Using gnats to predict the weather

[Harry Boon] says that he can always tell what the weather outlook is going to be by watching the gnats and the birds. When the swallows fly low to catch the gnats, it means a heavy atmosphere and that rain is on the way. When the swallows fly high for the gnats, according to Harry, then the sun will shine all day. . .

Birds, insects, and reptiles provide a host of minor prophets, most of them with a gloomy message to proclaim. The noisy quacking of ducks and geese, the croaking of frogs, the loud singing of the missel-thrush, and the crawling of the toad across the road at dusk are one and all harbingers of rain.

The spider is the most interesting barometer. She prepares for wind by shortening the main filaments of her web. When these are unusually long, fine weather may be expected to last for 10 or 12 days. Very rarely is the web left alone for more than 24 hours. Complete cessation of work is said to be a sign of wet, but if activities are resumed during the rain it is an indication that the shower will not last long and will be followed by a spell of settled weather.

Nottingham Evening Post - July 23, 1956
click to enlarge

     Posted By: Alex - Thu Feb 16, 2023
     Category: Insects and Spiders | Weather

The thing about the swallows, at least, is common knowledge. That's normal folk wisdom in the Netherlands as well,
Posted by Richard Bos on 02/18/23 at 01:13 PM
Seems like there was a scene in Huckleberry Finn, where Jim tells Huck that chickens and birds know when it's going to rain, and you can tell by watching them, like he did, getting them into a cave before a big storm. In the South I've heard yellow-billed cuckoo called the raincrow, because it calls before a rain.
Posted by R'Chard on 02/19/23 at 11:22 PM
There was (maybe still) a network of animal owners in Northern California who would report in when their pet or other animal was behaving in its way that signaled an impending earthquake.
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 02/20/23 at 09:20 AM
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