poetry and prose about place

yard work – sundial

with 2 comments

Although I have no trouble spending endless hours at the computer writing, writing, writing, even editing, editing, editing, more physical types of work have always been hard for me to enthuse over!


And although I am a botanist, and interested in the environment, spending time out-of-doors has become harder with the years. I hate mosquitoes and black flies. Heat and humidity are no friend of mine. And, of course, there are the arthritic knees.  I do go out, on endless drives to find bridges, schools and various plants. We spend lots of time at our cabin, watching birds. And I sit on our deck each day to listen for bird songs and enjoy the evening breeze. But notice that most of this is sitting.


Last month I put myself on a reward system (like a child earning stickers) and have spent a little active time outside each day. Usually only about an hour. I have helped my husband cut wood, piled said wood, helped him cut down our dead apple tree, broken the dead branches of said apple tree into sticks for a future fire, picked up all the fallen tree branches in our back driveway, cut the bracken fern from my back garden in two sessions, and so on. I’m sure no one else would even notice the resulting yard improvements, but I do! And going outside each day is now a habit.


Today I tackled a long-planned project – the rebuilding of our sundial. I built the original sundial base with chunks of stone, but frost heaves and snowbanks have done their work and the old sundial base is now a pile of rubble.  I had saved the brick from the dismantling of our inside hearth this spring and had lots of material to work with. On Wednesday morning, I rolled a cement paving stone into place and used the brick to rebuild a base. Now the sundial is no longer a tumbled mess of rock.




No work of engineering but much neater than before. And if the clocks ever stop working, my sundial will still record the passing of time!


Copyright 2016 Jane Tims


Written by jane tims

September 9, 2016 at 7:00 am

2 Responses

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  1. How lovely! I’ve always wanted a sundial in my garden. I’m inspired by your handiwork. 🙂
    I started doing outdoor work little by little, too, and it turned into a habit although it’s harder here where the heat and humidity and biting insects are so much worse than they were when I lived in Ohio.

    Liked by 1 person


    September 10, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    • Hi Robin. You are an inspiration to me. Your posts about restoring your property were so interesting and I looked (look) forward to every one! Jane


      jane tims

      September 11, 2016 at 11:15 pm

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