« PreviousContinue »
stood in order to make the barometer a useful instrument, and yet they should be explained in order to be understood by men who have not made the subject a study, as I have ; and that explanation I may wish to make,
I reviewing my rules in every article. Rule 1. There is no point at which the barometer must stand to indicate rain or wind.
This is simply to counteract an impression in the public mind, that if the barometer stands at a given point it will rain or be clear, as the case may be. In England, where the climate is not as variable as in this country, they use on their barometers the words fair at 30 inches, change and rain 294 inches; now, if you mark your scale at these points with the words above indicated, at the sea level, and then remove your barometer to a locality say one thousand feet higher than the sea level, your barometer will stand in clear weather at the point marked rain, so that if for no other reason this alone is sufficient for having no marks on your barometer,
Rule 2d. The judgment must be governed by the rising or falling of the barometer.
The falling of the barometer indicates the approach of a storm, the extent of which will be proportionate to the amount and rapidity of the fall. The ordinary variation is about one inch, the extreme variation is about two inches; the extremes are seldom reached--only three or four instances that I have noticed for thirty years. My rules divide storms into three classes, but strictly speaking there are but two classes, as showers are but the reaction or the passing off of a storm, and that only in the season of showers, say June, July and August.
Northeasterly storms. In this class of storms the barometer usually falls from a high point, and when only wind blows from the N. E. the barometer seldom falls much, and sometimes even rises with a N. E. wind, but when much rain falls in a N. E. storm, the barometer falls from į to of an inch; when the storm comes to a crisis, or when the wind changes to N. W., the barometer begins to rise, and more or less rain falls from the N. W. and with a rising barometer. (Rain only falls with a rising barometer when a storm is passing off.)
Southerly storms. My rules say that in a southerly storm the barometer falls from one to four-tenths of an inch, and varying in time from six to twelve hours; this variation, in time, is too limited; instead of twelve hours, it often happens that the south wind blows two, three and sometimes four days after the barometer has fallen, and during this time the barometer does not vary much from the point to which it fell at first. Rain seldom falls with a south wind; but on a change of wind to the southwest or west, from which points an abundance of rain usually falls, the action of the barometer during this class of storms is very slight after the first fall. About the time of change of the wind to southwest or west, there will or may be a slight fall of the barometer; but if there is no change in the barometer at this stage of a southerly storm, the first fall of the instrument is to be relied upon, and after it has rained freely, if the index does not rise, depend upon it there is more to come.
In the season of showers, southerly storms usually pass off in a series of showers, instead of passing off in a steady rain. There will be showers for several days in succession, each of which will be indicated by a fall
of the barometer of from one-tenth to three-tenths of an inch, and varying in time from three to six hours, and sometimes more; my rules
from one to three hours.
But the aneroid is a much more sensitive instrument than the mercury barometer, and I have known showers to occur at three o'clock and seven o'clock, P. M., that were indicated by nine and ten o'clock, A. M. It requires some care and study to understand the movements of the barometer, as there is some difference in its action in different localities during the same class of storms.
Prof. Mapes.-The important point with farmers is not to foretell the weather for days ahead. If they can have it six hours ahead it will sérve their purpose. As a general thing, I fear that the science of barometrical observations is too abstruse for ordinary farmers.
Mr. Kendall.-It is not so for intelligent farmers. Men who do not read, study or think, should not have a barometer. You all, perhaps, remember the old story of the farmer who carried a stone in one end of his bag to balance the grain in the other. There are some just such men now-a-days, who, of course, are not intelligent enough to use barometers, which, if properly understood, will always foretell the approach of a storm.
Mr. Solon Robinson.— This is just the point at which I want a little tuition. I believe that I am about of an average degree of intelligence with the farmers of this country, and I must acknowledge that I am not a little puzzled to understand the barometer, so as to guard against an approaching storm. For instance, I have always been told, and hear it repeated to-day, that when there is a rapid fall we may surely look for rain. So I brought my umbrella this morning, because I saw that the barometer had fallen from 30 5-10 on Sunday to 30 Monday evening, and this morning it stood at 29 63-10, and thick clouds and a mere sprinkle of rain about daylight. With such a rapid fall, I certainly had a right, by all the rules I ever read or heard, to look for rain before night; yet it has not fallen, and now the sun is shining. True, it is no great loss to me to carry my umbrella; but what if a farmer had neglected some important work, because the barometer told him it would rain, and he found it did not-would he be likely to depend upon it again?
