Monday 9 July 2012

You don't need a weatherman.

Here is an interesting little job that came my way this week.
It's a weathercock from an old barn.
The antique is being used to bring an old farmstead back into working order.
I have never thought of having one here, but the piece is inspiring

It looks as though it fell from the barn, or perhaps the barn itself gave out
taking the apparatus with it.
The direction arms are bent, and half of the arrow was missing.
The usual bit of rust and seized fasteners also needed to be looked after.
There is charm to the sound of a squeaky weather vane,
but to work right, the action should be smooth.

I am personally guilty of looking everywhere but the sky when I want to know about the weather.
Around here, wind direction alone tells much of the story.
With basic weather interpretation tools such as this,
I could be more attuned to what's is going on, and what may soon happen.

I had to look up how the weathercock works.
It's a simple enough device, but there are certain design considerations.
The arrow fletching needs to be a greater surface area than the tip of the arrow.
Also, the unit must be perfectly balanced;
even the steel rooster must be ideally proportioned.
The direction arms are adjusted once the whole thing has been installed on the barn.

I suppose that weather prediction is the function of many different tools,
such as a thermometer, barometer, and the weather vane.
Having become accustomed to checking the internet for weather news,
the old weather instruments just seem like reminders of a past era.
And so they are.
I have been reminded that maybe it's time to get aquainted with the old tools,
so I don't have to rely on the new ones.

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