I know that termites are sentient creatures and I know that they have been made by the gods for a specific reason. But this year I have been under savage attack by armies of termites and I have lost antique books (an 1847 royal edition of Shakespeare’s plays among others), and lots of saris, shawls and clothes to them burrowing into my cupboards from the back. I have to throw out my beautiful wooden cupboards and get ugly steel ones. I live in an old British government house as a Member of Parliament and the house has no termite proof foundations - in fact it has no foundations at all and the damp rises steadily making me freeze throughout the year. Termites live between the walls and every day has become a struggle between them and us.
 
Today I read in the papers about mango tree protection. Many of the mango orchards in Uttar Pradesh grow turmeric in between the trees. I thought this was a very intelligent way to earn more money from the land. But now I realise that the planting of turmeric serves yet another purpose: Scientists of the Indian agricultural; Research Institute have found that turmeric keeps termites at bay. And that it should be used as an intercrop for all fruit orchards.
 
Another village remedy that my constituency members told me that they use is to pile up fresh cow dung in a corner near a house or a field. The termites make a beeline to eat it and then they burn the cow dung. I have never seen it in action so I cannot vouch for it - in any case , I don’t subscribe to killing as a long term solution to anything (though the loss of my books has really brought me close to the edge !!)
 
Fumigation by chemicals is one answer but that pollutes the whole world and anything that kills termites will leave its death mark on you as well. Here are some organic remedies that I have been told keep them away: Prevention is of course the most cost effective means of control. Stack firewood off the ground, away from your home. Repair any cracks in the home’s foundation or splits in wooden chaukhats. Routinely check the foundation around your home. Termites are usually easier to detect when the soil is moist. Apply an all weather wood sealer to any wood exposed to moisture. Another option is to dissolve boric acid in water and paint it onto wood surfaces.
 
There are various ways to treat termites naturally both outdoors and indoors.
 
1. Drill holes into infested areas and apply orange oil, or d-limonene. Orange oil has very low toxicity but will kill termites in the immediate area. Orange oil is an eco-friendly alternative termite control method made from orange rinds. The oil kills termites instantly but is harmless to people and pets.
 
2.Have a professional heat treat your house. The temperature of the house and contents is brought to 120 degrees F and kept there for 33 minutes. This is most effective in smaller homes and apartments because it is difficult to heat some materials like concrete.
 
3.Prevent future infestations by creating a barrier the insects can’t burrow through. Dig a trench around the slab of the house and fill it with uniform sized pebbles.
 
4. BORIC ACID dissolved in water and painted on affected area will keep termites at bay for years. This is a wood treatment, often used in the preventative stages, but many believe it also helps curb current population growth.
 
5. When only small areas have been infested by termites, a freezing process can be used. Liquid nitrogen is pushed into afflicted structures, freezing walls and termites in their tracks.
 
Plant parts and plant extracts can be used effectively. These become natural insecticides by grinding up the relevant parts, placing in boiling water, stirring and leaving to soak. The mixture is then sprayed  on the pest infected area. Plant parts such as toxic fruit juices, pulps or shavings can be applied directly.
 
Some plants with a very pungent smell keep away wood eating creatures. One such plant is the castor plant - which produces castor oil. Its leaves and green twigs are important as insecticide. Use gloves to cut its   leaves and green branches from the soft upper parts of an adult castor plant . Mix with water. Mash it and boil the contents on a low fire. Stir the mixture occasionally but don’t let it evaporate. Keep your face and hands protected. After forty minutes of heating , remove the container and cool. Filter into a clean can. The thick residue removed after filtration can be manure to plants.
 
The use of neem wood can prevent termite attacks. Particle barriers such as granite, sand or glass splinters can be used as a base material.  The grain used should be big enough for the termites to move, and the spaces between them should be too small for termites to panel through.  A 20 cm thick layer of these particle barriers can be placed outside the building or in crawl spaces. Neem mulches act as a deterrent to termites.  Neem oil and castor oil in a concentration of 3 percent can be sprayed over the termite nests.  Latex from calatropis can also be used for termite control.  Black pepper which is toxic for many insects, is also helpful.
 
Termites have many predators, including spiders, beetles, flies, wasps, ants, frogs, reptiles, birds bats and monkeys. Encouraging this kind of wildlife will help to reduce the number of termites. Bushes and trees are a home for many of these useful creatures. These areas of natural habitat can be left around the house.
 
