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(Merriam-Webster Dictionary) Off-Balanced – 3b: Into a state of surprise from the unexpected 

Poza Honda Ecuador – Four times each year, the alignments of the earth and sun prompt me to reserve the day – or strategic hours – to observe the sun’s placement. These dates are more important to me than the first day of the new year.

Cayambe Ecuador – Peaceful cultural gatherings in honor of Mother Earth during the equinox and solstice dates.

Being attentive to the subtle rhythms and movements of our planet reminds me of how things change yet remain the same.  It also reminds me of the importance of our planet, our own lives, and our responsibility to be good stewards of this amazing planet.  In many areas, we are failing in the latter category.

High noon shadow – uh-oh, this shadow suggests that the photo was not taken in March or September, but probably inJune or December. (It was the June solstice 2015)

Ah-ha!  This shadow suggests that the photo was taken at high noon during an equinox!  (High noon March 20 2014)

In today’s quickly-changing world, it’s comforting to confirm that the sun is directly overhead at high noon during the March and September equinox dates.   Just like a precisely-tuned clock, the sun continues its daily march until it reaches its June or December solstice date, pauses, then begins back-tracking toward the other hemisphere.  Only twice a year does it visit the same spot, and I enjoy confirming that some things remain the same – no matter what else is happening on our planet!

Quitsato Sundial – near Cayambe Ecuado- The equator and the lines of the solstice and equinox.

Hacienda Guachala’s ancient sundial, located very near Quitsato’s solar calendar near Cayambe Ecuador.

Cayambe’s very-special Solstice Ceremony 2017

Those noon shadows teach easy lessons, especially when someone asks,  ‘Isn’t it always in the same place?”   

“No,” I smile, and demonstrate the natural rhythms between our sun and planet.

The solar calendar at Casa Loca often puzzled first-time visitors, until they witnessed the sun’s ever-changing position on the western horizon.

Marking the equinox – 2013

Recording the sun’s shadow. March 20 and a week later – March 28, 2013 – Casa Loca

Some days the sun hid behind the clouds.

And some days the shadows were strong..

This past week Melissa dropped in for a visit where I now live at Poza Honda. After swapping a few stories, she grew serious and gestured to the floor and asked what was the significance of the items on the floor. I had forgotten about the floor!

Four strips of blue painter’s tape were stuck to four spots on the floor, and a lone egg was balanced on what appeared to be some type of over-sized tray.

At that time, the board was pushed to one side, and the strips of tape seemed totally unconnected to the board and the egg.

Directly overhead is a skylight, and though we had had several days of rain, the sun showed up for our bi-annual straight-overhead noon date on March 20. Except – the sun was 28 minutes late! I am still scratching my head and trying to figure out why at noon – on this year’s equinox, the sun was still slightly in the eastern side of the sky. It reached zenith at 27/28 minutes past noon, then tipped on toward the western horizon.

11:57 March 20, 2018 – Equinox shadows – something’s not right!

12:12 pm

I dashed outside to check it in natural light – 12:20.58 pm

12:28 east is to the left; west is to the right. Basically straight-down shadow…

Back inside – noon shadow at 12:30 – March 20, 2018 – east is to the top of the image, and west is toward the bottom/behind the camera.

The clock is usually set according to my camera, so today I checked the camera’s clock/time with the computer-internet clock; my camera is one minute ahead of the internet clock.

1 pm, the sun was tipping toward the west…

The next two days brought clouds and rain, so I’ll wait for half a year to check the sun’s placement at noon on the September equinox! Perhaps some of you will help solve this mystery?

October 2016 – Balancing an egg on the line of the equator –
Marie balanced the egg with record speed!