Nestled in a hardwood forest in the middle of Fairview’s Bowie Nature Park   
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For peace - walk in nature          For truth - ask a child           For serenity - be yourself

The Sundial - a celestial learning center.

May this sundial solar station encourage us all to
reach to the heavens as we search and learn. 
Given in loving memory by her patients and
friends in Ellijay and Blue Ride, Georgia. 

The Noon Cannon Sundial from South Africa

Wanting to show their love for Joann, many of her patients and friends gave money to a memorial fund to create something that would continue Joann's belief and work in the importance of healing, education and the beauty of nature.  Joann was a great humanitarian, teacher and healer.  As long as I am alive, her dream of touching others will not die. 

Sundials is a Proudly South African Company  Malcolm Barnfield, creator

Email Malcolm Barnfield, creator of the sundial    



van der Ham,


After many nights of searching on the Internet, I found a sundial that was "the one".  The only problem was that it was in a planetarium in Germany and the language was all German.

I took a chance and sent an email.  The Director replied and we corresponded about the classroom.  He said, "You will not be able to get this exact sundial because it is one of a kind and a replica would be very expensive." 

Once I found the sundial I emailed at least 50 sundial makers around the world, and the only reply that was right finally came from South Africa.  When I read his reply, I knew he was the ONE.  Many told me it would be too expensive.  Many said they couldn't make it.  Many said it was not a good thing to have around children for vandalism purposes.  Malcolm Barfield from South Africa said:

Dear Janie, Thank you for the enquiry. I have seen the acoustical sundial pictured in the German website before. When orientated correctly the canon fires a shot at true local solar midday if it has been loaded and the sun is shining. I can do it.  I will need the exact global position (degrees, minutes & seconds) in which the dial is to remain, a rough sketch with approximate dimensions of the base plate and the material you intend to use. The rest I will calculate. I will also need to know what wording you require on the base and in what language. I recommend brass for the dial as this is weather-proof and once the green patina has formed the dial will last forever. All dials I make come with etched plaques of the Equation of Time and Moondial. These plates are 68 x 115mm, so please allow space for them dial on the base of your choice. Your dial will also tell the time by moonlight and will be longitudinally corrected, so to obtain the legal hour all you have to do is apply the Equation for that day. The dial is also ‘split’ by the thickness of the gnomon. This removes the inaccuracy caused by that very thickness before and after readings at midday.

Your classroom is a marvelous idea and a worthwhile undertaking. Proof that good can come from adversity. You will be the stronger for it in the end. I often think of the war memorials I have seen all over the world. They bear the words 'Lest we forget'. We can't and don't and we go on firm in the knowledge that those who fell did so for a purpose.  Trust in yourself and your faith. There was a famous doctor who wrote  'Trust yourself, you know more than you think you know.' Think about it, you do and so you will be alright.

The next week he emailed:
Everything is now fully in place to proceed.  My price is within the money you have in the memorial fund.  This includes first class airmail postage, packing and insurance. The tracking number of the parcel will be emailed to you. The parcel will contain the sundial complete with marble base, magnifying glass on a bracket, cannon, ram rod, safety bolt, set up instructions, all fixing fasteners, a daily Equation of Time for the whole year, a schools sundial kit, the required Customs form PP4, an invoice and lecture notes.

Janie, Thanks for the coordinates. Henry the Navigator is proud of you! I have calculated the longitude correction as -11 mins 27 secs and this will be corrected on the dial itself so all you have to do to get the legal time is apply the Equation of Time. I have spoken to Henk and he guarantees me a 4 day turnaround for the engraving, so all in all we are well on track.

I found South Africa to be different in many ways.  They drive on the wrong side of the road; gates are around all buildings; they are more polite than the US; there is no waste; the essence of the land is very spiritual and it is absolutely beautiful.  Contrary to what you read and if you haven't been to the bush country, I wasn't eaten or made princess of a tribe.  It was a lovely and life changing experience.  A thousand pound cloud was lifted from me.  I hope to bring a different view of South Africa to those who see this webpage and share the wonderful family that changed my life.


Joann's Outdoor Classroom    ♦    Location: Bowie Nature Park    ♦    Bowie Lake Road    ♦    Fairview, TN 37062    ♦    615-799-5544