              
Thirty years have gone by since my husband died. My son was 100 days old. My years of protecting and educating and having fun with him are almost over. Till my son’s wedding next month I shall be a mother. Then I become a mother in law for the rest of my life. So mothers are very much on my mind. Let’s look at the sterling qualities of other mothers.

Human mothers may turn around when someone else’s child shouts Mummy, but Northern fur seals never make that mistake. When mother goes out to find food she has to find her child in a sea of hundreds of seals, so both mother and pup depend on their uncanny powers of vocal recognition to find one another. Both will call out and answer, responding selectively to one another until they are reunited.

Elephant mothers are hands on mothers that give unconditional and touchy feely love to their children but they also make sure they are disciplined and fed well. If danger threatens, they put their children under them or surround the babies. Always ready to give an affectionate caress, a gentle nudge in the right direction, or a bath to help their babies beat the heat, doting moms maintain constant touch with their young ones, never allowing them to stray too far from their side. Mothers stay in touch with their adult kids and enjoy a close relationship with their daughters.

Cows love their babies immediately. The first minutes after birth are spent developing a bond that will last a lifetime. Throughout life, mother and child maintain social contact and enjoy each other's companionship. Their attachment and affection for each other is so deep that if they are forced apart, they both suffer severe stress, and mothers have been known to escape their enclosures and travel for miles looking for their babies

Dolphins learn how to become mothers by babysitting the babies of other dolphins. Then when they have their own, they are experienced and practical mothers. For instance even while swimming, dolphin mothers and their babies synchronize their breathing for the first few weeks after the babies' birth. Dolphin mothers may nurse their young for up to 10 years. 

Nurturing begins in the nest for mother hens, who turn their eggs as many as five times an hour. They also cluck softly to their unborn chicks, who chirp back to them and to one another from within their shells! Once chicks hatch, mothers use their wings to shield their babies from predators and have been known to refuse to leave their nests during a fire if they have newly hatched babies.

Dog mothers on the street choose the most uncomfortable places to give birth but they also know that these are the safest for their children: pipes and sewers and near a house with a gentle human inhabitant. Mothers will starve but will not move far from their puppies for a few days and then she will make short forays to find food. If someone harms a pup, she will attack knowing that she courts trouble. Often she will defend them with her life. 

 Mother birds distract predators by running away from the nest and daring them to catcher as she pretends to be wounded. Most mothers in the colony will surround a would -be predator of in a shrieking, angry flurry of beaks and feathers.  

The alligator mother makes a warm nest for her eggs and when the babies are ready to emerge she digs them out and carries them to the water. Woe betide anyone coming near her children, she turns into the faster runner imaginable and chases off the intruder.

The cheetah is one the most hardworking mothers. She spends all day producing milk to feed the babies. After 6 weeks she hunts to bring them back food. Then she teaches them how to hunt for two years . Its only when her children have learned to hunt that she starts a new family.

The orangutan mom builds a new home for her baby every single night. Between building and finding food there is not a lot of time for cultural pursuits or even finding boyfriends. 

Octopus mothers go from egg to mother in a year and then have to look after hundreds of eggs .She finds a secure place where she can lay eggs of her own away from predators. She washes sand off and aerates the eggs with her tentacles everyday which means, she has no time to eat. It will be 40 days for her children to leave home, so she get really hungry. But she would rather eat her own arms than leave the eggs unprotected. 
Probably one of the most endearing and loving qualities of a mother’s instinct is that it often transcends their own children or even species. A dog takes on orphaned kittens or a cow that allows an orphaned calf to drink her milk.

The ultimate mother is the animal in the zoo. Most of them kill their babies, specially big cats. They have no intention of letting their young coming into a world as bleak as this. That for me is the ultimate sacrifice because animals like humans love their children. As heart breaking as it is to watch, it is proof that a mothers instinct exists for all creatures on Earth.

What makes all mothers unafraid when it comes to protecting their children? Scientific research published in Behavioral Neuroscience says that new mothers have reduced levels of a peptide, or small piece of protein, released in the brain that normally activates fear and anxiety. I have been a new mother for thirty years now. After next month I am sure my peptides will increase.

Maneka Gandhi

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Sri M is an enlightened soul, a Guru whom I met years ago. Born in Kerala, he became disciple to a very great Guru at a young age, moved to the Himalayas. Later he worked with J. Krishnamurty, another enlightened soul, in Rishi Valley. When my son was twenty he was very keen to learn meditation and went to Madanapalle, a village in Andhra Pradesh to live with Sri M.  

