Weather cows

This was the view from near my home today. Cows on Bidwell Ranch acting like a weather-vane…all pointed north, due to a strong south wind with stinging rain…and who needs stinging wind in your face?

Click for a hi-res image.

Saw it on my weather station at  www.bidwellranchcam.com and used my camera to get this photo from ground level. Everybody should have one of these 😉

UPDATE: My assumption about cowvanes was incorrect. Willis Eschenbach advises:

As a reformed cowboy, I fear you’ve made a small error. You assume the cows are facing downwind because they don’t like the wind in their faces … but horses always stand the other way, facing the wind. It has to do with which way the hair runs on their bodies. Horses hair runs from the bow to the stern, and on cows it runs the other way. They both stand so their hair sheds the rain …

w.

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
MIke (UK)

Get a page not found when I click that link.
Clever cows!

Back in the days when I was flying gliders we used to call these “leather covered wind socks!”

A mooving veined weather vane.

Link is broken.

SteveSadlov

Thankfully none flying in twisters. I wonder if any flew down in French Camp on Wednesday?

Hoser

Yes, and if my rear-end smelled like that, I’d point it into the shower too.

peterhodges

Over the hill from you in the Eastern Sierra, we got just over a foot of snow this morning . Expect another foot by tommorrow.
Any skiers out there, it has been good the last few days, even better today and tommorrow!

DJ

Hope they’re only busy makin’ sour cream…they don’t look happy at all!!

Skiphil

Or they were living by the Monty Python principle (“Holy Grail”) that “I fart in your general direction”
…..to show how they really feel about inclement weather.

Dr. Dave

Best of all they produce both fertilizer AND climate science.

kakatoa

Our Donkeys gave up trying to deal with the wind, snow and hail a few minutes ago and headed to the barn (2400 ft elevation east of Sac). It’s very soggy in my pastures (3.7″ of rain with this storm and counting).

mmmm….I’ll be enjoying one of their pals tonight in a churrascaria in Rio

Gail Combs

We use the “Goat-o-meter” If it is even misting the goats run for cover. The horse do like the cows and turn the tail to the wind.

LeeHarvey

My mom grew up on a farm – she swears that if the cows climb the hill, it means it’s going to rain. If they stay down low, fair weather is assured.

Brian Adams

Recall in “Huckleberry Finn” when huck was posing as a girl and being grilled by the country woman who suspected he was a boy in disguise? One of the questions she shot him was:
“If fifteen cows is browsing on a hillside, how many of them eats with their heads pointed the same direction?”
“The whole fifteen, mum.”

Only a Philistine would suggest that cows could replace weathermen. But perhaps…..just maybe…. the CAGW crowd could learn from their wisdom. On the other hand, maybe not.
Regards,
Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)

Interstellar Bill

“You don’t need a weather vane to know which way the wind blows” – Bob Dylan, 1965

Russ Hatch

But the computer models all say they should be lying down facing South.

Anthony, this is one time I refuse to be COWED by your arguements. Obviously, with the studies of BOVINE BELCHING we can figure out that YOU, yes YOU are somehow responsible for a major part of GHG emissions.
The only solution, to EAT the problem(s)!

John

Several years ago I had a friend that would predict the weather by where and how the cows were standing in a field along US 36 near Boulder, CO. He was usually pretty accurate with it.

DJ

…Btw, the rain you got a few hours ago has migrated over the Sierra, and is coming down as snow in Reno at 5,000ft as of 10:40am PST.. and it’s starting to stick!
…. Bbtw…. There’s some “fact checker” going on at the Reno Gazette Journal debunking Christy’s Sierra snow trend, where he’s pitted against David Pierce of UCSD/Scripps. Don’t let Willis see this.
http://www.rgj.com/section/blogs12?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&U=8a686c58-d08c-47e8-8216-d67b1e581e99&plckPostId=Blog:8a686c58-d08c-47e8-8216-d67b1e581e99Post:5ca3fc36-cadb-44c2-8e89-9438df79163f&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest

Brian Adams

I have an old Army flight training manual from the 1930s, in which it discusses how to determine wind direction on the ground when no wind sock is present. One of the suggestions was to observe any livestock, as they would tend to face away from the wind. Another was to watch trees, grain fields, chimney smoke etc. Those were the good ol’ stick and rudder days of canvas and wood.

