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How did Joseph Smith know about droughts causing snake infestations?

In Ether 9 we read of a snake infestation following a drought

And it came to pass that there began to be a great dearth upon the land, and the inhabitants began to be destroyed exceedingly fast because of the dearth, for there was no rain upon the face of the earth.

And there came forth poisonous serpents also upon the face of the land, and did poison many people. And it came to pass that their flocks began to flee before the poisonous serpents, towards the land southward, which was called by the Nephites Zarahemla.

And it came to pass that there were many of them which did perish by the way; nevertheless, there were some which fled into the land southward.

And it came to pass that the Lord did cause the serpents that they should pursue them no more, but that they should hedge up the way that the people could not pass, that whoso should attempt to pass might fall by the poisonous serpents.

While a drought and snake infestation may seem a disconnected series of events, there is plenty of ecological evidence that they are connected, for example some species of snake, are known to migrate to new habitats during times of drought, usually in search of food or water.

How was Joseph Smith so knowledgeable of so many different topics? 

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