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rendered the water-courses mighty rushing streams; this cold rainy season generally terminates by the middle or end of August. Between the rains at this season of the
are days, and, in some years, whole weeks together, of delightful weather, cool and bracing as spring in England, but more beautiful and exhilirating.
With the exception of about twenty-five extremely hot days, and sixty disagreeable wet or cold days, the weather throughout the year is indescribably pleasant, the air is balmy and bright, scarcely a cloud is visible, and the sun looks down from the deep blue sky in unveiled splendour.
The rising sun is a sight soft and beautiful. The God of day from his eastern portals bursts the ebon pall of night, and flinging wide the purple and vermillion curtain-clouds of morn, illumines the mountains with molten gold, dispensing life and light around, as he majestically mounts into the northern heavens. At the decline of day the scene is magni
ficent! Onward the mighty orb rolls, like a ball of molten iron, to the legion of gorgeous clouds that have risen in the far west to herald it away; the hills blaze up with crimson and gold fringed with sparkling silver: the tints of heaven's own iris are scattered over the sky, and the extended plains to the very horizon are tinged with pink. Even the cities and dwelling-places are coloured with the rich, changing hues, and from their windows streams liquid fire.
Day and night are of nearly equal length throughout the year. The sun never remains above the horizon more than about fourteen and a half hours, nor less than ten and a half; and, as twilight does not linger in these latitudes, the changes from day to night, and from night to morn, are to an Englishman unpleasantly abrupt.
The greater number of the nights are most enchanting. The southern constellations shine forth from the hard, dark heavens in unrivalled brightness, and the haloed moon pours her chastened radiance on the plains and hills with such refulgence, that everything for miles around is distinctly visible. The light of both the sun and the moon is more intense than in Britain. I should say the difference is as five to three.
The climate throughout the Australian provinces is decidedly hot. The thermometer in Sydney and Melbourne during summer, frequently reaches 90° or 100° Fahr. in the shade; and occasionally 110°, or even more. In winter it rarely ranges below 46° Fahr.; hoar frost sometimes occurs: ice, seldom or never.
The variations in temperature are great and sudden ; noonday is frequently 20° hotter than morning or evening, while the heat of one day often differs from that of the next by 15°. Then as 'the southerly winds are altogether more moist than those from the northward, a change of wind without any alteration in the thermometer often chills severely: indeed, the climate is much affected by the direction of the winds. That which blows from the northward is always extremely dry, and often violent. In winter it is moderately warm, in summer it is intensely hot, and rushes on with the velocity of a hurricane, raising the thermometer in the shade to 110', or even 120° Fahr., drying up the grass like hay, depriving the grape of its watery elements rendering iron exposed to its influence so hot as to burn the hand on touching it, doing injury to the promising harvest, and filling the air with such quantities of dust and sand, that the sun's rays are shut out and only darkness is visible. The current of heated air appears confined to no particular altitude, but rushes upward or downwards, according to circumstances; sometimes it assumes a rotary movement, as if revolving on a series of horizontal axes, thus : Illllll; or undulates thus:m Occasionally the hot wind travels so slowly, that its movement is scarcely perceptible; there is then little dust, the heat of the sun's rays is great, and the earth is so torrid, that a thermometer which I sunk horizontally into the
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ground to the depth of 24 inches, in a situation exposed to the sun and the wind, stood at 151° Fahr. On another occasion I placed a bar of copper about 1 foot long and 3 inches wide by 1 inch thick, in a situation exposed to the hot wind and the sun's rays; when it had been thus placed for about two hours, I wrapped some common post letter-paper round it, and in doing so, it accidentally came against my hand, which it burnt, and in a few hours afterwards the place blistered. After the had been in contact with the copper about an hour, its colour changed to a deep straw or pale brown, and it was so scorched and rotten, that it broke in pieces when I attempted to
During the prevalence of these siroccos, the high clouds, cirrus, and strata frequently disappear, while the lower remain unchanged; and at night the air is commonly filled with beautiful sheet lightning.
It is believed that there are no noxious gases in these winds, and they are said to exercise no deleterious effects on the health of man; the