Shadows are Useful

Saturday, July 31, 2010

170px-Garden_sundial_MN_2007 spherical

images from



The sundial was used many years ago to help us tell what time of day it was. By clicking on the above link you can find many interesting facts about sundials and pictures of several different types.  According to the source, it most

likely was invented by William Oughtred around 1600 before its use became common throughout Europe.


Sundials were mentioned in at least two classic pieces of literature:


Chaucer the author of Canterbury Tales, reflects on the method of using shadow as a human “sundial” in his Parson's Tale. 

“It was four o'clock according to my guess,
Since eleven feet, a little more or less,
my shadow at the time did fall,
Considering that I myself am six feet tall."

Similarly, the shepherd's dial is also referred to in  Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 3,

“O God! methinks it were a happy life
To be no better than a homely swain;
To sit upon a hill, as I do now,
To carve out dials, quaintly, point by point,
Thereby to see the minutes, how they run--
How many makes the hour full complete,
How many hours brings about the day,
How many days will finish up the year,
How many years a mortal man may live.”

After reading all this information about shadows and their history I certainly feel less silly as I snap away at shadows. :-) How about you? Please join us for Shadow Shot Sunday, there’s sure to be a few you will enjoy!

Shadow Shot Sunday logo1


Sylvia K August 1, 2010 at 12:34 AM  

What an interesting post for the day! And I love your shadow shot! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Hey Harriet August 1, 2010 at 5:06 AM  

A great post! Informative, but in a fun and interesting way! I know I'll now be feeling less silly for snapping away at shadows :)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Angie August 1, 2010 at 5:21 AM  

Very interesting post - as is your blog!

Icy BC August 1, 2010 at 11:25 AM  

It's interesting info, Judy! Your shadow shot is awesome too..

anka August 1, 2010 at 2:43 PM  

Your shots and post are really great. Great looking and informative.

ruthi August 1, 2010 at 4:29 PM  

Thanks for sharing such wonderful information.

Self Sagacity August 6, 2010 at 12:50 AM  

I have heard stories about shadows. It is a time teller usually for the ancient past.

SquirrelQueen August 6, 2010 at 6:06 PM  

Thanks for the info on the origin of the sundial. I've considered getting one for my garden, maybe one of these days. I really like your shadow shot Judy.

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