Friday, April 4, 2008

Raining On My Parade

Rain ... and more rain. That has to be the topic for today. I've been keeping a simple weather log just as a way of making myself more aware and also as a way to develop an understanding of how weather can be predicted. Or you can just note the current weather whenever you make an entry in your nature journal. (You do have a nature journal?!) As I write this, the humidity is 98% and the barometer is 29.94 and falling. I can report that this situation makes rain fairly likely. :-)

The forecast for today is rain with possible thunderstorms. I must admit that severe weather can scare me. I've seen the destruction of tornadoes and they can be humbling if not deadly. And lightning can be just as dangerous. But as scary as weather can be, what an interesting thing it can be to study.

Did you know that they've actually assigned genus and species names to clouds now? I'm fascinated by altocumulus mackerel sky (mackerel sky is the specific epithet). A cloud that looks like a fish? Yeah, sort of. It's named for how that cloud pattern resembles the pattern on the side of a mackerel. It can mean that a change in weather is on the way.

I also must admit that Allen and I have sat on the grass in front of the Education Center and just watched clouds together. (I see little lambs, Allen sees wood.) But my own favorite clouds are the ones that are bathed in the pastel colors of sunset. I've been taking many photos of the sunsets to study them and as a kind of phenology study. Though we've all seen beautiful sunsets before, I think there's a tendency to believe that most of them look pretty much the same. Check out my photos for proof that each sunset is as unique as a fingerprint.

At dinner time, with a break in the rain, I saw a flicker in my yard. No moustache means that it was probably a female. Having seen a male a week or so ago, I'm hopeful now that a pair may be setting up house in the area.

Following up on yesterday's thoughts: all that we know about social insects makes one wonder. Can insects think? Today's essay by Hal Borland (in his Book of Days) suggests that they can't, only depending on instinct. But some new evidence suggests that it might not be that simple. I saw an ant crawling on my kitchen counter this afternoon. I wonder if he thinks the food is good at my place.

To get started:

The Weather:







Northern Flicker:

Thinking Insects?:

1 comment:

Terrell Holder said...

I visited your sunset photos...awsome, thanks.