Tweets by @morningblend56 According to Mary: July 2013

Monday, July 1, 2013

Playing with Time

As I was contemplating the tiny sunny back yard at Tiny Castle, I felt it was lacking something.

My herbs were growing nicely. The tomatoes and perennials were glorious as were the trees after all that rain.  The patio stones had been sealed.  I raided the garage and found the original doors to the house and they hung whimsically on the fence.  The vines were clinging and twining.  The grasses were plume-ing.  I saw all and it was good.

Then I remembered.  No castle garden was complete without a sundial. I could make a sundial out of stepping stones using the human body for the gnomon.  I saw it in a magazine.  It would be hidden in the grass and we could mow right over it.  A no hassle, low maintenance sundial!  It would be so simple....

But first I had to find exactly out how a sundial worked.  I found all sorts of designs and equations on the internet. My goodness!  Did it really have to be this complicated?  Surely, at one time every castle had one and they all weren't engineers.  I selected my design and printed out a protractor.

First you need to find True North.
And True North is different than magnetic north which I learned is moving around these days.  I don't know about you but I find that alarming!  Somehow I thought the North Pole was one of those things you could count on.

Using my ipad and NightSky app I found True North  in my backyard.  (I feel True North has developed much importance to me I feel it needs to be in capital letters)  So, at least in my backyard, I will never be lost.

I tested my location on sunny Sunday to see if it worked.  I seemed to be off a couple hours. Maybe this sundial idea was too hard for my brain.  I was starting to feel like I did in geometry class in high school;  that maybe I should  take a nap.  Cal came to the rescue and we figured out suntime and daylight saving time.  My True North was true and my sundial would work.

Now for construction.  I had made stepping stones before...kind of, sort of. Well, they cracked. Somewhat.  But I had a new and improved idea of using chicken wire as rebar and a Bakers Secret cake pan as a mold.

My first batch of mortar was too like little red riding hood it will probably take me some tries to get it right.  So far, I have the 12 and the 11 and in the ground and my sundial is telling perfect time for two hours every day.

I also noticed my clock falls into the shadow of the garage and trees by around 3:00 pm (suntime, 2:00 pm).  Funny, I never noticed that before...

Maybe I'll just have to make a 9am to 3 pm clock... that might be interesting...
and it might save a little time.

(to be continued)