Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – June 24, 2004
Searching For A Weather Vane
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – June 24, 2004 – I was sitting in my garden the other day sipping a coffee and looking at a copper whirligig that I bought for twenty-four dollars at Home Depot. It’s real function is as a sprayer, to water the garden, but I like it as an ornament so I put it in a small nook by the back fence.
The shiny copper will weather to a dull patina with time, but for now it’s a welcome addition to the greenery. There is an empty space right by the garden gate and I was wondering what might go there that would complement the copper sprayer. I thought about a weather vane after seeing one on the peek of a garage roof the other day when I was showing houses. This one was the typical rooster and it was swinging merrily around at the whim of the wind.
I don’t have a great store of information at the ready about weather vanes, except to know that the copper ones have been in use for a couple thousand years and that when they are made properly – they are quite accurate. I don’t recall ever seeing a weather vane store in Toronto, so my first resource was the Yellow Pages. Under weather, it says – see Meteorological Instruments – bupkiss. My only real resource was Weather Sense in Prince Edward Island. They had the typical rooster, sailboat and horse vanes in black, cast aluminum. Not quite what I had in mind.
Not really expecting a great outcome, I typed “buying a weather vane” into Google and hit ‘search’ – and what do I see, but dozens of resources for said article. Now the hard part – wading through all the results. After an hour or so I found a company in San Jose, California that sells an amazing selection of large roof mounted weather vanes and smaller ones for garden, deck and patio use.
They also have brass and copper garden bugs – grasshoppers, dragonflies, lady bugs and butterflies. The weather vanes I particularly like are a cat reaching for a mouse and a dog sniffing a bone. They’re made of copper and have quite intricate detailing. The cat is a perfect gift for my brother’s upcoming birthday in July. Shouldn’t every man have a weather vane at some point in his life? I think so.
I’ve now exhausted my tolerance for surfing the web in search of the quintessential weather vane. I’ve found a few that are quite wonderful. My initial selections, prior to an exhaustive search, have proven to be the best and tomorrow I’ll send an e-mail to the company to find out more information about these interesting entities.
There is something simple and reassuring about a weather vane – sort of like a thermometer, compass, windmill, tide clock, barometer and a wind sock. They’re not highly technical, but they have proven their worth, in serving mankind over the years. My garden will be a better, more whimsical place with the addition of a weather vane.
It may not be right up there with the gargoyles. Arthur, Roger and Duncan, although I may re-think their usefulness – they did little good last night as the racoons dug up some of my plants. I can’t imagine that I’ll christen the weather vane, but you never know. Few things escape a moniker in my household .