The “wind rose” is a circular, directional emblem found on vintage maps and charts. As noted in a previous column, it evolved from the four primary wind directions schematically arranged around a circle that represented the horizon.
In the 16th century, cartographers expressed their most imaginative work within the rose, incorporating brilliant colors with gold- and silver-laced trims. Possibly through some means of uniformity, principal winds, half-winds, and quarter-winds were done in different colors. Fifteenth century Italian cartographers used gold, green and red hues for their winds.
Cherubs were added, blowing the principal winds from their mouths and sometimes accompanied by wild animals. Where the compass and GPS set our course today, the wind rose was the primitive directional indicator on navigational charts. More Tuesday. Fastcast: Icky.
Mostly sunny, high near 90. Westerly winds 5 mph to 10 mph. Tonight: Partly cloudy, low around 73. Southerly winds 5 mph.