In his annual almanac, the seventeenth-century astrologer John Gadbury calls July the Thunder Month, [when] it was customary at Malmsbury-Abbey, to ring the great bell call’d St. Adam’s Bell, to drive away the THUNDER AND LIGHTNING. If the last week of June is any indication of things to come, his characterization will prove correct for July 2013. We’ve had rain pretty much every day over the past week, and it is raining again today. A bit of thunder and lightning, but nothing too dramatic…yet.*** It’s quite humid so the feeling is more tropical than New England, but the garden is thriving.
John Gadbury, Ephemeris, or a Diary Astronomical, Astrological and Meteorological for the Year of our Lord 1696; a Strobridge Lithograph Company calendar for July 1901, which could also work for July 2013, New York Public Library Digital Gallery.
Other texts from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries–astrological, agricultural, and “medical”–predict: if the first of July be rainy weather, ’twill rain more or less for four weeks together, which wouldn’t bother me at all. They also offer the following prescriptions for July: don’t eat “strong”, substantive or spicy foods, nor any “muddy” fish, green fruits, or beets, drink but a little wine, eat sage and rue on a bit of bread every morning, and take as much “verjuyce” as possible, as it cools and refreshes the body (and the mind). Verjuice is a juice made of crushed and strained sour (unripe, green) grapes or apples mixed with a variety of herbs, and it appears to be experiencing a bit of a comeback at the moment, so maybe my early modern experts were right.
***Tornado watch later in the day: very unusual for New England.