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Botanical Sun Dial

Royal Botanic Gardens sundial, Sydney

The sundial in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, dates to 1993, so it’s not as old as it looks. Allowing for us being on summer time now (requiring the addition of an hour), the sundial’s time matched that on my phone. Simple, but amazing!

Royal Botanic Gardens sundial, Sydney

December Squares #timesquare

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Horas non numero nisi serenas

A ravaged sun dial

A ravaged sun dial

“Horas non numero nisi serenas” seems to have various translations from the Latin to English: “I don’t count the hours unless they’re tranquil”, “I count only the hours that are serene” and even a switch from tranquil/serene to sunny in “I do not count the hours unless they are sunny”. This poor sun dial has clearly had some years that were neither serene nor tranquil! You can make out the word “EVAN” scratched on the left; the sundial is at Evans Lookout in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.

An entry in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper from Sat 25 Jun 1932 reads: “A memorial in the shape of a large sundial and direction-plate on mountain granite, has been erected at Evans’ Lookout, Blackheath, to the memory of the late Mr. George Evans, of the old Sydney legal firm of Messrs. Holdsworth and Evans. He was a pioneer of the district, and discovered the lookout 50 years ago. The memorial has been erected by his daughter.”

December Squares #timesquare

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Random Fridays: Serene Hours

Serene hours

Serene hours

The Latin on this sundial (“horas non numero nisi serenas”) translates variously as “I count only the hours that are serene / sunny / summery / tranquil”. (according to various websites) This poor sundial has no gnomon so alas is not counting any hours at all. Isn’t “gnomon” a wonderful word? I had no idea what the name is for the part of a sundial that casts the shadow.


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Sydney GPO clock
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du temps perdu

(click on any image to open the gallery)

There are so many sayings and quotations about Time that it was difficult to choose only a few for this post, so I limited it to ones I thought I could illustrate with a photo. (To see the words, hover your mouse over an image.)