Orange Sky in the Morn

(Friday, 11 July 2008) by Michele Cozzens

cozzensvane.jpgMy dad spent World War II at sea, convoying the North Atlantic. I spent a good portion of my childhood listening to his stories about this time in his life. Through these stories, Dad taught me a lot about geography, history, star constellations and weather. The weather wasn't merely a conversation-filler for him. I believe he genuinely had an interest in daily barometric pressure and humidity readings.

Now having spent so many years in Wisconsin, I've learned that the weather is THE number one topic of conversation among vacationers. I know for a fact the number one question I'm asked by resort guests is: "What's the weather forecast for the week?" Anyone who knows me knows I won't quote the forecast. Why? Come to Wisconsin for a week and you'll find out why.  If you really want to know what the weather will be like, you should simply look to the sky in the west.

One saying every sailor (or child of a sailor) knows is: "Red sky at night, sailor's delight. Red sky in the morn, sailors be warned." So my answer to the question about the weather forecast for today is: I think there's a storm on the way.

I woke up at 5am this morning and there was an eerie red glow filling my bedroom windows. I thought I was dreaming. Quickly I threw on a robe and grabbed my trusty red camera. The shot featured here is of the weather vane on the front of our house and the sky behind it. I swear, the color hasn't been altered. A soft rain began just as I zoomed in on the copper heron, and as I type this, I hear low, rumbling thunder. The sky has since gone as colorless as ash. The birds are quiet and the air still. Anything can happen. Don't like the weather in Wisconsin? Wait five minutes.

This heron weather vane, by the way, was a gift from my father-in-law, Warren, and his wife, Jean. They gave it to us nearly a dozen years ago when they learned we were expecting our second child. Their little joke was that they called it a "stork." As I stood in the soft rain shower this morning and marveled at the unusual color of the sky, I thought of Warren and Jean, who have passed, and missed them.

They may be gone, but their little stork joke lives on . . .


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