Magenta Press has published his book Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master: A Yogi’s Autobiography. I have just finished reading it and I would recommend it to everyone who seeks his own soul. I include an excerpt here which I believe to be true – many Gurus I have met and read have said the same thing. Since I was a child, I have believed that the energy of the world lies in snakes. 20 years ago I wrote that, when I read the Mahabharata, I knew Kalyug started the day the snakes were burnt, even though that great book treats the burning of the snakes as simply a place to start the narration.

Sri M is a young man with his Guru Baba Maheshwarnathji in the Arundhati cave in the Himalayas. Here is the excerpt: “I was woken up by what I at first thought was the rumbling of thunder. I opened my eyes and saw Babaji in his usual sitting posture, back towards me, silhouetted by the light of the Dhuni (fire). I looked beyond, and from between two parting clouds, emerged something that was roughly the size of a full moon but could not be the moon. This object was a glowing ball of fire and as it moved closer the rumbling became louder. Then it came towards the cave and landed right on the Dhuni, with the sound of a thunderclap.

I was so scared that I could not even sit up but Babaji sat upright like a statue, unaffected and unmoved. A strange spectacle unfolded before my astounded eyes. The fireball which was about two feet in diameter split vertically and out of it emerged a large snake with a hood like a cobra, glowing electric blue as if made of a transparent glasslike material with electric filaments inside. The creature’s eyes glowed and it hissed softly.

My fear vanished the moment I saw the creature bend down and touch Babaji’s feet with its hood. Babaji blessed it by touching its head with his hand and then did something which made me wonder if what I was seeing was a silly dream. He hissed in reply.

The blue cobra straightened up and sat facing Babaji. A hissing conversation went on. Then Babaji said “Madhu come forward and see the deputy chief of the Sarpa loka. Bow down to Nagaraj. “I bowed low. The snake hissed and touched my head with his forked tongue. Then abruptly it slithered back into the globe, the two halves clicked shut and it took off and vanished into the clouds.

I said “Babaji, if I said this to anybody they would think I am crazy. Please explain to me”…

Babaji said “In the Milky Way there exists a stellar system with seven planets and 18 moons. One of these is Sarpa Loka and is entirely inhabited by highly evolved hooded snakes called the Naga Devatas. The person you saw is the deputy chief of their realm, Nagaraja. The supreme head of the Nagas is the five hooded golden serpent known in ancient Hindu texts as Anantha.

Thousands of years ago when humanity was still at an infant stage of evolution, there was regular contact with Sarpa Loka. The wise and evolved Nagas spent long periods here teaching human beings. The snake worship you come across in all ancient civilizations is a tribute to these Nagas and their deep wisdom. They also taught the secret of kundalini energy symbolized by a snake. Patanjali who gave the world the Ashtanga Yoga sutras was himself a Naga. The snake on the Pharoah’s head and coiled round Shiva are all symbolic of the wisdom imparted to certain humans by Naga teachers.

But as humans became more powerful they became self centred and cunning. Some felt threatened by the spiritually and intellectually superior Nagas and began to use their power against their own teachers. At one point there were massacres of the Nagas. The Supreme Naga Chief decided to recall the Nagas from earth and cut all connections except with some humans who were highly evolved spiritually. Overnight they were transported back to Sarpa Loka. A small number who were too sick, too old or rebels who defied the supreme chief thinking they could still do something with humans, got left behind.

The snakes that exist today are the descendants of those who were left behind. Through years of inbreeding they no longer possess the great qualities of their ancestors. However the channels of contact were kept open with evolved humans. When the great Sai Nath of Shirdi left his body for three days and returned on the fourth, to the great astonishment of the general public who thought he had died, he told his close circle that he had gone to settle a dispute in another world. That was Sarpa Loka. The dispute, which I cannot reveal to you, has not been settled and Nagaraj came to me to discuss the matter.”

Bababji laughed “Truth is stranger than fiction. There is hope that humans might realize that there are greater realms of consciousness which cannot be comprehended by logic and current levels of intelligence.”

Vishnu rests on Anantha. Krisna’s brother Balarama was a Naga. The Ocean of Milk was churned by a snake. At every point in our ancient teachings, there are snakes. Every time you want to kill a snake, remember this narration. 