Prof. Nash.—It is not claimed that the barometer is always truthful. I have faith in the indication, and believe that Mr. Robinson will yet require ·his umbrella before he gets home. It rained in Brooklyn this morning.
The Chairman.—It rained at Newark this morning before I left for the city.
Mr. Carpenter.—I believe barometers are useful instruments, but must not be implicitly relied upon. I have used a barometer of Mr. Kendall's make for the past year, and have observed it pretty closely. I find that a fall does not always indicate rain.
Prof. Mapes.-Will not a hygrometer, placed, for instance, under the eaves of a barn, out of the way of the rain, and within view of the house, indicate the approach of dry or wet weather, I think, with a little experience, a scale could be formed that would be of great use to the farmer,
Mr. Kendall.—The hygrometer is an instrument having for its motive
power any substance that will readily absorb or repel moisture, and I have always regarded it as an instrument that should accompany the barometer, but have never adopted it for the reason that I never have been able to fix upon any absorbing substance as a standard instead of the wet bulb. The two instruments combined would render both more valuable than either alone.
Dr. Trimble.—My barometer in summer time is the action of swallows in their pursuit of insects.
Mr. Cavenach.—The poor man's barometer is found in many plants, which certainly indicate changes in the weather. The pimpernel and the common chickweed always close their flowers on the approach of a storm.
Mr. Solon Robinson.—I would advise every one to study them carefully, and use them as adjuncts to many other things that will help them in prognosticating the weather.
Mr. Carpenter. I have listened with much interest to Mr. Kendall's remarks, and think for the future they will be of benefit to me; and I take great pleasure in moving the thanks of the Club to Mr. Kendall for his explicit explanations.
The motion was unanimously adopted.
Mr. Pardee.--I hope Mr. Carpenter will open this subject, as he has had come experience that will be of interest to us all.
Mr. Carpenter.—I am always ready to say a few words on this subject. The farm I now occupy was like the rest of my neighbors'—it had a very desolate appearance; nothing to please the taste or delight the eye; the usual stone walls, and a few poplars planted before the house. I commenced by laying down a lawn and planting out a great variety of ornamental evergreens and choice flowering shrubbery. I have also erected suitable outbuildings. My taste was in favor of fruit, of which I have now a great variety, embracing nearly all the new kinds. My neighbors have all gone
into the decoration of their houses and grounds. Evergreens are now generally cultivated. My first experience with flowers was planting a running rose. These improvements are very marked in Westchester county, and give an air of comfort, not only to the residents, but even to the wayfarer.
Prof. Mapes.—I spoke last week on the importance of landscape gardening, but in our improvements we generally begin at the wrong end. While straight lines of garden walks remain, and long avenues of trees are planted, the rules of beauty are infringed upon. The walks should always be in curves, and the trees planted in such a way as to improve the landscape. Color of foliage should be so arranged that we do not have the same to strike our eyes on the rising as on the setting sun. Landscape gardening should be classed as one of the fine arts. When once we become imbued with the beauty of form, we always attempt to carry it out in our various improvements. Go to the stores and examine the articles made in France, and admire their beauty; the art of design is there carried out in all their manufactures; the whole world is indebted to France for its arts. Ladies of wealth, in England, wear French lace, although they know that the English lace is stronger and will wear longer, but it lacks that delicacy and design which its French neighbor possesses. If we wish to improve landscape gardening we must make the art of design part of our common school education. The line of beauty of Hogarth will last as long as time; he always had the letter S painted on his palette.
The subject, “ Winter Care of Manure," was laid over until the next meeting. Adjourned.
JOHN W. CHAMBERS, Secretary.
December 23, 1862. Mr. John G. Bergen, of Long Island, in the chair.
Mr. W. S. Carpenter presented a number of varieties of apples, viz.: Northern 'Spy, Rambo, Greenwich, Westfield Seek-no-further, Southworth red.
The Chairman.--I hope Mr. Carpenter will make some remarks on these apples.
