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OPENING AND CLOSING OF LAKE CHAMPLAIN.

DISAPPEARANCE OF THE ICE.

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vegetation is protected by the morning It frequently happens that the ice confogs for some time after its growth has tinues upon the lake for some time after been stopped upon the uplands. The the snows are gone in its neighborhood early part of the autumn is usually pleas- and the spring considerably advanced. ant and agreeable and the cold advances In such seasons the ice often disappears gradually, but as it proceeds the changes very suddenly, instances having been become more considerable and frequent, observed of the lake being entirely covand the great contrast between the tem- ered with ice on one day and the next day perature of the day and night at this sea- no ice was to be seen, it all having disson render much precaution necessary in appeared in a single night. People in the order to guard against its injurious effects neighborhood, being unable to account for upon health. The ground does not usu. its vanishing thus suddenly in any other ally become much frozen till some time way, have very generally supposed it to in November, and about the 25th of that sink. This opinion is advanced in the month the ponds and streams begin to be account of this lake contained in Spafcovered with ice, and the narrow parts of ford's Gazetteer of New York, and the lake Champlain become so much frozen anomaly is very gravely attempted to be as to prevent the navigation from White accounted for on philosophical principles. hall to St. Johns, and the line boats go in. But the true explanation of this phenomto winter quarters, but the broad portions enon does not require the absurdity of the of the lake continue open till near the first sinking of a lighter body in a heavier. It of February, and the ferry boats from Bur. is a simple result of the law by which lington usually cross till the first of Jan- heat is propagated in fluids. That bodies uary. The following table contains the are expanded, or contracted, according to times of the closing and the opening of the increase or diminution of the beat they the broad lake opposite to Burlington, contain, is a very general law of nature. and when the steamboats commenced and Fresh water observes this law, when its stopped their regular trips through the temperature is above 40°, but below 40° lake from Whitehall to St. Johns, for sev- the law is reversed, and it expands with eral years past :

the reduction of temperature.

When winter sets in, the waters of the

lake are much warmer than the incumLineboats

bent atmosphere. The surface, therefore, Champlin Champl’n comenc'd Year. opened. running. stopped.

of the water communicates its heat to the

atmosphere, and, becoming heavier in 1816 Feb, 9

consequence, sinks, admitting the warmer 1817 Jan. 29 Apr. 16

water from below to the surface. Now 1818 Feb. 2 Apr. 15

since heat is propagated in fluids almost en1819 Mar. 4 Apr. 17 Apr. 25

tirely by the motion of the fluids, this cir

culation will go on,if the cold continues till SFeb.3 Feb. 1820 Mr. 8 Mar. 12

all the water from the surface downward 1821 Jan. 15 Apr. 21

to the bottom is cooled down to the tem1822 Jan. 24 Mar. 30

perature of 40°. It will then cease. The 1823 Feb. 7 Apr. 5 Apr. 15

colder water now being lighter than that 1824 Jan. 22 Feb. 11

below, will remain at the surface and soon 1825 Feb. 9

be brought down to the freezing point and 1826 Feb. 1 Mar. 24

congealed into ice. This accounts for the 1827 | Jan. 21 Mar. 31

ice taking soonest where the water is most 1828 not clos'd

shallow, and also for the closing of the 1829 Jan. 31 Apr.

Apr. 6

broad parts of the lake earliest in those 1830

winters in which there is most high wind, 1831

Apr. 11

the process of cooling being facilitated 1832 Feb. 6 Apr. 17 Apr. 23

thereby. 1833 Feb. 2 Apr. 6 Apr. 8

After the ice is formed over the lake, 1834 Feb. 13 Feb. 20 Apr. 4 Dec. 5 and during the coldest weather, the great

Jan10 Jan. 23 si

mass of water, after getting a few inches 1835

Feb 7, Apr. 12 Apr. 21 Nov. 29 below the ice, is of a temperature 8° above 1836 Jan. 29 Apr. 21 Apr. 25 Nov. 29 lhe freezing point. While the cold is se1837 | Jan. 15 Apr. 26 Apr. 29 Dec. 10 vere, the ice will continue to increase in 1838 Feb. 2 Apr. 13 Apr. 19 Nov. 26 thickness, but the mass of water below 1839 Jan. 25 Apr. 6 Apr. 11 Nov. 28 the ice will be unaffected by the tempera1840 Jan, 25 Feb. 20 Apr. 11

ture of the atmosphere above. Now the 1841 Feb. 18 Apr. 19 Apr. 28 Deo. 1 mean annual temperature of the climate 1842 | not clos'd

Apr. 131

in the neighborhood of lake Champlain

Lake

Lake

Line
Boats

closed.

