Our love/hate relationship with weather comes in many forms.
Love: warm sun, blue skies, refreshing showers, the rainbows they produce, a cool breeze…
Hate: scorching heat, torrential downpours when you’re caught outside, blizzards, bowl-you over winds…
Beyond that realm, you can also enter the destructive category of droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning strikes, floods, and white-outs.
One thing is for certain, though: weather is fascinating. Humans have always been affected by it, and it can alter the course of your day, your week, and your vacation, depending on what is predicted. It can affect our mood. It can be fun to shop for cute rain boots and umbrellas. It can be the reason we select one vacation destination or permanent address over another.
In the United States, the Founding Fathers took a large interest in weather and some were avid observers. According to the National Weather Service, Thomas Jefferson bought his first thermometer while writing the Declaration of Independence, followed soon after by the purchase of a barometer. George Washington documented the weather in his diary up until the day before he died, and, of course, there is Benjamin Franklin’s interest in lightning and electricity.
Here are some unique ways to document, harness, and learn all about what Mother Nature has to offer:
- Join the Cloud Appreciation Society – Based in England, the CAS is an online group of cloud lovers who share anything and everything related to those particle puffs in the sky. From Jell-O cloud recipes, to photo galleries, to forums, you’ll be surrounded by over 27,000 others in 92 countries who share the love.
- Knit a sky scarf – The endlessly-creative Lea Redmond from Leafcutter Designs came up with a brilliant project called a sky scarf. Every day for one year, you knit one row of a scarf in the same color as your sky for that day. Completely cloudless day? Tack on a bright, bold, blue stripe. A little overcast? Make the next one a bit more gray. Give your neck a little hug with a great story behind it.
- Use a rain barrel – We don’t realize how important water is and how scarce it can be until we no longer have access to it. Growing up in Ohio, I was used to my parents having their water use metered and being charged accordingly. Here in California, it’s not as widespread. This can end up in an undocumented free-for-all until the summer restrictions kick in after months without a drop from the sky. This site will show you how to put the ancient practice of water harvesting to use so you can reduce water waste and maybe save a little money in the process.
- Wear weather jewelry – Recent featured Etsy seller, The Angry Weather, bases a good part of her product line on what’s going on in the atmosphere. She makes metal jewelry featuring clouds, rain drops, lightning bolts, and even meteorites.
- Take snowflake photos – I miss snowflakes terribly, so I now live vicariously through the documentations of others. This post offers a beautiful collection of snowflake photos from around the web. The symmetry and structure completely mesmerize me.
- Learn more about weather – The National Weather Service offers JetStream, an online weather school, where you can read up on topics ranging from heat indexes to satellites. Each module has a quiz at the end to test your learnin’s.
What is your ideal type of weather? What do you find makes you more active or productive? Are you a cold-lover or a heat-lover?