Mr. Carpenter.—The Northern Spy is from a tree that has been nine years in bearing; it is useless to speak of its quality, for that is generally acknowledged to be very superior. : My remarks will apply to its value for cultivation in the vicinity of the city, which has been generally doubted. I must acknowledge that I have been in this class, but I have now changed my opinion. All that is wanted is age for the tree. While
grows very vigorously, and is of a beautiful form, but is a shy bearer, although my trees produce a good crop.
The Rambo is an apple of excellent quality and promises well; the tree is a vigorous grower.
The Greenwich is a new apple, which originated in Westchester county; the tree bears an abundant crop. I consider this apple deserves attention, on account of its disposition to produce a crop every year. It is a good sized handsome red apple, not as high flavored as many others, but will doubtless sell well in this market.
The Southworth red is a handsome, medium sized apple, mostly red, with a peculiar formation next to the stalk.
Mr. A. S. Fuller.---The description of the growth of the first named apple, given by Mr. Carpenter, is that of the Rambo, but the taste of the fruit is unlike it, though the resemblance is very strong.
Dr. Trimble.—The apple is not the Rambo, although it has some of the flavor of that apple.
RIPENING PEARS. Mr. John G. Bergen presented some very fine specimens of the Vicar of Winkfield
pear, which led to a discussion upon the proper manner of keeping and ripening winter pears.
Prof. Mapes.—The specimens do not appear to me to be ripened rapidly enough; this is the great secret of the art; keep them in a room just above freezing until wanted, and then bring them into a very warm room. Mr. W. S. Carpenter.--I have to learn that the Vicar of Winkfield should An, Ins.)
be ripened in a warm room. I formerly advocated that plan, but I have had the best success in keeping these pears in a room at 40° until ripened; at 50° they were not so good, and at 60° I think the flavor is injured.
The Chairman.-The Beurre d'Anjou promises a number of excellent qualities; it never rots at the core, but begins to ripen on the outside, while the Flemish beauty almost always begins to ripen at the core; it colors well, very yellow with a red cheek. I consider it one of the best pears for market. There is a great deal in soil and situation, in relation to pears, not yet fully understood.
Mr. A. S. Fuller.This is true. In a conversation with a gentleman from Norwich, Conn., this morning, he informed me that the Beurre d'Anjou is the best of all winter pears, keeping well till January.
Prof. Mapes.-I find that all my Duchesse pears that I procured in France, in ripening show a much better color than fruit grown under the same treatment upon native trees; even grafts taken from the imported trees, and grown on American stocks, do not produce the same colored fruit as the original tree. It was the same when budded upon quince, as on pear stocks; this is a fact hard to account for. The Glout Morceau is an excellent pear with me, very sweet, melting when taken into the mouth, and
, brings a good price from judges of fruit.
Mr. A. S. Fuller.-I am surprised to hear Prof. Mapes give the Glout Morceau such a high character. I consider it has a very poor flavor,
and is very watery; soil, perhaps, has something to do with the flavor. The Winter Nellis is a very superior flavored pear.
Mr. Bergen.-I grow pears for profit, without reference to size or flavor.
Mr. Carpenter.-Will Mr. Bergen give us an account of his way of ripening fruit ?
Mr. Bergen.—I have no convenience for ripening or retarding fruit, except what every farmer has. I keep mine in a barn or cellar. Last year I placed some Easter Beurre near a furnace, but I did not ripen them, and I am afraid it will be so this.
Prof. Mapes.—The best rule for all amateurs to follow is the French catalogue, as to time of ripening the several sorts, letting them hang as long as proper, and then storing them in as cool a place as they have, so that it is five deg. above the freezing point, and then at the time would bring them into a warm room to ripen. You must not put anything around them to absorb the flavor; if you do, they will have no more flavor than a turnip. I was pleased with the suggestion of Mr. Carpenter-packing them in rye chaff. Perhaps about the best thing is rice hulls, which are mostly composed of silex. Do not use ground cork, plaster, charcoal, sawdust or bran.
Mr. Carpenter.-I think leaves, thoroughly dried, are excellent to pack fruit in.
Mr. Fuller.--I am pleased to find that the discussion has taken this shape. I find in all our old works that they recommended rye chaff to pack fruit in.
Mr. Carpenter. I think that fruit ripened in a cool room contains more sugar than it would if ripened in a warm one.
Prof. Mapes said it might have a sweeter taste and yet not contain so much sugar. No one will contend that a pound of molasses contains a