Sri M is very accessible. He has started a school called Peepal Grove School in Sadum Mandal, Chittoor Dist - 517123, AP and I hope to go there to meet him again. I wish he would take me as a disciple but I will have to wait for another birth when I am more evolved.

Maneka Gandhi

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India is wonderful in its own way. We say namaskar to businessmen but we touch the feet of dancers, singers and writers. We look enviously at those who wear a lot of expensive clothes but we touch with love the feet of those who wear almost none. A meeting called by a person to teach you on how to be a successful entrepreneur will attract fifty people; a meeting called by a person to teach you to live life by not wanting anything will attract thousands. We forgive the bad because we believe that they will be punished in their next lives. We believe in reincarnation but we do little to ensure that we will have better lives next time. We believe in charity and yet we do almost none. 
 
This week I am talking about charity. It has obsessed me for a long time and came into focus this monsoon when my flagship animal shelter of 31 years, Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre, collapsed under the weight of heavy rain, 4000 animals instead of the 200 it was built for and a medical team that did less and less as more and more animals pour in. I now spend 4 hours a day there and things look brighter. The doctors have doubled and are at work, the rooms that fell down have been rebuilt. But we are a long way from ideal status as all the facilities have to be doubled. The police and the wildlife department, the municipal corporation - all dump animals on us every hour of the day. But we do not get a single rupee from the government to look after them, Apart from that we have 24 hour ambulances that respond to 50 calls a day for free rescues. We have an OPD that caters to 150 people’s animals a day, We have any number of pedigreed animals being dumped on us. 
 
My hospital needs so many things: tiles, bricks, cement, a small van to pick up puppies, a new generator. It runs purely on donations and this month we posted a loss of Rs 2 lakh which always frightens me (The police dumped 35 camels on us that were going for slaughter. These camels were very sick and their feed alone has come to Rs 67,000 per week). I need to make a lot of capital investment in Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre – ten rooms more for sheep, camels, doctors, staff, a new kitchen, 100 new kennels and a lot of repairs. Every morning, we make a list of companies and then I call them to see if they will donate something we need. Sometimes I have to go through a long monologue which bothers me and then am asked to call again as the person cannot take the decision. That embarrasses me. Sometimes, the person surprises me. Last month I rang up a company to ask for a washing machine and the CEO said yes, even before I finished my speech. I was thrilled!! He turned out to Shri Jyoti Basu’s grandson. Yesterday I called someone to ask for an OT light and since he seemed very gruff I trailed off by saying.... if it is possible. He answered “Nothing is impossible. The word itself means I am possible so you will have your light. “I was so joyous! A company head has not even talked to me but has simply responded to an email and promised a cleaning machine. Bless him!! On the other hand, a club that donated 7 street lights made me come to meet them twice on Sundays (my writing day), for 5 hours each, took one million photographs with each member’s family and then I had to pursue them for two months to install the lights. Not good. There are two people who hound me on a weekly basis saying that they will leave the money to animals in their wills – and they have a lot of it. But they refuse to give any now – and I am sure I am going to die before them! 
 
I give as much as I can away because it makes good sense for my health, economically and karmically. For me, everything that is given away is like being put into a bank for me alone. This business of giving and taking for me is like being in a river. The river carries on flowing. I am simply bathing in the flow and enjoying the rush of water. I am always surprised by revelations of people who make thousands of crores through bribes and open loot. Where, how and when will they use it? Madhu Koda and his gang looted Jharkhand’s poor people and sent the money to a lawless African country called Liberia. Will they ever see it again? Is their quality of life better? Are they happier? 
 
If the purpose of life is pleasure - and I am a firm believer in this - then the quickest way to get that rush of happiness is not to buy something but to give something away (or , in my experience, to plant something in the ground ) 
 
Charity makes you feel good. The giver is always indebted to the person he gives to because of that amazing flush of happiness that comes for a little while. You feel that you are some worth in the world, that you have done your duty and that you have a little value in the grand scheme of things. The Japanese have a saying that when you save someone’s life, you owe them forever. That’s how I feel. In fact instead of feeling superior, you should thank the people that you have been allowed by the universal energy to give something to.  
 
The laws of nature are constructed for your survival and for your emotional and spiritual advancement. Helping those in need is self defence because you will be helped when you are in need. If you believe in another life then any thing that makes another life feel better is acquiring Good Karma. And , if you believe the Gurus, you can trade that in for a good reincarnational slot on Earth. 
 
