Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer solstice

In case you missed it --- as I did in a convulsion of general busyness --- the precise instant was 6:09 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, so it's now the dawn of the second full day of summer. We should have had a party.

A Midsummer Night's Dream on the lawn perhaps.

This is, after all, an occasion of as much significance in the universal nature of stuff as the winter solstice, which those of us who are culturally Christian have co-opted for Christmas, or the spring equinox (Easter), but for some reason we've never fully claimed the passage from spring to summer. Thank goodness for pagans, who do remember to mark the occasion.

I took a short walk around the marsh last evening to see what was in bloom for the occasion, and these are some of the results.

An early spring followed by near-drought, then return of moisture, has caused some disorientation. In ways it seems more like mid-summer than just the beginning. And much that should be in full bloom right now actually bloomed a couple of weeks ago.

At home, extreme heat and lack of rain fried the flowers along the south side of the house, usually a waist-high display of coneflowers, assorted grasses and bright yellows just coming into its own right now, looking good before high summer asserts its full power. I've been averting my eyes.

Even if we weren't celebrating, the birds were last evening. More red-winged blackbirds, goldfinches and assorted warblers, twitterers and swallows than a guy could shake a stick at. Quite a display.

Farmers Market has resumed on the square, and a community band concert on the counrthouse lawn followed that yesterday evening --- missing the solstice by only 24 hours.

And we're throwing a little "Peanut Day" party at the museum this evening --- from 5 to 7 p.m. Free hot dogs, chips and lemonade plus peanuts fresh-roasted in the old Piper's roaster. Everyone's welcome. This will be pretty low-key. My ideas for a pagan sun worship ceremony were overruled. Maybe next year.

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