Off The Hook

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Rain, rain going away … maybe

The weather and reports about it is a big thing at our house. We are very certainly, dependent on it. The weather situation affects all outside activities for everyone and there are a lot of those.

Of course, you must know this has been one of the wettest springs ever and now we are having crazy hot days. Maybe with the heat we will finally have some tomatoes at our house, which sadly, may not ripen until September. Our pitiful little plants have had too much water and not enough    sun. Also, I now believe all the mosquitos in Marysville have moved into     our backyard!

Everyone knows farmers have had the worst time. My complaints are small compared to theirs, since it is their livelihood. Planting time was missed for many because too much water in the fields made     it impossible. Other farmers have said they have a crop growing, but don’t expect much yield from     it. Farmers are one of the few producers who can’t put     a price on their own product. I can’t even imagine how hard it is to be      so dependent on something for your livelihood over which   only God has control.

Temperature is a very important aspect of weather. Did you know that listening to the sound of crickets could give you an idea of the temperature? You can do this by counting the number of chirps in 15 seconds and adding 40. Now let’s talk about        how those chirps originate.

Crickets are cold blooded, meaning they take on the temperature of their surroundings. As the temperature rises, it becomes easier for them to chirp. Consequently, when the temperature falls, reaction rates slow, causing a cricket chirp rate to diminish.

Male crickets chirp for multiple reasons including warning of predators and attracting female mates. The sound of the actual chirp is due to a hard rigid structure on one of               the wings. When rubbed together with the other wing it causes the distinctive chirp you hear at  night.

A physicist named Amos Dolbear devised the idea   of a chirp rate based on      temperature. He published an article in 1897 in which he developed the formula now known as Dolbear Law … really, a law about cricket chirps?

Crickets are best heard on a summer evening. Probably coming up in just a few weeks we will hear them everywhere. Try out this technique.

This weather fact surprised me – most hurricane deaths are from drowning. Storm surge is what kills most people in a hurricane. The storm pushes water to the shore and can cause waves of five to 25 feet and then inland tornadoes are an aftermath of the storm.

Our experience with hurricanes in Florida and the description from our friends, who were there when it happened, is quite incredible.

In Florida we are located on a bay in Naples and    we had a hurricane just two years ago. It is still quite a scary memory     for all who were affected. Our building had minor        damage, but the city of Naples was disrupted for six months. Details from those who stayed were amazing. Of course, it was a mandatory evacuation in our area, but some people just have to do their own thing.

At one point the water was almost entirely sucked out of the bay. There was only ankle deep water left all around the boat docks, where it is usually eight feet deep.

 If I had been there, I would have wanted to go out and stand there for a second just to see what the floor of the bay is like. I’m unlikely to ever see the bottom of it any other way.

After all the water was sucked out, the wind changed and a huge wave came back in causing   water to be clear up to the top of a nearby bridge.        I asked the friend telling the story, “Didn’t you go out and jump down into the nearly empty bay?” He said, “Absolutely not. The lightning and thunder was everywhere and the rain was so heavy, it was frightening.”

Ok, I get it, but I would have liked to experience   it. Now you can see how people drown. They’re out there doing crazy things like what I wanted to do and then the water rushes back in. There’s no warning signal that it’s coming.

Rain is a big part of a hurricane and here’s this fact – every minute, over one billion tons of rain falls on the earth’s surface. Also, the fastest one drop of rain can travel is               18 miles an hour. Sometimes it really feels like it’s   coming down so hard          it  must be twice that.

Rain supports life and we couldn’t live without  it. But so far this year, it has surely been too much. Our thoughts are with all the farmers around the country and their tough situation.

(Melanie Behrens – melb@marysvillejt.com)



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