“The Farmer’s Barometer”. Weather forecasting natural method in the Dolomites.

There are a craft, fun and effective tool for weather forecasting, and a small Village where these ancient tools are still made where time stopped many years ago.

This is the story of the Farmer’s Barometer and the village of Sottoguda, in the Veneto’s Dolomites.

Sottoguda , one of the “Borghi più belli d’Italia” (which means Italian most beautiful villages) is also knowns as the village where the barometers are made. It is the last village before Malga Ciapéla and the Marmolada glacier mountain. Guda is the ancient town’s name referring to a mountain of secondary importance. The name of the municipality, Rocca Pietore, has a military array that recalls the ancient fortress destroyed by the Bellunesis at the end of the fourteenth century.

WHAT IS IT

Farmer’s barometer is an ancient method for weather forecasting, based on the quantity of humidity in the air measured with a sprig of white fir tree. The name barometer is improper because it literally means instrument that measures atmospheric pression. Many years ago there were farmer’s barometer hanged on the wall of haylofts while today you can see them out of many houses in the mountain regions.

HOW TO BUILD IT

If you visit this beautiful village you can learn how to make your own Barometer, but you can build it also at your home. It’s very simple!

What you need is:

  • a sprig of white fir tree, with its trunk section (10 cm)
  • a wooden tablet (you can use traditional shape, or you can create your own)
  • colors
  • your imagination!

Start by shaping your wooden tablet and drawing the weather symbols (you can use drawings or anything you want). Bad weather at the bottom and good weather at the top, as the wooden stick goes up when the atmospheric humidity is high, and it goes down when it is low .

The best thing is that you can use your imagination, kids love it, and create a totally personalized barometer with your drawing and colors. And your kids can express their creativity, by learning how to make this usefull tool.

This is the barometer we made in 2008

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