To see what a bad survival policy selfishness or greed is look around you. The bad air, the terrible water, the poison in the food ... all your problems stem from some individual greed. Monosodium glutamate that kills so many people was banned in India - it took the bribing of one bureaucrat to allow it and now it is found as a secret ingredient in many edibles. Our current environment minister has given more mining licences in forests than anyone else. He has also repeated the act made by me 20 years ago that disallowed anyone from constructing near a beach. So he has destroyed, through a single person’s greed, the forests and coastline of an entire country. Contrast that with a person who gives his entire life in charity by becoming a voluntary doctor in tribal villages. Or with a man in Gujarat who buys seeds with all his earnings and then goes to public lands to scatter them. Or someone who trains forest guards on how to catch poachers. Or someone who opens a daily feeding centre for the homeless. My mother always kept clothes for children in her car and gave them to anyone she thought needed them. See their faces - they are much happier than this minister .What a fun way to live!! 
 
In the case of my hospital - I always tell the people who use it that it does not belong to me. I am just the caretaker appointed by the gods to handle it in this lifetime. Imagine yourself a wounded or sick or discarded little puppy. Would you not want a medical facility where you can be cared for? 
 
Find a place in your city that needs your charity. Start with feeding the birds. Every week give a donation to an animal shelter, a children’s orphanage and a charitable hospital. Put a tap outside your house for water. I read about someone who gives away 31 things from her house every month. Choose a weird number and stick to it so that it becomes an adventure. And remember to give nice things: A biscuit to the dog is not charity. Charity is the biscuit shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.  
 
 Yogiraj M, whose book I told you about last week, says: When you serve a less fortunate person in any way — material or spiritual — you are not doing him or her favor. In fact, the one who receives your help does you a favor by accepting what you give, and thereby helps you to evolve and move closer to the divine, blissful being, who in reality is within all. “ 
 
 “Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot!” says Lord Krishna, in the Bhagavad-Gita. “My life is a result of what I have done in all my previous lives. I am bound to fulfill a certain role in this life and I can only act within it to a limited degree. But within that parameter can I change my luck? Our holy ones say that it is possible to change one’s fate though charity and meditation/prayer. Helping animals who cannot complain about their suffering or do anything for you in return would be the ultimate karma creation. So, in a way, if you like being selfish – charity is the ultimate shopping experience!
 
Here is nature’s law: You can buy your next life (or even this life’s coming years’) insurance policy by giving as much as you can in this life. If you keep the river flowing, you will insure that you get to drink from it as well. 
 
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Mundane astrology is astrology applied to world affairs and events. It is a branch of astrology which deals with the rise and fall of nations, formation/duration of governments, political events which affect nations and their people, fate of the head of the states, economy and prosperity of the country, war and peace, natural calamities, communal/religious riots, weather etc.

 Mundane astrology is based on the belief in “cosmic consciousness” – the belief that that any celestial event anywhere in the universe also affects the earth and all on it. No matter how far away the celestial bodies are, the unique vibration they generate through their movements in the space affects everything on our earth. The Tandava or cosmic dance of Shiva – the endless whirling of each atom and body through space, in musical harmony and empathy- is how we describe it. Everything has its own place and nothing happens without a meaning – even though we are unaware of it at the time. 

 We, means humans. Animals seem far more attuned to the cosmic dance. How do they sense earthquakes and floods ? No scientists have been able to understand this. Can they sense the earth's vibrations or detect changes in the air or gases ? How do they know how severe the winter will be or even the day that winter sets in when our most sophisticated weather stations fail? What triggers their survival mechanisms ? 

Researchers observed the movement of a group of sharks just before Tropical Storm Gabrielle and Hurricane Charlie. After the barometric pressure dropped just a few millibars they swam to deeper waters, where there was more protection from the storm.Birds and bees also sense this drop iand will instinctively seek the cover of their nests or hives. 

These are reactions to immediate events. How do animals predict long term events like how harsh winter will be? And how do we help ourselves to their knowledge ?

Predicting the weather has been a human passion for ages. Farmers wanted to know what kind of a season was coming -- would there be enough rain or would there be drought? Would the winter be cold or mild? How could they tell if a violent storm was coming? This being a pre radio/TV and weather station time, they relied on natural signs to help them predict the weather. The most convenient barometers were their own farm animals and these were rarely wrong. Fishermen, for instance,notice that in autumn, migrating fish come back early in years when winter will bring an early freezes, but come out later in years when the rivers freeze late.

