Pat Shingleton: "Creating Clouds and Rhubarb..."
Before we creep into the peppery weather patterns of late May and early June, here’s a suggestion for the teachers. It’s a great time of the year to investigate the different types of clouds, what they are and where they originate. A cloud identification chart is available on the Internet and charting the daily cloud patterns provides an excellent assignment. You can also make your own cloud. Items needed are an empty, two-liter bottle, hot water, and a match. Pour about an inch of hot, boiling water into the bottle. Light the match, blow it out and drop it into the bottle. Re-cap the bottle and shake it. Finally, squeeze the bottle and release it. When you stop squeezing, the pressure inside the bottle falls and replicates the drop in atmospheric pressure before a storm. The smoke gives the drops of water a place to land and this experiment creates a cloud. In closing, like many, there are occasions when I miss my Mom. I thought her last weekend while preparing patio pots for summer vegetables. In Pennsylvania, my grandfather would “turn-over” the garden with a shovel until he was convinced to let Mr. Hollenbeck “disc it up” with his tractor. Mom would prepare for one of her first crops of the season – rhubarb, followed by leaf lettuce, beans, tomatoes and sweet corn that should be “knee high by the Fourth of July.” She removed ground cover from her rhubarb and each year had a bumper crop. At one time, she was the sole provider of rhubarb for the produce manager at the local Giant Eagle, paying “six bucks per pound.” Sylvia Weatherspoon verifies her rhubarb pie with strawberries is the absolute best.