FORMATION OF ANCHOR-ICE,

SMOKY ATMOSPHERE.

DARK DAYS.

does not vary much from 45°, and this is scent, are successively brought in contact about the uniform temperature of the with the stones at the bottom, which, earth at some distance below the surface. themselves, soon become ice-cold, after While then the mass of the waters of the which they serve as nuclei upon which lake is at 40°, and ice is forining at the the waters are crystilized and retained by top, the earth, beneath the water, is at the attraction, forming anchor ice. temperature of 45°, or 50 warmer than the Smoky Atmosphere. From the earliest water. Heat will, therefore, be constantly settlement of this country there have been imparted to the water from beneath, when observed a number of days, both in spring the temperature of the water is less than and autumn, on which the atmosphere 45°. The only effect of this communica- was heavily loaded with smoke. The tion of heat to the water from beneath, smoke has generally been supposed to reduring the earlier and colder parts of the sult wholly from extensive burnings in winter, is to retard the cooling of the lake some unknown part of the country. There and the formation of ice upon its surface. is no doubt but that much of the smoke But after the cold abates in the end of often is produced in this way, but it has winter and beginning of spring, so that appeared to us, that, since smoke is not a the lower parts of the ice are not affected product, but a defect, of combustion, it by the frosts from above, the beat, which may be possible for it to be produced even is communicated from below, acts upon where there is no fire. We have been the under surface of the ice, and, in con- led to this conclusion by observing that junction with the sun's rays, which pass the amount of smoke has not always been through the transparent surface and are greatest in those years in which burnings intercepted by the more opaque parts were known to be most extensive ; and below,* dissolves the softer portions, by observing, moreover, that the atmos. rendering it porous and loose like wet phere was usually most loaded with smoke snow, while the npper surface of the ice, in those autumns and springs which suchardened by occasional frosts, continues ceeded warm and productive summers. comparatively more compact and firm. In circumstances have led us to the this state of things, it often happens that, opinion that the atmosphere may, by its by a strong wind, a rent is made in the solvent power, raise and support the miice. The waters of the lake are immedi- nute particles of decaying leaves and ately put in motion, the rotten ice falls in- plants, with no greater heat than is ne. to small fragments, and, being violently cessary to produce rapid decomposition. agitated, in conjunction with the warmer When, by the united action of the heat water beneath, it all dissolves and van- and moisture of autumn and spring, the ishes in the course of a few hours. leaves are separated into minute particles,

There is one phenomenon, which is of we suppose these particles may be taken common occurrennce in many of our up by the atmosphere, before they are enstreams, during the coldest part of win- tirely separated into their original ele. ter, and which may not at first appear ments, or permitted to form new comreconcilable with what has been said pounds. This process goes on insensibly, above, and that is, the formation of ice until, by some atmospheric change, a conupon the stones at the bottom of the densation takes place, which renders the streams, usually called anchor ice. An- effluvia visible, with all the appearance chor ice is formed at falls and places and properties of smoke. where the current is so rapid that ice is Dark Days.-It sometimes happens not formed upon the surface. In the case that the atmosphere is so completely fillof running water, and particularly where ed with smoke as to occasion, especially the water is not deep and the current when accompanied by clouds, a darkness, rapid, over a rough bottom, the tempera- in the day-time, approaching to that of ture of the whole mass is probably reduced night. The most remarkable occurrennearly or quite to the freezing point be- ces of this kind, within our own recollecfore any ice is formed ; and then, where tion, were in the fall of 1819, and in the the current is so rapid that the ice cannot spring of 1820. At both of these seasons, form at the surface, the ice-cold waters the darkness was so great, for a while of the surface, in their tumultuous de- near the middle of the day, that a book of

ordinary print could not be read by the * A remarkable phenomenon attending this dis- sun's light. The darkness in both cases integration of the ice by the influence of the sun's rays, and one which we think worthy of investiga- was occasioned principally by smoke, and tion, is its separation into parallel icicles, or can- without any known extensive burnings; dles, as they are sometimes called, extending per but the summer of 1819, is known to have pendicularly from the upper to the lower surface of been remarkable for the abundant growth ibe ice, giving the mass, particularly the lower portions, somewhat the appearance of a honey comb. of vegetation. But the most remarkable

DARK DAY.

