Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A sure sign of Spring

Solar Ferris Wheel
Originally uploaded by Bob Rhubart
The object in this photo is a little solar-powered Ferris wheel, maybe a foot tall. It came into my possession a couple of years ago in one of those weird, overly complex office Christmas gift exchange rituals. There is an electrical cord, but I've never plugged it in.

Though I don't remember how it ended up this way, exactly, the Ferris wheel is positioned in my office window so that at pretty much the same point each Spring, the morning sun hits the little solar panel (the rectangular gizmo on the right side of the base) at just the right angle to produce enough juice to turn the wheel. The little solar panel faces east-southeast. The Ferris wheel started turning last Thursday, which, as it happens, was the first day of spring 2008.

If no clouds block the sun, the wheel will turn until about 10am every morning, until sometime late in the summer when the sun's trajectory changes. Then the wheel goes to sleep until the next spring.

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