Reading the Signs

I was working in one of the gardens when I felt a little breeze come up quickly.  I turned around and saw this.

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This is the time of year when any rain we get usually comes in “scattered thunderstorms.”  So rainfall amounts can vary widely even in a small area.  Last week we got an inch of rain one day while my mother, who lives less than a half mile away, got only two-tenths of an inch.

If you spend a lot of time outside, and if rain is very important to you, then you can become pretty good at reading the signs.

So I could tell that this storm, even though it was close, was going to miss us.  I kept right on digging up potatoes and sure enough we didn’t get a drop, though I could see it raining not far away.

Linda (Shoreacres) also has a job that requires an awareness of the weather and approaching rain. She is one of the best bloggers on the world wide web and discussed “reading the signs” in a recent post on her blog, which I recommend.

As the great philosopher/poet Bob Dylan once said, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

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16 comments on “Reading the Signs

  1. Eumaeus says:

    That’s the quote that took ’em underground. Fascinating film, The Weather Underground (2002)

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  2. bobraxton says:

    On his September birthday our (one) offspring turns 43. When he was very young we received a high school project from my next-to-last (of five) sister that had a stylized LadyBug along with words (felt on burlap) “don’t bug me.” Our very young child looked up at it after it was hanging on our home indoor wall and expounded: Those ladybugs should be careful of the words!

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    • Bill says:

      It’s great to have memories of the things children say. I wish I had been more careful to write down some of the things mine said (or that I had a better memory).

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      • bobraxton says:

        grandson (just turned age seven) first named “Grandma Bee” and by extrapolation also called me “Grandpa Bee.” Recently he changed mine to “Gran Pabby” and I was thinking “how clever” (monkeying with sy-LAB-les) – until last night Grandma Bee and I watched BluRay disc video “Frozen” – now I know what he is saying – “gran Pabby” (if you have not watched Frozen, you can find by using google search).

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  3. beeholdn says:

    Thanks for recommending Linda’s post, Bill. It’s long but a pleasure to read.
    The last two paragraphs bring to mind words by, I think, Thoreau (?) Live each season as it passes: breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of each; let them be your only diet, drink, and botanical medicine…
    (Hope I haven’t mangled that too much.)
    Advice as good in the middle of a snowstorm as on a warm summer day.

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    • shoreacres says:

      Thanks for reading, beeholdn. I’m glad you found it a pleasure, despite its length. I’ve always been one of those who tried to use just the right number of words to tell a story. Sometimes I write short, and sometimes I write long, but I always try to write interesting. I’m learning!

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    • Bill says:

      Glad you enjoyed it. Linda is a master wordsmith and her posts are always excellent.

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  4. shoreacres says:

    Thanks so much for the link, Bill. As these things happen, I just got run in by rain for the second time today, so I decided to declare it lunchtime and have a little browse around the blogs.

    One thing I’ve been pondering since writing that post is how many people see weather as the enemy. They don’t like being hot, wet, or cold. They don’t like being inconvenienced by weather (delayed airline flights, flooded roads, storms that take out electricity) and they most assuredly don’t like uncertainty. No one takes more grief than a weatherman who “gets it wrong.”

    If you push that line of thought a bit, it doesn’t take long to realize how we often see nature generally as “the enemy,” and begin refusing her gifts.

    Maybe that’s an approach ripe for exploration and development. “Eat those danged vegetables! They’re good for you!” is certainly one approach, and sometimes it’s needed. But there’s also, “The earth is your friend, and she’s got some gifts for you. Look at this peach!” After all, who doesn’t need a friend, or like gifts? It’s something I’m going to think about.

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    • bobraxton says:

      a friend, yes – nature (and from nature)

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    • Bill says:

      Our relationship with weather has changed along with our relationship with nature generally. I’ve seen people post on facebook asking their friends to join them in praying that it won’t rain when they go the beach (and things like that). I’ve seen posts like that while we were suffering from a drought that was killing pastures and gardens and threatening the lives and health of livestock as well as our food supply. But most of us are so disconnected from that reality that it wouldn’t occur to us that we ought not invoke divine assistance in extending the drought so our vacation wouldn’t be affected.

      I love the last paragraph of your comment. I completely agree that we should see the offerings of nature as gifts. I love the image.

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  5. I always enjoy what Linda has to say… about anything. 🙂 –Curt

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  6. EllaDee says:

    Your post made me laugh because I have on my to do list: make a weather rock – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weather_rock – for our house at Taylor Arm, where we rarely listen to the radio, nor watch TV and have no internet… so no weather predictions, not that they’re worth listening to, for one because we’re located in between news-weather zones… It’s been years since I wore a watch. In city life there’s no shortage of time displays, and in the country I look at the sky.

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    • Bill says:

      The weather rock makes me smile. 🙂
      I don’t wear a watch either and I look at the sky to determine the time of day for lots of things, but I do still rely on a clock to tell me when it’s meal time. 🙂

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  7. avwalters says:

    The rain has been skirting us lately, too. Not so much as to be a drought, but it shows, tellingly, in which areas are natural and which are chemical farmed. The “modern” fields don’t hold the moisture.

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