This photograph of a beautiful hand-crafted weathervane comes my way courtesy of a fellow blogger, Hugh Hubble, across the Pond. He photographed this stately metal fellow atop a country building and it led us both to believe that perhaps it was designed by a farrier, or some other old-world type artisan, a person gifted at what seems a dying art in modern times.
This functional creature inspires me as being truly a Squirrel for All Seasons. Perched higher on his equally beautiful rooftop than any of his flesh-and-fur colleagues might ever be in their respective trees, the squirrel gracefully surveys not just the landscape but the weather prospects ahead. In this respect, he "out-roosters" the rooster who is most typically seen in this position. (Ah, could "Weathervane Sentinel" possibly be the next career post to be outsourced, in this modern economy, to wild rodents? Probably not. The crowing bird still does the lion's share of the work, if you'll pardon the intermingling of metaphors.)
It's not so odd really, when you think about it. We watch squirrels moult in spring and wonder if the weather will turn warmer a bit earlier. We watch them cache their nuts in late summer into autumn and speculate if the winter will be without mercy. We squirrel-watchers observe them nest-building, migrating, mating and conducting all other manner of daily business. And from this, we conclude what our own lives will be like.
Perhaps in that respect every squirrel - whether on our rooftops or merely in our treetops - is, in its own way, a weathervane for us, helping us to chart the course of our own days and seasons.