vol II date / index
St. Nicholas, of Tolentino, A. D. 1306. St. Pulcheria, Empress, A. D. 453. Sts. Nemesianus, Felix, Lucius, another Felix, Litteus, Polianus, Victor, Jader, and Dativus, Bps. with other Priests, Deacons, &c., in Numidia, banished under Valerian. St. Finian, called Winin, by the Welsh, Bp. 6th Cent. St. Salvias, Bp. of Albi, A. D. 580.
[Autumn is by some supposed to commence on the 8th of this month.]
Laden with richest products of the earth;
Its choicest fruits, enchanting to the eye,
Grateful to taste, and courting appetite.
Dr. Forster is of opinion that autumn commences on the 10th of September. "It occupies ninety days. The mean termperature is 49.37°, or 11.29° below the summer: the medium of the day declines in this season from 58° to 40°. The mean height of the barometer is 29.781 inches; being .096 inches below the mean of summer. The range increases rapidly during this season; the mean extent of it is 1.49 inches. The prevailing winds are the class SW., throughout the season. The evaporation is 6.444 inches, or a sixth part less than the proportion indicated by the temperature. The mean of De Luc's hygrometer is seventy-two degrees. The average rain is 7.441 inches: the proportion of rain increases, from the beginning to near the end of the season: this is the true rainy season with us; and the earh, which had become dry to a considerable depth during the spring and summer, now receives again the moisture required for springs, and for the more deeply rooted vegetables, in the following year.
"The fore part of this season is, nevertheless, if we regard only the sky, the most delightful part of the year, in our climate. When the decomposition of vapour, from the decline of the heat, is as yet but in commencement, or while the electricity remaining in the air continues to give buoyancy to the suspended particles, a delicious calm often prevails for many days in succession, amidst a perfect sunshine, mellowed by the vaporous air, and diffusing a rich golden tint, as the day declines, upon the landscape. At this period, chiefly, the stratus or fallcloud, the lowest and most singular of the modifications, comes forth in the evenings, to occupy the low plains and vallies, and shroud the earth in a veil of mist, until revisited by the sun. So perfectly does this inundation of suspended aqueous particles imitate real water, when viewed in the distance at break of day, that I have known the country people themselves deceived by its unexpected appearance."
Mr. Howard remarks that — "A phenomenon attends this state of the air, too remarkable to be passed over in silence. An immense swarm of small spiders take advantage of the moisture, to carry on their operations, in which they are so industrious, that the whole country is soon covered with the fruit of their labours, in the form of a fine network, commonly called, gossamer. they appear exceedingly active in pursuit of the small insects, which the cold of the night now brings down; and commence this fishery about the time that the swallows give it up, and quit our shores. Their manner of locomotion is curious: half volant, half aëronaut, the little creature darts from the papillæ on his rump a number of fine threads which float in the air. Mounted thus in the breeze, he glides off with a quick motion of the legs, which seem to serve the purpose of wings, for moving in any particular direction. As these spiders rise to a considerable height, in very fine weather, their tangled webs may be seen descending from the air in quick succession, like small flakes of cotton."*
Autumnal Crocus. Crocus autumnalis.
Dedicated to St. Pulcheria.
Notes [all notes are Hone's unless otherwise indicated]:
1. Howard's Climate of London. [return]