Saturday, 8 October 2011
Red sky at night
Freddy is really interested in farm animals and I'm pleased about that because my favourite toy as a child was my farmyard (honestly it was).
Here is a cute baby goat or kid to use the correct terminology; speaking of which did you know that a group of goats is called a trip? Did you also know that goats discovered coffee beans?
These handsome cows were lying down and I told Freddy that when cows lie down it means that it will rain. Well, when I got home I checked my facts and it seems that this old proverb my be based on fact as falling pressure can affect the digestive system of cows, making them less willing to go to pasture, causing them to lie down. I thought it was just so that they could have a dry patch of grass to stand on but whatever.
It did get me thinking though about proverbs and old wives tales. My favourite as a child was always 'Red sky at night - shepherd's delight. Red sky in the morning - shepherd's warning' which was meant to indicate what the weather would be like the next day.
I decided to look this one up too and found out that when the western sky is especially clear, there is often a red sunset. That's because as the sun sets, its light shines through much more of the lower atmosphere, which contains dust, salt, smoke and pollution. These particles scatter away some of the shorter wavelengths of light (the violets and blues), leaving only the longer wavelengths (the oranges and reds.) If an area of high air pressure is present, the air sinks. This sinking air holds air contaminants near the earth, making the sunset even redder than usual. This would be the 'red sky at night.'
In the middle latitudes of the northern hemisphere, weather systems most often approach from the west. Since high pressure generally brings fair weather, this type of red sky at sunset would indicate that clear weather is approaching, which would 'delight' a shepherd. If the sky is red in the eastern morning sky for the same reasons as above, then the high pressure region has most likely already passed from west to the east, and an area of low pressure may follow. Low pressure usually brings clouds, rain or storms. How about that then???
Here is an Alpaca that we saw on the farm. Freddy called it a giraffe but I can't criticise because I called it a lama.
And finally here is the absolutely awesome huge inflatable pillow that Freddy couldn't get enough of! He has really perfected some fancy moves to show off on his cousin's trampoline next time we visit.