Brewster

Cows are naturally immune to boredom.

TheGoodLocust

At last a reliable wind proxy! The good folks at the IPCC can model historical wind patterns based on the direction of skeletal remains (with an additional fudge factor of course).
No doubt such an amazing record would find our current wind patterns to be unprecedented in the Earth’s history.

dwyoder

The concensus is the wind is coming from the south.

Crispin in Johannesburg

Enron’s Cows, good for telling which way the wind is blowing:
Capitalism:
* You have two cows.
* You sell one and buy a bull.
* Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows.
* You grow old, sell your herd, and retire on the proceeds.
Enron Capitalism:
* You have two cows.
* You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows.
* The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island company secretly owned by your CFO who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company for a 50% profit.
* The annual report says the company owns eight cows with a bank-guaranteed option on six more.
Now you see why a company with $62 billion in assets declared bankruptcy.

Willis Eschenbach

As a reformed cowboy, I fear you’ve made a small error. You assume the cows are facing downwind because they don’t like the wind in their faces … but horses always stand the other way, facing the wind. It has to do with which way the hair runs on their bodies. Horses hair runs from the bow to the stern, and on cows it runs the other way. They both stand so their hair sheds the rain …
w.
REPLY: Ah, well I learned something new. Thanks – Anthony

I see a blonde and a (blondie-faced) brunette can’t help but looking into the camera. – Fame at last!

I suppose, Willis, that wrong-facing Equines and Bovines would also fluff up like a frizz hairdo, creating more drag. This may explain why horses like to run forwards. Cows, on the other hand, would be foofy after a bit of a jog.

Brian Adams says:
April 13, 2012 at 10:47 am
I have an old Army flight training manual from the 1930s, in which it discusses how to determine wind direction on the ground when no wind sock is present. One of the suggestions was to observe any livestock, as they would tend to face away from the wind. Another was to watch trees, grain fields, chimney smoke etc. Those were the good ol’ stick and rudder days of canvas and wood.

In the early days of flight they also used out houses as compasses, They usually faced south. The modern equivalent are TV satellite dishes. If you are disoriented in a strange neighborhood you can figure out which way is south by looking for which way the satellite dishes are facing ( in the northern hemisphere).
When storm chasing we often used the livestock to determine wind direction. Not only would the cattle face away from the wind, but eventually they will drift to the down wind corner of the pasture and cluster there. On the eastern plains of Colorado the ranchers often put a stock tank in the corner of the pasture a severe snow storm is likely to drive the cattle to. In blizzard conditions the cattle suffer from dehydration if they don’t have access to open water so the stock tank and a wind break there can save the herd in a sudden spring storm.
Larry

Brian Adams

Willis, note that the “Huckleberry Finn” passage didn’t mention wind at all. Of course she relied on convention wisdom and not science, and therefore the question served its purpose to smoke Huck out.

Max Hugoson says:
April 13, 2012 at 10:46 am
Anthony, this is one time I refuse to be COWED by your arguements. Obviously, with the studies of BOVINE BELCHING we can figure out that YOU, yes YOU are somehow responsible for a major part of GHG emissions.

Thereby placing good Mr. Watts on the horns of a dilemma.
Have we milked this thread dry yet?

klem

“Horses hair runs from the bow to the stern, and on cows it runs the other way. They both stand so their hair sheds the rain …”
When birds are not flying they stand facing the wind. When they turn the other way their feathers start to flap around, so they turn back and face the wind again.

TANSTAAFL

I have a beef with this post!

Brian Adams says:
April 13, 2012 at 10:47 am
I have an old Army flight training manual from the 1930s, in which it discusses how to determine wind direction on the ground when no wind sock is present. One of the suggestions was to observe any livestock, as they would tend to face away from the wind.

