They are everywhere around us, but sometimes we don't take the time to look up and see them! Here we present the slightly bizarre world of the weather vane. Whether or not those responsible for them will put their hands in the air and own up is anyone's guess. What is obvious, however, is that there is certainly truth in the old saying - vanity, vanity, all is vanity!
People are often labeled as obsessive or compulsive or both. Many, when they hit up something that takes their fancy will cling to it for dear life. Some people collect china dolls of Princess Diana. Others will gather a million cats around them and reduce their house to a giant litter tray. At least the owner of this rather plain erection in Cuddington, near
The first collection, although a vast array, erred towards the traditional vane. You don’t have to go far these days, however, to get a thoroughly modern take on an ancient form of functional art. This very much larger than life fish, swimming majestically through the air in
If you were asked to draw a weather vane, your piece would probably include the four cardinal directions, signified by their first letters at ninety degree angles to each other. On top there would probably be a hen or maybe a rooster. Historically, though, weather vanes have often reflected the local industry of their site. Here, in
That is quite fair enough, you might say. Fish at fisheries, cows at dairies and so the world turns. However, one balancing bovine can indicate something pretty different from another. Quite what the local industry in the part of
Still, there is a lot to be said about tradition, even when given the gilt edge gleam of the twentieth century. The golden lobster weathervane at
Pysanka! Bless you! Actually, this enormous, round, decorated thingy is in fact the world’s largest Pysanka. For those of you without a basic knowledge of Ukrainian, that’s an Easter Egg from the aforementioned country. Having said that, this one is located in
You must cross the border to see the world’s largest weather vane. Welcome to
From one flight of fancy to another. If your tastes are more Lilliputian, then you won’t feel left out with these, much smaller examples in the vane game. Over to the left, out of picture, is a dam they are just about to bust. Hardly likely, particularly in their home ground of
Returning to connections to the sea, can you guess upon which type of structure this wonderful product of the school of twentieth century art cum kitsch sits atop? It is none other than the New York Aquarium at
It may be strange for lobsters to chase planes, but what is so unusual about dogs chasing birds? Not a great deal, unless they are rendered from metal and hover precariously forty feet above the ground. From the looks of the Dalmatian at the end, one hundred and one is about to become one hundred.
What European country is overly fond of its beer and regularly ‘invades’ other countries to make sure they know it during the summer? After responding with ‘every country in
From the natural home of inebriety to that of subtlety. They say that everything is bigger in
Trust the Finns to get all minimal on us! This ever so slightly surreal attempt at the vane can be found in
Often the traditional and the modern can come together in a spectacularly successful fashion, as in this vane from windswept
Oh and pigs might fly? After any pseudo arty ramblings, something has to bring us down to earth. Oinking skyward, this flying pig shows how British humor can be subtle and, well, not all at the same time. The denizens of
Straight from pigs to beef. Most people believe that a certain fast food restaurant (cough) opened in the nineteen fifties. Here is absolute proof, from the
Reminiscent of a flight to Oz this modern day vane fulfils its time-honored purpose with a twist of the
Which way does this bird fly in winter? This uber modern vane brings us completely up to date with established functionality sharing pride of place with innovative design. If you didn’t study Latin at school and are still wondering what the phrase ‘Decus et Tutamen’ means, it is this: ‘an ornament and a safeguard’. What better way to describe the above vane?
Pioneer Square in
In a similar vein, the juxtaposition of the old and new can send a delighted shiver down many a neck. When the vane itself is not thoroughly modern, the evolving environment around it can be a ready made history lesson for the eyes.