The Swiss Precision of a Rusty Nail

solar clock
Never needs winding or battery change!
There is some solace in failing performing below par in subjects like chemistry and physics in high school. Though your understanding of the natural world is certainly impaired, there's compensation in other, more abstract, realms of being. Like wonder and amazement at phenomena easily comprehended and explained away by one of your more scientifically inclined peers. You don't have a clue about the process - and tortures, I imagine - that light has to go through for a rainbow to appear in the sky, or a corroded slab of metal to mark the time of day with dogged precision.
solar clock in Kefalonia, Greece
The writing is time is on the wall!
But I wasn't thinking about that when I raised and pointed the camera to the southern wall of this Greek island village church. Certainly not the place to reminisce about academic shortcomings;  the Greek sun is adamant about keeping negative thoughts at bay! Having already seen and photographed the simply stunning interior, some external shots seemed almost obligatory --even if only for future reference and proper archiving purposes. Beautiful as this structure was, it seemed a bit too ordinary compared to some of the other little marvels of architectural art I had seen and captured earlier in the day --including some amazing portals, gates, coats-of-arms on buildings dating back to the Venetian Era, two small chapels dated as far back as the 10th and 11th centuries, another church of greater fame, some Roman tombs, and the now-deserted family home of a renowned archaeologist.
By now it was after 4 p.m. and, despite this being November, the sun that mercilessly shines on the hill of Kontogenada village on Kefalonia Island was turning from friend to foe. That - and the harsh shadows that were beginning to form on the wall - distorted my vision and understanding of what I was actually seeing etched on there, passing it for just another coat-of-arms.
Having heard about solar or sun clocks but never actually having seen one, I imagined them to be more elaborate and on the ground, much like a flat super dial. Εven then, I never thought that these things actually work, at least not with any reliability. Well, this one did! That headless rusted nail cast a shadow that told anyone in the vicinity that it was 4:20. More amazing than that, the shadow actually moved, perfectly synchronized to my wrist watch and time app on my cell phone!
Simply AMAZING!
Since then, out of curiosity, I've done some research on sun clocks and their development by those sun-loving, sun-worshiping, wise Ancient Egyptians. Still, I can't figure out how an entire building can be erected with such precision in its orientation to the sun that the shadows of an old nail can keep Swiss time. It must be that Physics course never completed back in high school.
Yes, old sins have long shadows!