Governments spend billions of dollars every year on meteorology, yet the weather-person never even gets tomorrow’s weather right. We started by talking to farmers, in a small town in southern Spain. They had no television and were illiterate. All they knew was what had been passed down to them for generations. We were sitting talking to our neighbor when she saw three flying ants and told us that it would rain the next day. She was spot on and the weatherman missed it. My grandmother, Winifred, told my dad when he was a child, that if there was a circle around the moon, to count the stars inside the circle and in that many days it would rain. She was always right. Anyone in tornado country can tell you that before a tornado, the behaviour of the animals and the flight patterns of the birds change, way before the satellite image picks anything up. On my farm, my animals were all free to go in and out as they pleased. Always, before a storm, they would all go to the middle of the paddock, away from trees and fencing, I couldn’t even coax them in with food. There they stayed until the storm was over. In southern Spain we know when spring is coming, not by the ground hog, but because the swallows all return from Africa and start rebuilding their nests.
One night our dog tried to get us out of the house, hours before the roof caved in, almost killing our son. We had no warning; no cracks or leaks. We thought the dog just wanted to go out and find a bitch in heat and didn’t listen to him. He kept looking at the ceiling and crying and trying to go out. He couldn’t have made it any clearer.
Before earthquakes, tornados, volcanoes and other natural or even unnatural disasters, some animal or some insect knows and tries to get out of the way of the impending disaster. We just have to learn how to read these signs and we might be able to save thousands of lives.
To continue the project and before it can become an official study, we need information. So we want information from farmers, fishermen, tribesmen, Native Indians, Bushman, hikers, anyone who has travelled and come in contact with people that live by nature and their livelihood depends on knowing what is going to happen; people without the aid of modern technology and whose information comes from nature itself.
The study would include cultural anthropology, psychology, ecology, meteorology, folklore, storytellers, travellers, historians and many other fields. It would make great field work for university students.
Any information would be useful so please send your stories to me at brbrnapier (at) yahoo (dot) com with the title ANIMALS AND WEATHER. Thank you all.
I have had good feedback from this post. Here are a few links on the subject: