The weather stick is real science, but you have to take your choice among several theories. My favorite is the balsam fir adapts to climate, drawing in when conditions are dry and reaching out for moisture when it’s wet, producing a layer of cells that do just that. The best part of this theory is we hang them upside down so the stick points up in dry weather and curls down in wet.
I looked out the road garage window this morning at the stick, drooping, drips falling from its tip. Drip. Drip. Drip. “Poor thing,” I said. “It’s hung down for weeks.” “Actually,” said the super, “It’s been raining since spring.”
And it has. I drive by a loop of the Cuyahoga River going to work every day. It’s not a violent river down in the meadows, plenty of flood plane for the water. One peninsula near the road provides good shelter at the tip and unless the water is out of control I often see ducks breasting the current, looking quite content. Today the water is over the banks, spreading out in the meadow. The mallards don’t have to hop to the top of the bank, they just stand up. And, as someone else observed today, it could have been a foot of snow.