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Surfin’: Falling Meteors and Acorns

08/10/2012

By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

The sky is falling, but that could be a good thing or a bad thing, according to this week’s installment of Surfin’.

The trees on my antenna farm are getting out of hand. They are encroaching on my antennas, including the log periodic beam at the top of my 55-foot tower.

I trim what I can with a pole tree pruner saw, but there is a lot of wood up there that is out of reach. So it is time to bite the bullet and get a professional tree guy in to do the job. And the sooner, the better, because I want to hang some new wire antennas and do maintenance on the tower before the snow flies.

And it will not be long before the white precipitation is here. I know that summer is winding down when my wife’s birthday or the Perseid meteor shower -- whichever comes first -- occurs. This year, the predicted peak of the shower and the birthday girl’s big day is the same: August 11.

After the birthday cake candle smoke clears, I plan to observe the shower visually (weather permitting) and listen for pings on 144 MHz (good weather or bad), while monitoring the action on N0UK’s Ping Jockey Central website.

I am a little concerned about this coming winter. In addition to meteors falling to Earth, I am already finding acorns on the ground -- not a lot, but more than last year.

Last year, there were few if any grounded acorns and we had the mildest winter in my memory. The year before, there were more grounded acorns than I can ever recall and one of the worst winters in my memory followed.

I’m a believer in the grounded acorns theory for predicting winter weather, that is, the more acorns that fall in summer, the worse the weather that winter.

Last acorn-less year, I could do antenna work all winter long. In fact, I worked on a dipole in February. But this year, the acorns are warning me I better get everything buttoned up antenna-wise before Daylight Saving Time ends.

I hope I’m wrong, but who’s going to argue with an oak tree?

Until next time, keep on surfin’!

Editor’s note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, seeks the unusual in radio. To contact Stan, send e-mail or add comments to the WA1LOU blog.



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