The ordinary clover and all its varieties, including the trefoil and the shamrock, are barometers. When rain is coming, the leaves shut together like the shells of an oyster and do not open again until fine weather is assured. For a day or two before rain comes their stems swell to an appreciable extent and stiffen so that the leaves are borne more upright than usual. This stem swelling when rain is expected is a feature of many towering grasses.
The fingers of which the leaves of the horse chestnut are made up keep flat and fanlike so long as fine weather is likely to continue. With the coming of rain, however, they droop, as if to offer less resistance to the weather. The scarlet pimpernel, nicknamed the “poor man’s weather glass,” or wind cope, opens its flowers only to fine weather. As soon as rain is in the air it shuts up and remains closed until the shower or storm is over.
Talk About the Weather—Charles Barnard. Funk & Wagnalls Co., 75 cents. A little book of valuable hints and suggestions about the weather and the philosophy of temperature and rainfall in their relation to living things.
Woodcraft—Jones and Woodward. C. Arthur Pearson, Ltd., 35 cents. Contains an excellent chapter on weather lore in addition to a mass of valuable information on woodcraft.
Bulletin of the U. S. Weather Bureau, Washington, D. C,
[Illustration: The Library, 1,200 Volumes Given by the Boys.—Camp Becket]
CHAPTER XX—RAINY DAY GAMES AND SUGGESTIONS
Delights of A rainy day
shoe and sweater race
peanut relay race
We knew it would rain for the poplars showed
The white of their leaves, and amber grain
Shrunk in the wind and the lightning now
Is tangled in tremulous skeins of rain.
Rainy days break the monotony of continuous sunshiny days. There is nothing that is so fascinating to a boy in camp as listening to the patter of the rain drops upon the roof of his canvas house, especially at night, if he is snug and warm in his blankets and the tent is waterproof. A rainy day is the kind of a day when the chess and checker enthusiasts get together. Games are rescued from the bottom of the trunk or box. Ponchos and rubber boots are now in popular favor. Thunder and lightning but add to the boys’ enjoyment. What indescribable excitement there is in the shivers and shudders caused by an extra flash of lightning or a double fortissimo roll of thunder! There is also the delight, of playing in the puddles of water and wearing a bathing suit and enjoying a real shower bath.