For those of you who entered the cover design contest, I’m sorry I can’t announce the winner yet as my publisher has not made a decision. So, please be patient a little longer, okay?
The weather has been terribly hot these past few days after the wet spell. Just two days ago, I saw some flies with huge wings (what the Hokkiens call tua chui bang) hovering around the fluorescent light. I told my kids that old folks believe these flies signal a change in weather. As it had been hot when the flies appeared, that would mean that the next day would bring rain, right? Wrong. The next day the heat was just as sweltering.
No. 4 said, “Mummy, it didn’t rain but the flies came.”
Perhaps I should ask my friend with the weather nose to come stay with us. Each time her nose starts to get runny, she’ll predict that it will rain the next day. Apparently her weather nose is quite accurate. Our Meteorological department should employ her.
In Kenya they look at how the spiders spin the web and how high the magungu birds fly as indicators of when the weather will change.
When the magungu bird flies higher in the sky than usual and seems to float in the air in its passage from south to north, the Abasuba people living on the islands of Kenya’s Lake Victoria and on the highlands near the lake know the rains are on their way and that it is time to plant.
To scientists, this flight pattern could be associated with the movement of the inter-tropical convergence zone. The Lake Victoria basin falls in an area of deep convection, which might explain the high flight.
To bring together these two paradigms — the traditional indicators and the modern scientific forecasts — a project has been set up to record and monitor the traditional indicators of weather in Kenya and to find their scientific interpretations.
…. The workshops brought to light the traditional indicators that have been handed down through generations: from the patterns of stars, shadows, the direction of the wind and clouds to the flowering of trees and the behaviour of birds, insects and bees. Spiders are often the first to signal a change in the weather. They weave their webs against the wind in anticipation of the insects that will come their way.
Flies, spiders, birds, nose …. what other indicators of weather change have you come across? I wish my friend’s weather nose would twitch… we need rain!