Rain is gold in the brittle Texas Hill Country where I grew up. I listened to my family sitting around the kitchen table talking about weather and how to forecast changes from signs that nature gave us. Changes in animal behavior, cloud formations and how a person felt when they woke up in the morning, were all ways to predict the future weather.
I heard Ray Owens, an old timer friend of the family, say that when snails are high in the grass, a big rain is coming.
Walking down by the river, I heard a crunch.
Looking down to see what I had stepped on, I saw it was one of those small snails you see in the dirt. But as I looked, I noticed a bunch of them. They are all high up on the grass stems too. A ton of them.
So I started to remember the folklore I had heard through the years. One of the first was something I read on a calendar as a child. Red sky in morning, sailors take warning. Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.
Moon halos indicate a coming rain.
Crickets chirp faster when it is hot.
When clouds look like mare’s tails it will rain within 3 days.
And my favorite, because my great grandmother said it…if after a rain you can see enough blue sky to make a cat a pair of britches…it will clear.