What better location for a sun dial than Phoenix? Well, discounting Yuma, also in Arizona. The Colorado River city has 242 days of sun, according to worldfactsandfigures.com. That’s tops in the U.S. Phoenix rates No. 2 with 211 days.
Those facts and figures were furthest from my mind yesterday as I padded along the cement walkways of the Desert Botanical Garden in the east part of town. The sun was unfortunately brilliant. And hot. I was trying out my new Canon EOS T3i camera, and just wanted to get it over with and back to the comfort of my swamp-cooler house.
Near a small plaza in the Herb Garden I was surprised to see a giant sun dial imbedded there in the concrete, decorated with two colors of cactus. A long slanted pole hung over the dial pointing north. The pole cast a shadow that was nearing the numeral “6” on the circle. I didn’t need someone to tell me that meant 6 o’clock. I shot the photo and later checked the time. It was 5:45.
Somehow running across the sun dial made me feel better. And I enjoyed the rest of my hour-long wander through the Garden, surprised even more to see so much color this intensely-hot and wilting time of year.