June 20, 2017

Summer Solstice

Sable Island, Nova Scotia wild horses in Summer.

What a light-drenched treat Summer Solstice is at the 45th parallel north of the Earth's equatorial plane, even if we haven't actually seen the Sun for almost a week of rainy, low-cloud weather.

Here, halfway between the equator and the north pole, full darkness is vanquished for a short while before the Sun reverses and begins its slide back toward the equator. Right now a person staying up all night (something Linda and I like to do at least once a year) would, after sunset (9:12 PM), see twilight in the northern sky until the sun rises (5:38 AM) a short while later.

Having four seasons is one of the things I love about living far from the equator. Summer and winter are so dramatically different in terms of amount of light alone, never mind the temperature extremes. Since the whole of our existence is solar powered, this time of year is to be celebrated and enjoyed before the darkness and cold visit again.

Back and forth we go, through the seasons, throughout the years. Such cycles are my centre, my calendar, the yin and yang of my life.

Now if the clouds would just part long enough to get some warming rays on my skin. Thank you for  your services watering my garden, but I can take it from here for a while.

Happy Summer Solstice to our Northern Hemisphere readers (and Winter Solstice to those of you in the southern parts of our amazing planet). It's a fine balance, and a good reminder.


  1. Happy summer solstice to you both!

  2. Happy Solstice!! We had a glorious day yesterday to celebrate this turning of the wheel. I used to get up before the sunrise on solstice, but confess that didn't happen this year. I would love to have seen the midnight sun in my life as well as the northern lights. How lucky that I live in an age with such lovely photography though.

    1. Marla,

      Linda lived in Inuvik, NWT (200 km north of the Arctic Circle) when she was small. She remembers the midnight sun and aurora borealis. Like many Canadians, I have never been further north than Edmonton, Alberta.

  3. Anonymous6/21/2017

    I grew up in Salem, Oregon, which is on the 45th parallel also and enjoy the four seasons. Although it is going to be mid-90s Fahrenheit here this weekend!

    Happy Summer Solstice to you all!


    1. Mary,

      Welcome to Summer. Stay cool.

  4. Anonymous6/21/2017

    All best on this summer solstice. Hot here in the UK.

    1. Alex,

      A bit of heat is nice after a long winter. I like how the heat and sun make everything burst with life. It is so green here right now, including in our garden.

  5. Welcome summer! I hadn't thought about the longer days you would have at the 45th parallel. How wonderful to stay up all night! Here on the 35th, it's been pretty hot! It's so humid here the past few days it's hard to breathe air. Things are very green; loving the sun and drenching rain mixed in.

    1. Terri,

      I wonder how you folks down the coast from us manage the humidity. Nova Scotia is even more humid than it was living on the west coast. It is oppressive, and high humidity in the home is not healthy. I am finding out about mold and mildew.

      I was born on the Canadian prairies in Lethbridge, Alberta. It is considered semi-desert. Thinks don't mold - they dry up to dust, and blow away. I love the green of a more humid environment, rather than thousands of square kilometres of golden prairie grasses (which have their own brand of sparse, dry beauty).

  6. Thought you might enjoy this living up there in apple country!

    "The Apple Orchard"

    "Come let us watch the sun go down
    and walk in twilight through the orchard's green.
    Does it not seem as if we had for long
    collected, saved and harbored within us
    old memories? To find releases and seek
    new hopes, remembering half-forgotten joys,
    mingled with darkness coming from within,
    as we randomly voice our thoughts aloud
    wandering beneath these harvest-laden trees
    reminiscent of Durer woodcuts, branches
    which, bent under the fully ripened fruit,
    wait patiently, trying to outlast, to
    serve another season's hundred days of toil,
    straining, uncomplaining, by not breaking
    but succeeding, even though the burden
    should at times seem almost past endurance.
    Not to falter! Not to be found wanting!
    Thus must it be, when willingly you strive
    throughout a long and uncomplaining life,
    committed to one goal: to give yourself!
    And silently to grow and to bear fruit."

    ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

    1. Terri,

      Thank you, that is beautiful. Oh, to be like an apple tree, or any tree, really. It is something to aspire to.

  7. Anonymous6/22/2017

    Happy to say we had a great Summer Solstice here. Spent the evening at the beach and with friends under clear blue skies and warm sunshine.

    1. Rob,

      The beach is a fine place to start the summer. Glad you were gifted with clear skies and sun. Precious moments.


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