04 October 2009

Blowing In The Wind

Wind, as defined by Wikipedia, is "the flow of air or other gases that compose an atmosphere." It plays a very important part in our existence. Without it, we'd all fry from the heat of the sun as it makes up the bulk of movement of the air. Adversely, too much wind is equally dangerous with surging tides engulfing whole towns and cities. Weathervanes show the direction of the wind. The word "vane" comes from the Anglo-Saxon word "fane" meaning "flag". In my post of 7/2/09, I raised the question of whether wind turbines are slowing down or not. As stated, there has been an increase in the number of low or no wind days in the Midwest and wind measurements show wind speeds falling along parts of the Northern Plains. Wind, a power source of the green energy movement, is dying down.

People have watched and tested wind changes for centuries as it is important to know for both work and play. Occasionally, you'll see a person stick their wet finger in the air as a cost effect weathervane. My grandfather used to do that. I remember going to visit my grandparents on their farm. It was a typical one with the red paint chipping off the barn, the pig pen (they were really prickly to touch), the cows and other animals. I loved to watch their weathervane turn. I don't remember if it had a design , but knowing them, it was more utilitarian than decorative.

Weathervanes now come in fabulous designs and are made of different materials such as the two shown. Those made out of stained glass catch the sun's rays to make it seem like you're looking at a rainbow. The ones made of polished copper add elegance whether mounted on a roof or standing in a garden. The selection of styles and designs is huge and can be matched to hobbies or collections. Animals, mythical objects and creatures, sports, transportation, lighthouses and celestial are all represented in weathervane designs. The sky's almost the limit when it comes to choosing one to fit your style and personality.