Officially registered tartan graphics on this site courtesy of The Scottish Tartans Authority.  Other tartans from talented tartan artists may also be featured.

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Jun 21

Cuckoo Warning Day

Black Forest
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Cuckoo Clock
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"Cuckoo! Cuckoo!"

Cuckoo Warning Day is a day upon which, if you hear a cuckoo, wet weather is coming. 

The Black Forest tartan is an asymmetric fashion tartan from West Coast Woolen Mills of Vancouver and recalls the warm, rich colors of the woods used in cuckoo clocks.

A cuckoo clock is a typically pendulum-regulated clock that strikes the hours with a sound like a common cuckoo's call and has an automaton cuckoo bird that moves with each note. Some move their wings, open/close the beak while leaning forward, whereas in others only the bird's body is leaned forward. The mechanism to produce the cuckoo call has been in use since the middle of the 18th century and has remained almost without variation until the present.

The origin of the  cuckoo clock is unknown, but it is thought that much of its development and evolution was made in the Black Forest area in southwestern Germany (State of Baden-Württemberg), the region where the cuckoo clock was popularized. 

Originally, the Black Forest was a mixed forest of deciduous trees and firs.  At the higher elevations spruce also grew. In the middle of the 19th century, the Black Forest was almost completely deforested by intensive forestry and was subsequently replanted, mostly with spruce.

In the relatively inaccessible Black Forest valleys,  industrialization arrived later than in other areas. In winter, many farmers made wooden cuckoo clocks to supplement their income. By the 19th century, this developed into the precision engineering and watch industry, which boomed with the arrival of the railway in many of the Black Forest valleys. Access to raw materials: timber from the forest and metal from the mines, became the competitive advantage.

For more on the world's biggest collection of cuckoo clocks, Cuckooland, in Cheshire, England, click the clocks!