Summer Weather Forecasting is for the Birds
Weather forecasting is for the birds—bluebirds, that is.
Here in Carpenter Country, the magical place where we write, we offer room and board to local avians in exchange for the pleasure of their company. We built two of our community birdhouses especially for bluebirds, and they’ve been continually occupied over the years.
During that time, the bluebirds-in-residence have followed the same routine. In spring, for warmth, they raise chicks in the box that sits in full sun. In summer, to keep the nestlings cooler, they use the quarters that occupy a shady spot close to a leafy Sycamore.
We’re pretty sure bluebirds don’t move house because the kitchen in the new place is equipped with great appliances or the bathroom has a hot tub. We think they’re more into the realtor’s creed of location, location, location. They decide—in advance—which location will offer the best conditions for the survival of their chicks.
So, are bluebirds better at long range forecasting than human meteorologists?
Turns out they are. Every day during the month of July, the weather people predicted an occasional shower and lots of sunshine. But the birds knew July would be cloud-covered and rain-soaked.
Perhaps forecasters should watch birds instead of computer models. How about putting bluebirds on the air? A live-stream webcam of bluebird activity would be more interesting than swirling maps of radar simulations. And, given the accuracy of recent forecasts, Mr. and Mrs. Blue would earn their salary of insects and berries.
What do you think? Is employing bluebirds as forecasters an idea whose time has come? Or could it only happen in Carpenter Country, a place that, like our stories, is unreal but not untrue?
Then her dad is accused of a huge financial fraud. Vandy is thrust into a frenzy of media attention as accusations and innuendos pile up daily. The victims of her dad’s swindle vow revenge, and her dad flees.
As her perfect life disintegrates, Vandy struggles to separate reality from lies. Was her perfect life truly so perfect? Did she ever really know her father?
When family secrets come to light, revealing an unimaginable betrayal, Vandy learns to appreciate the simple richness of sincerity and truth.
HL Carpenter is a Florida-based mother/daughter duo who writes from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. Their latest young adult novel is Walled In. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Their work is featured on their website, HLCarpenter.com.