observed by Diane » photo journal for those who enjoy vignettes of an ordinary life


This little fisherboy sits in my front garden. He’s part of a birdbath sundial. How’s that for versatility? Since I’m so busy editing and taking care of business, I thought I’d share something non-photographic in nature today. The following two photos are ones I took last year in Grande Prairie. They show the giant equatorial sundial that sits along the highway bypass in the parking lot of the tourist information centre. It’s a beautiful work of art and whether it’s dawn or dusk, sunny or cloudy, or at night, this structure is a photographic treasure. Despite it’s beauty it has a function and that, as I’ve mentioned, is as a sundial. Notice the huge difference in size between the gnomon on each of these two sundials: the fisherboy’s fishing rod is the gnomon and measures perhaps 6″ — quite a contrast from the giant reflective gnomon of the sundial below.


I love it when I learn new things or about something I didn’t know existed. Earlier in the week I visited the blog of Junie Moon, an adventuresome gal in Arizona. In one of her posts, she shared information about an analemmatic sundial. “A what?” you ask. As June began,ย “The park has an analemmatic sundial, different from the usual round version known as an equatorial sundial. The analemmatic sundial uses a central calendar grid and an ellipse showing the hours.” These are also known as sunclocks or human sundials. She explains it further and I encourage you to visit that post to see photographs and to learn how it’s also an interactive sundial and only works with a person’s presence. Another unique sundial is one I hope to see and experience one day: the Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay in California. The bridge actually has a deck made of green yet opaque glass! There is a 217 foot pylon that acts as the gnomon, telling time on a tile-covered garden.

So tell me, what have you learned (or seen) this week that really caught your attention?

PS: I thought it was time to post another reminder to visitors and readers. Although I don’t get time to visit blogs on a daily basis, I do my best to pop in and visit from time to time. For those with Blogger blogs, I can seldom leave comments because of how finicky Blogger is and how many tries it takes. That is not a problem with WordPress or Typepad, just Blogger. So, sometimes I stop by but can’t always leave a note for you.

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eileen - August 22, 2009 - 2:53 pm

I love your bird bath/fisherman sun dial … I want one!!

Junie Moon - August 22, 2009 - 5:25 pm

What a great post, Diane! It just reinforces my belief that we’ve much yet to learn in the world, but sharing information like this eases the path to adventure. I love your birdbath sundial and the photos of the sundial in Grande Prairie are amazing. I’ve decided to add “visit local sundial” to my travel to-do lists everywhere I go.

Nancy Bond - August 22, 2009 - 8:53 pm

Dear Diane — thank you so much for your recent visit and for leaving such a lovely comment! I lost track of you, my dear friend, with your blog and website changes. I’m so glad to have found you again and I’ll be sure to add this site to my blogroll!

I’ve been snooping through your photos, and I’m so impressed, especially with your portraits. They couldn’t be lovelier. Promise I’ll be back soon! (My daughter spent the summer in Athabasca/Meanook working with ABMI for 4 months — she’s loved her time there and spent her weekends hiking through Jasper and Banff. She’s in Edmonton until the 31st when her assignment is up.)

We’re battening down the hatches here, waiting for Bill’s (unwelcome) visit. ๐Ÿ™‚

Puna - August 23, 2009 - 7:04 am

Diane, beautiful sundials photos. I especially love the one with the fisherman and his shadow.

Marcie - August 23, 2009 - 10:47 am

So interesting about the sundials. I especially love the little man in your front yard..who is so quietly waiting for the sun to change and move.

Gayle - August 23, 2009 - 7:25 pm

I love your sundial/birdbath. This brings back a happy memory for me. My mom loved sundials and she gave my husband one when we bought our 2nd house. He loved it and giving him that sundial made my mom so happy. Thank you for the reminder!

Steve - August 24, 2009 - 1:15 pm

Cool looking sun dials. I’ve always been a bit fascinated by these things.

Christopher - August 24, 2009 - 2:03 pm

Wow, that last shot is amazing. I love the angle!

sherri - August 24, 2009 - 10:50 pm

I’ve always been intrigued by sundials. That top one is one of the most unique I’ve ever seen.

DesignTies - August 25, 2009 - 2:30 pm

Wow, that last shot is SO cool!!!! I also love the shot of your little fisherboy sundial ๐Ÿ™‚

I learned something really interesting on Discovery this week. In the winter just off the coast of South Africa, millions of sardines (as in 500,000,000) travel north in a pocket of cold water between the coast to their left and the warmer water to their right. Thousands of common dolphins, Cape Gannets, sharks, seals, and Bryde’s whales congregate in one particular area along the coast where there’s a bottleneck, waiting… and then there’s a massive feeding frenzy. The dolphins round up balls of sardines and send them up toward the surface, the Gannets dive bomb into the water at 60mph, the sharks and seals dart around, and the whales suck up huge quantities of sardines in one big mouthful. It was so cool watching all the animals in action. But the poor sardines!!



Candace - August 25, 2009 - 4:38 pm

I love how the “shininess” is captured, especially in the last photo.

Bogdan - August 25, 2009 - 6:48 pm

Well, i’ve learned that good things come hard and leave quickly.

Angela Fehr - August 26, 2009 - 7:39 pm

I had no idea that big sculpture was a sundial! I will look at it with new eyes next time I’m in GP.
I went through a corn maze for the first time ever. So that counts as learning something new!

Marie - September 1, 2009 - 4:05 am

magnifique graphisme dans ces compositions.