You may even find the time to invent something as I did, only to find that the road to scientific fame has problems laying in wait for you.
I thought that I was finally on to something with the discovery of
the "SkinkOmeter". Although I could foresee patenting problems, I
believed the SkinkOmeter to be a meteorological device of unfailing
accuracy. It is environmentally friendly and eventually biodegradable.
It requires only light maintenance that you were going to do in the
general area anyway. Its moving parts move of their own free will.
SkinkOmeter construction is easy. Whatever part of the garden that
gets the morning sun first will usually serve as a SkinkOmeter. Decide
just how big an area you want to include. Small garden patios that can
be taken in by one leisurely glance will do just fine. For myself
anything that falls out of the area immediately in front of a
particular two-metre garden edging board and the surface of the edging
board itself is not counted.
It is also easy to read and takes no more than a minute or so of
concentrated observation and limited numeracy skills. If there are
five or more skinks that are either crossing the area or bathing in
the sun it is going to be a fine, warm day.
wet specimens huddled in the gloom it is probably going to continue
raining for a while. No skinks - winter.
All was well until just recently. The 40 cm long blue tongued lizard
that stumps its way around the neighbourhood on its impossibly small
legs, has parked itself on the far side of the edging board. Here it
lies in wait, camouflaged by the leafy ground cover. Mr Blue Tongue
does not see this area as a finely honed weather instrument but more
like a buffet on a conveyor belt.
The weather has been great but the readings have been poor. Lots of
sun, few skinks, just one big hot lizard with a swollen belly.
Unfortunately the SkinkOmeter can no longer be relied upon to offer
accurate predictions. Until this situation is rectified I will have to
rely on alternative sources such as the newspaper and the Internet for
my weather information. Ken