huddle to discuss the job in hand or perhaps the latest gossip. But no, roll of drums and dramatic music,
here comes an elephantine earthmover.
An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at E here
|Photo from: Old Cumbria Gazetteer|
"The more common sort of sundial has an angled post (usually called the gnomon, or sometimes the style) which casts a shadow on a circular dial. Its analemmatic cousin, on the other hand, has a vertical gnomon, which casts a shadow on an elliptical scale. For it to tell the time with adequate accuracy (you may recall Hilaire Belloc’s verse complaint: “I am a sundial, and I make a botch, of what is done much better by a watch”), the gnomon must first be moved to the correct position along a north-south axis according to the season. Though a small sundial of this type is rather fiddly to make and use, large ones laid out on a flat area permit a person to act as the gnomon (my local one is of this sort). Earnest enquirers after chronological intelligence then need only position themselves at the appropriate spot along the axis for the time of year and — weather permitting — they can then read off the time by noting where their shadow falls on the scale". Source: World Wide Words