whom are reeking with sweat, the last load reaches the barn door just as the storm breaks. How dark it has grown! What vivid flashes of lightning! How the thunder rumbles and crashes! The water rushes down the gutters, carrying along the sand, gravel and stones in its mad rush for the foot of the hill. Gradually the rain subsides, soon it ceases to fall and the sun begins to shine. The children emerge from their places of safety in house or barn to wade in the rushing waters and to point out in great excitement the rainbow that has appeared in the sky. The air is considerably cooler and we go to work with renewed vigor because of this welcome change in the weather.

But not for too long do we have these cool, bracing days. We wake some morning to find everything so wet, that we think it must have rained in the night. It is so misty we cannot see across the valley to the city scarcely a mile away. The sun rises like a red ball of fire. "Its going to be a hot day, unbearably hot," you hear on every side. Before noon the thermometer reaches up into the nineties and we see the sun later in the day disappearing behind the western horizon, like a round red disk. We sigh and think, maybe, of the hot sleepless night before us. "Good corn weather," says father. It continues for another day or two, or at least for a week, then we are relieved once more by a change, this time a cool, brisk, west wind.

Summer is waning. The days are growing short. September, with its procession of cool days and nights or hot days and nights as the case may be, has passed. The corn has been cut, the silo is full. Grapes have been gathered. We have been so busy that we look up in surprise some fine, clear day to discover that the maples in the nearby swamp have turned a brilliant red. Apples must

be picked, corn shocked, pumpkins gathered. An occasional rainy day interferes with the progress of the work, but at last it is completed.

The red maples and ash trees have shed their leaves, the nut trees in the hollow are turning a golden brown and the oaks are a rusty red. There is a feeling of fall in the air. The cycle of growth has been completed once more. After a spell of fine, mild, Indian Summer weather, we find ourselves in the midst of a cold, rainy, windy season. The wind whirls the leaves from the trees, dances them about field and road to lodge them finally in some sheltered nook against a stone wall. Winter is on its way.

What kind of a winter will it be? Will it be an open mild one with almost no snow or will it be blustering and cold, with so much snow that shovelling will become irksome and dull? Will there be skating before Thanksgiving Day and coasting before Christmas or must we wait until February for good snow shoeing and skiing?

Shall we have a winter like that of 1916 with such a heavy snowfall in February that it had been exceeded but once in forty-two years? And so much snow in March that it exceeded by 2.7 inches the heaviest fall on record for that month? Or will it be a winter like that of 1920 when the snowfall for January, February and March was so great that trolley cars did not run to the end of their lines in many places for a period of two months? Time alone will tell. But of this we may be certain. There will be a variety of weather. Sunshine and clouds, rain and snow, fair weather and foul, high winds and calms, extreme cold and warmth, all kinds of weather will be represented. There may be much snow on the ground or very little, but the New England weather will vary to such an extent from week to week, from day to day, yes from hour to hour at times that no one will be able to accuse it of being monotonous. Who would not live in New England?-Martha Fagerstrom.

BIRD MIGRATIONS MAY INDICATE CHARACTER OF A WINTER. That long range weather forecasts of some winters can be based on the flight of birds is the belief of the late John Burroughs who writes (Harpers Magazine May, 1921).

"One season, [1919-20] I made my reputation as a weather prophet by predicting on the first day of December a very severe winter. I saw in Detroit a bird from the far North, a bird I had never before seen, the Bohemian Waxwing or chatterer. It breeds above the Arctic circle and is common to both hemispheres. I said when the Arctic birds come down be sure there is a cold wave behind them, and so it proved."

The writer has observed this year large numbers of Canadian geese flying south a month earlier than usual. Some people think that this is a sign of a hard winter but the writer is inclined to believe that these geese have been driven out of their usual feeding grounds thru the lack of food caused by the drought. Then again these geese, it must be remembered, probably reached their northernmost haunts one month earlier than usual last spring; hence the young have had sufficient time to grow up and prepare themselves for the long flight south. Then again as the young grew older the food problem, already a big one because of the drought, became more acute and hence the southerly migrations began earlier than usual.

While this flight may be indicative of a hard winter, the writer feels that in

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