INDIAN SUMMER.

METEORS.

was

darkness of this nature, which has occur- | preceding articles, this is precisely what red since the settlement of this country, we should expect. When our ancestors

on the memorable 19th of May, arrived in this country, the whole conti1780, emphatically denominated the dark nent was covered with one uninterrupted, day. The darkness at that time is known luxuriant mantle of vegetation, and the to have covered all the northern parts of amount of leaves and other vegetable prothe United States and Canada, and to ductions, which were then exposed to have reached from lake Huron eastward spontaneous dissolution upon the surface over a considerable portion of the Atlan- of the ground, would be much greater tic ocean. It was occasioned chiefly by a than after the forests were cut down and dense smoke, which evidently had a pro- the lands cultivated. Every portion of gressive motion from southwest to noth- the country being equally shielded by the east. In some places it was attended with forest, the heat, though less intense, on clouds and in some few with rain. The account of the immense evaporation and darkness was not of the same intensity in other concurring causes, would be more all places, but was so great through near- uniformly distributed, and the changes ly the whole of this extensive region as to of wind and weather would be less frecause an entire suspension of business quent than after portions of the forests during the greater part of the day, where had been removed, and the atmosphere, the country was settled, and in many pla- over those portions, subjected to sudden ces it was such as to render candles as expansions from the influence of the sun necessary as at midnight. Several hypoth- upon the exposed surface of the ground. eses have been advanced to account for It is very generally believed, that our this remarkable darkness, such as an erup-winds are more variable, our weather tion of a volcano in the interior of the more subject to sudden changes, our ancontinent, the burning of prairies, &c., nual amount of snow less and our mean but by the one advanced in the preceding annual temperature higher than when article, it receives an easy explication. the settlement of the country was comThe regions at the south west are known menced. And causes, which would proto be extremely productive, and to have duce these changes, would, we believe, been, at that period, deeply covered with be sufficient to destroy, in a great meas. forest sand plants, whose leaves and perish- ure, the peculiar features of our Indian able parts would be sufficient, during their Summers. The variableness of the winds, decay, to fill the atmosphere to almost any occasioned by cutting down large por. extent; and nothing more would be neces- tions of the forests, would of itself be sary for the production of the phenome- sufficient to scatter and precipitate those non, than a change of atmospheric press- brooding oceans of smoke, and prevent ure, which should produce a sudden con- the long continuance of those seasons of densation, and a south westerly wind. dark and solemn stillness, which were, in

Indian Summer.-It has been said, ages that are past, the unerring harbinthough we do not vouch for its truth, that gers of long and dreary winters and delu. it was a maxim with the aborigines of this

ges

of snow. country, which had been handed down Meteors and Earthquakes.-Upon these from time immemorial, that there would subjects Vermont affords nothing peculiar. be 30 smoky days both in the spring and The common phenomenon of shoofing autumn of each year; and their reliance stars is witnessed here as in other parts of upon the occurrence of that number in the country, and those uncommon disautumn was such that they had no fears plays which have several times occurred of winter setting in till the number was about the 13th of November, have been completed. This phenomenon occurred observed from various parts of the state. between the middle of October and the In addition to these, several of those rare middle of December, but principally in meteors, from which meteorolites or me. November ; and it being usually attended teoric stones are thrown, have been no. by an almost perfect calm, and a high ticed, but the records of them are few and temperature during the day, our ances- meagre. These meteors make their aptors, perhaps in allusion to the above pearance so unexpectedly and suddenly, maxim, gave it the name of Indian Sum- and continue visible for so short a period

But it appears that from the com- of time, that it is hardly possible to make mencement of the settlement of the coun-observations sufficiently accurate to furtry, the Indian Summers have gradually nish data for calculating their velocity, become more and more irregular and less distance or magnitude. That most restrikingly marked in their character, un markable meteor which passed over New til they have almost ceased to be noticed. England in a southerly direction in the Now upon the hypothesis advanced in the morning of the 14th of December, 1807, REMARKABLE METEORS.

mer.