In the USA , a groundhog is still used to predict the weather for up to six weeks in advance. If you see a groundhog’s shadow at noon on the 2nd of February (Groundhog Day), then the weather will be cold and wintry for another six weeks. 

Animal folklore has passed on from generation to generation. Much of it is now forgotten, retreating in the face of scientific ridicule. But our ancestors did not need fertilizer or pesticides and they had a lot more to eat. The Earth delivered much more. (If you think that this is another old wives tale, read this one statistic: In India we only started using fertilizer in 1960. This went up in 1965 to 1 million tonnes. Today it is 75 million tonnes. The amount of grain produced has not increased)

 Native Americans believe black bears choose different sleeping spots in their caves depending on how cold the winter will be, or the fur on a rabbit's feet will grow fluffier if the winter is to bring heavier snow. Simply coincidences ? But science is based on observation, and folklore is based on centuries of observation . The creature with a 100% accuracy in predicting the weather is the ladybird. They announce the coming cold by disappearing and are the first insects to announce the arrival of spring.

Here are some sayings:

-- Cats scratch a post before a wind, wash their faces before a rain, and sit with their back toward the fire before a snow.

-- If a rooster crows at night, there will be rain by morning.

-- Pigs gather leaves and straw before a storm.

-- If a dog starts to whine for no reason, you can expect a major storm .

-- Birds on a telephone wire predict the coming of rain.

-- loud singing crickets predict the coming of violent storms. 

-- Locusts sing when the air is hot and dry.

-- When toads appear in large numbers, you can expect rain.

-- If bears and horses get thick coats early, then expect a severe winter.

-- Squirrels are busier gathering nuts before a bad winter.

-- If wasps build their nests high, a severe winter is on its way.

-- Frogs croak louder when bad weather is due. 

--Birds fly lower and gather in large numbers on tree branches when bad weather is due

. --If roosters crow later than their precise morning hour this is a bad weather prediction.

 --Bees and butterflies will vanish from the flowers just before the coming storm or rain .

--Bees refuse to leave their hives when rain is due

--Dolphins find shelter in protected bays in order to avoid a coming storm.

--If there are many bats at night, or flying much longer than they usually fly, there is a glorious day ahead. If there are fewer bats than usual this indicate bad weather coming.

-- Crows croaking loudly in the morning is a sign of a good day

--If hens roll around in the dust rain is coming

--Swallows flying at very low levels means bad weather. Hawks flying high means the weather will continue to be fine.

--Gnats circling in a mass before sunset denotes good weather approaching

--Before a big storm, fish tend to bite more often, hence the phrase, “trout jump high, when rain is nigh.” 

--Ants scuttle around busily before a storm and even cover up the entrance to the ant-hill to keep out rainwater.

--Before a hurricane, sharks that rarely leave their home waters will flee the path of the storm while seagulls instinctively fly inland.

--Earthworms come out of their holes before it rains 

--When the cuckoo is heard in low lands, it indicates rain; when on high lands, fair weather.

 --Horses sweating in the stable is a sign of rain.

--Flies sting and are more troublesome than usual before rain.


--When cattle go out to pasture and lie down early in the day or assemble at one end of a field with their tails to windward indicate rain or wind.

--Before a storm comes sheep become frisky, leap, and butt or "box" each other.

--When horses and cattle stretch out their necks and sniff the air it will rain.

--When birds cease to sing, rain and thunder will probably occur.

--If crows make much noise and fly round and round, expect rain.

--Wild geese flying past large bodies of water indicate change of weather. Going south, cold; going north, warm.

--Gulls will soar aloft, and, circling around, utter shrill cries before a storm.

--When the peacock loudly bawls, expect both rain and squalls.

--Air bubbles over clam beds indicate rain.

--When pike lie on the bed of a stream quietly, expect rain or wind.

--When porpoises sport and chase one another about ships, expect stormy weather.

--Expect stormy weather when ants travel in lines, and fair weather when they scatter.

--If garden spiders forsake their cobwebs, rain is at hand.

Start observing the behaviour of animals, birds and insects. Perhaps you will learn to predict the increasingly unpredictable weather.

Maneka Gandhi

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