Thursday, June 21, 2018

Sumer is icumen in...

Welcome Summer! Today is the Summer Solstice, aka Midsummer Day, aka Litha, the day when the sun reaches the Tropic of Cancer, the farthest point north in its path along the earth's axial tilt. This is the Longest Day, with 15 hours of daylight; after this the days get gradually shorter on the way to the Winter Solstice in December, the Longest Night. The crops are planted and growing, the landscape is green and rich, and it gets hot by the middle of the day. The Spring flowers have faded away and now the first of the Summer flowers are starting to bloom - Day Lilies, St. John's Wort, and Deptford Pinks, to name a few here in Central PA. The first haying should be done by now. Unfortunately we've had an unusually wet Spring, and our only dry days were three or four starting a week ago. My friend Wade was rushing last week to get at least 30 acres cut and baled, but the wet weather came back sooner than expected. Still, he got a good-sized section done!

It rained yesterday and overnight until around 9:00 this morning, so my Summer Solstice walk in the Dykeman Spring Nature Park was a tad soggy, but raindrops on flower petals and leaves add a certain extra dimension to the flower pictures I took on that walk. Come along with me and welcome Summer in!

Day Lilies along the Dykeman Walking Trail
Due to all the rain we've been getting the trail is looking very lush and green
St. John's Wort on the banks of the north duck pond
Looking across the pond from my usual Sunday "pew"
Daisy Fleabane in the still uncut section of the upland meadow
Deptford Pinks in the same section of the meadow
The song "Sumer is icumen in" is a 13th Century round in Middle English that was often sung at Midsummer and is still much beloved of Early Music and Madrigal ensembles. Here's the Hilliard Ensemble welcoming Summer. Sing Cuckoo!

© 2018 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

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