In Vietnam, we’d watch the cattle egrets (aka, “buffalo birds”). When we were on short final into the LZ, they’d take off as a flock, and always into the wind. If they took off in all directions, it meant there was something moving on the ground that scared them, and we’d be in for a bad day…

You know, cows are not as useless as most people think. “Fetchez La Vache”

Pointman

anna v

Willis Eschenbach April 13, 2012 at 11:17 am
I must have been a horse person in another incarnation,because my feelings as I looked at the picture were of shivering and feeling the rain going through my fur !

Oh and by the way, is the temperature on that farm 46 °F or is it 46 °C? – I only ask as since the humidity is 89% and it should therefore follow that this constitutes a temporary presence of a lot more atmospheric GHGs than a miserable doubling of 0.039% of CO2.
Only joking.

Bob_L

Tipping Point!

MattC

Weather Cows – Pffffff!
This beast comes out when it is 25 degrees below zero
It can rip your head off
It can fly as high as a bird
It can bite your face
The Chicken Cow
The Chicken Cow
The Chicken Cow
The Chicken Cow
Rock on London
Rock on Chicago
Blockbuster Video – Wow. What a difference.

David Larsen

All we are is butts in the wind. Sounds like a song.

Crispin in Johannesburg

That cow story was a reminder about the company that financed global warming alarmism PR companies in the USA to drive up the value of natural gas by demonising the higher level of CO2 that emerges from coal fired power plants. Good job they went bankrupt! Phew! That was close! People actually were actually beginning to believe that crap. No one would fall for that ‘carbon argument’ bunk in this day in an age when science and rational debate rules to conscience of the world’s major decison-making bodies!
Can you imagine it? Enron was actually bribing newspapers and journals to print articles claiming that natural gas was ‘cleaner’ than coal on the basis of having a lower CO2 content emerging from the combustion process. “Carbon is black, right?”
Imagine what would have happened if they have been successful! Before long we would have had the EPA banning coal plants and Enron-like gas fracking companies making Swiss cheese out of the whole country! Through bribing, price fixing and cartels, electricity prices would be shooting up, millions of people would be plunged into energy poverty; the destitute elderly would freeze in winter and sweat to death in summer. But seriously, it would never have been successful. All kinds of scientific fraud would have been necessary to pull it off – getting faked ‘science’ published every month, running propaganda blog sites and fund Chicken-Little politicians of every stripe, compromise major publications, get editors to spike articles proving the contrary arguments – the whole ball of wax. Only a bunch as devious as Enron’s club of criminals could have even thought up such a scheme.
Good job all that nonsense was averted. Can you imagine how much it would have cost to set things right again after a couple of decades of brainwashing?
Hard to imagine anyone getting on the wrong side of that sort of that losing proposition because when it comes to issues of CO2 and climate, even a cow knows which way the wind is blowing.

Jimbo

Tom Nelson has a wicked sense.

“Croatia: Children won’t know what apples, mandarins, pears, cherries, plums, peaches, apricots and strawberries look like”
April frost causes 120 million Euros damage to fruit – General News – Croatian Times
http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2012/04/croatia-children-won-know-what-apples.html

David A. Evans

I did put this in T&N but the linkie on the right hasn’t been changed.
Richard Norths EUReferendum has moved home to http://www.eureferendum.com/
DaveE.

@doctor Dave. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference.

Brian Adams

Willis said: “I must have been a horse person in another incarnation,because my feelings as I looked at the picture were of shivering and feeling the rain going through my fur !”
But they never complain. I appreciate that trait.

Ally E.

Anthony, despite living in a completely different country, the view from your house looks very similar to the view from mine, complete with cows.
Thanks for that info, Willis. I did not know that difference between horse and cow hair growth patterns. That’s fascinating!

PaulH

I also like the good old Beaufort Scale for determining wind speed from easily observable phenomena:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaufort_scale

@Crispin in Johannesburg.
It’s hard to believe, but there’s a lot of people in fuel poverty in the developed world nowadays. I kid you not.
http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/the-sun-is-setting-on-solar-power-the-moneys-gone-and-nobodys-asking-any-questions/
Pointman

John Blake

So, why does the grain of cows’ hair run aft-to-front, while horsehair goes front-to-stern? If speed’s the issue, what of cheetahs vs. water-buffalo? Darwin, thou shouldst be living at this hour!