Thursday, February 28, 2008


I will make a greater effort to photograph some of the many sundials that I see on my rides.

A sundial measures time by the position of the Sun. In common designs the sun casts a shadow from its style (a thin rod or a sharp, straight edge) onto a flat surface marked with lines indicating the hours of the day. As the sun moves across the sky, the shadow-edge progressively aligns with different hour-lines on the plate. Such designs rely on the style being aligned with the axis of the Earth's rotation.

Sundials are associated with the passage of time, and it has become common to inscribe a motto into a sundial, often one that prompts the viewer to reflect on the transience of the world and the inevitability of death, e.g., "Do not kill time, for it will surely kill thee." A more cheerful popular motto is "I count only the sunny hours."