Montesano School District

Excellence in Education

Montesano is a community where people learn,
grow and work together.  With high-quality
instruction, every student, regardless of race, class,
language, or disability, can succeed. 

Beacon Sundial

For the last several years, as Anna Harbell has stood out on the playground supervising several recesses a day, she's marked lines and dots to show the hours and seasons of a shadow cast by one of the tetherball poles.

Now as school has started again this year, she has finished her sundial. She borrowed the school's football field paint line striper and painted arcs on the asphalt. (See photo)

There is a line for the arc of the winter solstice on December 21, and a line for the cross quarter days at around Groundhog's Day in February and near Halloween in October. There is a big, thick, straight yellow line due east and west for the autumn and spring equinoxes on March 22 and September 22. There is another arc for the cross quarter days around May 1 and August 4, and a short arc for the summer solstice near June 21.

There is a big thick yellow line going due north and south that marks the solar noon.

She traced the annalemmas for the hours of 9, 10, 11, 12, 1, 2, and 3, with four different colors for the four seasons, blue for winter, green for spring, yellow for summer, and orange for fall.

There are sundials all over the world, from thousands of years ago. There are over a thousand marked in the British Isles alone. The Aztecs, the Chinese, and the Egyptians had them. This summer, the Henry Ford Museum near Detroit had a plaque about an Indian village in Illinois that marked the seasons like Stonehenge.