of course none of these methods is reliable here on the coast, where more likely than not the sun is hidden behind a pure white sky which casts no hard shadows, and the moss grows all the way around the tree trunks!
Sometimes looking at the landscape (assuming you can see it and you're not in a fog bank!), can give you a rough bearing. Vegetation tends to change on south(sun) facing slopes, with hardier plants and dryer/rockier soil. North facing slopes tend to be lush and keep their snow into late spring. But this get's harder to differentiate the more rain that falls in an area (ahem, vancouver).
Good thread, it's a great reminder just how important a compass and a map are to bring, even if you never need to use them.