All the indicators of summer are here in Paradelle: Father’s Day, the smell of barbeques in the air, roses in blooms, green tomatoes in my garden, the first tiger lily blooms were this week, school ending (at least for southern schools and northern private and parochial schools), proud parent prom pictures on Facebook, people headed “down the shore” (as we say in New Jersey) starting with Memorial Day – and then, officially, the summer solstice. (The official part for my neighborhood is June 21, 2019 at 11:54 am EDT.)
Solstices are opposite on either side of the equator. Our summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere is the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere.
I have already written for past solstices of the solstitium (Latin for sol/sun and stitium/stop) and its ancient belief that the Sun appeared to stop at this time. In our northern hemisphere, the Sun is actually higher in the sky throughout the day, so its rays are hitting Earth at a more direct angle and it is heating us up.
There is usually a Full Moon near the solstice, though there is no astronomical connection.
Although the summer solstice is the longest day of the year, that is relative. It may well seem the same or shorter than other days. In Paradelle, we just had three days of rain and rainy days always seem shorter to me. Today is summerish – reaching up in the 80 degrees and drying out things so that I can cut the grass.
Sunrise today was at 5:24 am at 58° Northeast. I was happy to have slept through it. Sunset today will be at 8:30 pm at 302° Northwest.
Unlike the ancient ones, we now know that the Sun does not stop today, bit it does cross a path and “shifts” position at a moment in time. I observe the position of the Sun during the year relative to my home and at one time tracked it on my office wall. Isaac Newton did this too. I’m no Newton but I did like being a citizen scientist for my own curiosity and noting that when I was sipping my morning coffee on the couch, the Sun shines right on me. On the winter solstice – when I could use the extra heat – it is coming through a window on the other side of the room.
Whatever your signs of summer are, they probably have arrived too or are soon to appear. Hope you have a good season.