It may be a bit of an error to say that sundials measure or monitor the elements. They do use the elements to measure time, so it’s in the list. Sundials use shadows that change as the Earth rotates and the sun appears to cross the sky. The shadow lands on a number, and that’s how you tell what time it is. Sundials are not an uncommon thing to see in yards, and that is because they have become very artistic. Much like bird baths, sundials are as much about design as they are function, and they make beautiful lawn ornaments.
If you have a tech guru in your house, you may already have a weather station installed. These devices are generally installed above rooftops on poles, and they measure things like wind speed and direction, temperature, and rainfall. They can get about as complex as you want, and they make excellent gifts for the person who like meteorology and wants some hands-on experience.
Thermometers obviously measure temperature, but they come in a range of styles. This makes it fun to find one that fits what you had in mind for your yard. Vintage thermometers may be large disc thermometers featuring old advertisements. Thermometers may also be small trinkets near a window where you can see the outdoor temp from your kitchen. Industrial thermometers are available for a more modern look. Like many yard items, it is all about the appearance and the function.
Rain gauges can be integral to the health of your lawn and gardens, as over- or under-watering can result from not paying attention to rainfall. Yet, rain gauges come in all styles. Some of them blend in beautifully into flower gardens and are accented by fairies or dragonflies. Others are more functional, but either way, they fill an important role in lawn care.
Weather vanes are typically decorative elements on the tops of roofs and barns, but they do fill a function in that they tell you which way the wind is blowing. Installing a weather vane on your property is taking a step back into time, which makes them perfect for historic or country homes.
Weather sticks are a Native American tradition. They are a single, dry piece of balsam or birch mounted horizontally from a structure. When humidity is high, the rod will turn downward, and when it is low, it will turn upward. Generally speaking, this means the weather stick predicts bad weather conditions when it points down and good conditions when it points up.
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