REMARKABLE METEORS. and from which fell large quantities of from the rest of New England, and from meteoric stones in Weston, Connecticut, New York and Canada, about 10 o'clock was seen from Rutland in this state and the in the evening of the 9th of March, 1822. observation there made formed one of the From observations made at Burlington elements in Dr. Bowditch's calculations and Windsor, Prof. Dean computed its of its velocity, distance and size. A me- course to be S. 35o W., its distance from teor of the same kind passed over New Burlington 59 miles and from Windsor 83 England and New York in a southwest- miles, and its height above the earth about erly direction a little before 10 o'clock in 37 miles when it first appeared, and when the evening of the 23d of February, 1819, it disappeared its distance from Burling, and was seen from many parts of Ver ton was 144 miles and its distance from mont. We had the pleasnre of witness- Windsor 133 miles and its height 29 miles. ing it at Bridgewater in this state. The According to these computations, at the meteor there made its appearance about first appearance of the meteor, it was ver. 10° south of the zenith, and, descending tical over the unsettled parts of Essex rapidly towards the southwest, it disap- county in the state of New York, and at peared when about 25° above the horizon. its disappearance, it was over the western Indeed, its velocity was such over Wind- part of Schoharie county in the same sor and Rutland counties as to give to all, state. who observed it, though at the distance of Several other meteors of this kind have 10, 20 and even 30 miles from each other, been observed, the most remarkable of along the line of its course, the impres- which was seen from the northern part of sion that its fall was nearly perpendicular; the state and from nearly the whole of and each observer supposed that it fell Lower Canada, about 4 o'clock in the within a few hundred yards of himself. morning of the 28th of May, 1834. It beNow as this meteor was probably moving ing a time when people generally were in nearly parallel to the horizon, the decep bed and asleep, comparatively few had the tion must have arisen from the rapid dim- opportunity of seeing it. Many, however, inution of the visible angle between the were awakened by its light, and still more meteor and the horizon, occasioned by the by its report. Residing then at Hatley in great horizontal velocity of the meteor in Canada, which is 15 miles north of the its departure from the zenith of the ob- north line of Vermont at Derby, we were server. These facts should teach us to suddenly awakened by a noise resembling guard against the illusions of our own that of a large number of heavy carriages senses and to admit with caution the tes driven furiously over a rough road or timony of others respecting phenomena pavement, and by a shaking of the house, of this nature.

which caused a rattling of every door and According to the best of our judgment, window. Supposing it to be an earth. the meteor was visible three or fonr sec- quake, we sprung out of bed and reached onds, in which time it passed through an the door two seconds at least before tho arc of near 50% of the heavens. Its ap- sound ceased. The atmosphere was calm parent diameter was about 20', or two and the sky was perfectly clear, with the Thirds that of the moon, and the color of exception of a narrow train of cloud or its light was very white and dazzling, like smoke,extending from southwest to norththat of iron in a furnace in a state of fu. east, and at considerable distance to the sion. It left a long train of light behind northward of the zenith. It was nearly it, and just at the time of disappearance a motionless, and was apparently at a vastly violent scintillation was observed, and the greater height than clouds usually lie. fragments detached continued luminous Indeed there was something so peculiar at considerable distance from the main in its appearance as to make it the subbody of the meteor, but no meteoralites ject of remark and careful observation till are known to have fallen. Five or six after sunrise, when it gradually vanished, minutes after the disappearance of the although at this time we had no reason to meteor, a very distinct report was heard suspect its connexion with the noise and accompanied by a jarring of the earth, like shaking of the earth, which had awaken. the report of a cannon at the distance of ed us. We, however, soon learned that five or six miles. Now, assuming the a remarkable meteor had been seen, and correctness of the above data, and that that its course lay along the very line octhe report was given at the time of the cupied by the remarkable cloud above scintillation, the distance of the meteor mentioned. From an intelligent young was then between 70 and 80 miles, and man, who was fishing at the time on Masits diameter about one third of a nuile. suippi lake in Hatley, and who had a full

Another, and still more remarkable me view of the meteor during the whole time teor, was seen from this state as well as it was visible, we learned that it made its PT. 1.

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NEW ENGLAND EARTHQUAKES.

AURORA BOREALIS. appearance at a point a little north of horizon towards a point not far from the west at an elevation of about 35o, passed zenith; but at times it assumes forms as the meridian at a considerable distance various and fantastic as can well be imnorth of the zenith and disappeared in the agined, and exhibits all the colors of the northeast with an altitude of about 250. rainbow. It is not uncommon that it takes He thought its apparent magnitude to be the form of concentric arches spanning the 8 or 10 times that of the moon, and that heavens from west to east, usually at the it was visible about 10 seconds. It was north, but sometimes passing through the of a fiery red color, brightest when it first zenith, or even at considerable distance appeared, and gradually decreased in brill- to the south of it. At times the meteor is iancy, all the time throwing off sparks, apparently motionless, but it is not an un. till it disappeared. About 4 minutes af common thing for it to exhibit a violent ter the vanishing of the meteor, a rumb- undulating motion like the whipping of a ling or rattling sound, which sensibly flag in a brisk wind. But it is so variable agitated the surface of the lake, com- in its appearance, that it is vain to attempt menced in the point where the meteor its description. We will, however, men. was first seen, and following the course tion a few of the remarkable occurrences of the meteor died away at the point where of this meteor which have fallen under the meteor vanished. This meteor was our own observation, and some of the ato vertical on a north and south line,about 50 tending circumstances, miles to the northward of Derby in this On the 12th of October, 1819, at about state, or nearly over Shipton in Canada, 7 o'clock in the evening, the Aurora Boand its altitude must have been at least realis assumed the form of three luminous 30 miles, and still the agitation it pro- resplendant arches, completely spanning duced in the atmosphere was such as to the heavens from west to east. The low. break considerable quantities of glass in est arch was in the north a little below the windows at Shipton, Melbourne and the pole star, the second about midway some other places. The course of this between the pole star and the zenith, and meteor was mostly over an unsettled the third 10° or 15° to the southward of country. The most remarkable circum- the zenith. These belts gradually spread stances attending this meteor were the out till they became blended with each train of smoke which it left behind, and other, and the whole concave heavens was the long continued noise and shaking of lit up with a soft and beautiful glow of the earth.

white light. It would then concentrate Since the settlement of New England, to particular points whose brightness there have been recorded a considerable would equal that of an ordinary par. number of earthquakes, and several have helion, and around them would be exhib. been noticed in Vermont. The sound ited the prismatic colors melting into each accompanying these is usually described other in all their mellow loveliness. The as having a progressive motion ; and that, motions of the meteor were rapid, undu. and the shaking of the earth have been latory and from north to south varying a supposed to be produced by the rushing of little towards the zenith. The sky was steam through the cavities in the interior clear and of a deep blue color where it of the earth,

but the effect known to have was not overspread by the meteor. It was been produced by the meteor last de succeeded in the morning of the 13th by scribed, furnishes strong reasons for sus- a slight_fall of snow with a northwest pecting that the cause of many, and per- wind. The aurora exhibited itself in a haps of all the earthquakes which have manner very similar to the above in the occurred in New England, has been in evening of the 3d of April, 1820, and sev. the atmosphere above instead of the earth eral times since. beneath. Had this meteor passed with. But the most remarkable exhibition of out being seen, the sound and shaking of this meteor, which has fallen under our the earth, which it produced, would have own observation, was in the evening of the been regarded as a real earthquake, and 25th of January, 1837. It first attractits origin in the atmosphere would not ed our attention at about half past 6 have been suspected.

o'clock in the evening. It then consisted Aurora Borealis.- This meteor has been of an arch of faint red light extending very common in Vermont, ever since the from the north west and terminating nearly first settlement of the state ; but in some in the east, and crossing the meridian 15 years it is of more frequent occurrence, or 20° north of the zenith. This arch and exhibits itself in a more interesting soon assumed a bright red hue and grad. and wonderful manner than in others. Its ually moved towards the south. To the most common appearance is that of streams northward of it, the sky was nearly black, of white light shooting up from near the in which but few stars could be seen. Next

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