Crosswind Weathervanes

Written by Patty Yu
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There are tons of accessories to consider when decorating your home and garden, including crosswind weathervanes, mechanical weathervanes, and fence finials. Many home and garden retailers carry a decent selection of outdoor accessories, but many enthusiasts prefer to shop for rare pieces at flea markets or yard sales. In this age of technology, the Internet is also a great resource for finding items like rare crosswind weathervanes.

What Are Crosswind Weathervanes, Cupolas, and Finials?

Most of us know that crosswind weathervanes are devices placed somewhere outside to show wind direction, but many people don't know exactly how they work. Weathervanes must be made so that from the center, mass must be equal, but area must be unequal. With these characteristics, crosswind pushes the tail until the head points in whatever direction the wind is blowing.

Weathervanes are often placed on rooftops, or even cupola tops, since cupolas have their own little rooftops. Most people would recognize cupolas as the little structures protruding from barn roofs, chapels, and schools. Cupolas are often built to allow light into the building below, and little windows provide air circulation as hot air escapes.

Another outdoor accessory is the finial, which has been used in architecture for centuries as well. Finials are ornamental caps that cover the apex of a structure like the cupola. You also find finials at the tops of towers, gazebos, and turrets. Finials are quite decorative, but are meant to prevent weather damage caused by water collecting at the apex of a structure.

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