Point In Time

Janskerkhof Sundial
If you’re ever wandering through Janskerkhof and want to know what time it is, there’s a fun way of checking. Built in 1983, there is an analemmatic sundial built by De Zonnewijzerkring, a sundial society.

Analemmatic Sundial

In the center is a strip with each month marked out. Circled around it are hour markers, with seasonal zodiac signs placed around it, as well. In order to tell the time, you simple stand on the center line, next to the current month marker and hope the sun is out. If it is, your own body will then cast a shadow toward the appropriate hour. Of course, with daylight savings time, it’s off by one hour in the summer.

If you’re there and forget how it works, there’s a plaque inside the sundial that has instructions.
Sundial Instructions

To give you an example of how it works, here’s a photo of Pippo demonstrating. I have a photo of G demonstrating how it works, but it’s just funnier to see a dog demonstrating.
Sundial Pippo

Admittedly, he was sitting on August, but his head was over July, so his shadow was pointing toward 11. Taking into account the fact that it’s summer, that means the time was 10 a.m., which it was!

Of course, being the Netherlands, with rapidly disappearing sun, you might have to wait a bit to actually be able to tell time. If it’s a grey day, you’re better off just walking a short distance to see the time on the Domtoren’s clock. I was worried I wasn’t going to get my shot this morning. As soon as I got Pippo into place, the sun disappeared. Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait long for it to reappear. The weather was on our side, for once!
Assume the Position

For an interesting aerial view of the clock, as well as a view of the stone markings of where parts of the Janskerk used to be, you should visit the Zonnewijzerkring website.

I ♥ Utrecht

Not Again

Early Morning Madness
I believe the words that escaped my lips were, “You have got to be kidding me.”

The reason for this? It was dark, I was awake, and the clock said 4:18 a.m. Second day in a row. This time I was awakened by someone outside on the street below yelling some sort of nonsense. This was soon followed by a couple having a discussion directly beneath our open window. Even Pippo woke up.

I tried desperately to go back to sleep, but as the sky got lighter and lighter, I could feel sleep running away from me faster and faster. Eventually I gave in and got up. I figured I’d continue to document the bright light and early hour, but rather than take a picture of the same clock tower (and too tired to get dressed and head out in search of the Dom Toren), I decided just to make use of my own little bedside clock, so I headed out to our terrace. The first photo I took was at exactly 5 a.m., as the bells of the clock tower chimed the hour. Then I decided to have some fun with it and set the clock in the pot with the gladiolas I planted this year. The photo above is the result. Not the sharpest photo, but you can see just how much light was shining down onto the face of the clock, washing it out, rather than hiding it in shadow.

We’d actually spent the last part of the evening there on the terrace last night, eventually going inside around 10:30. The light then was much the same as it was this morning at 5 a.m. Maybe I’m only meant to sleep during actual hours of darkness. This could be a long summer.

Grumpy Van Grumperson

The infamous Dutch light. Although in this case, I’m not talking about the quality of the light, rather the timing. It gets light very early here. I woke up this morning and looked at the clock and thought the battery must be going, because it said it was 5:40 or so. Surely, that couldn’t be right. It was much too bright! Then I grabbed my watch to double check, and sure enough, that was the correct time.

I tried to get back to sleep, but it’s warm and humid, as well as bright, so by a few minutes after 6, I gave up and got up. Luna was pretty insistent anyway. Even she was up early!

So now I’m downstairs, where it’s cooler and darker, but still humid. You’d think I’d never left Florida!