Summer solstice is upon us, and it seems all too poetic that our return to Rosslyn after far flung vagabonding coincided with the end is spring and beginning of summer.
The official start of summer, the longest day, the shortest shadow… What exactly is the summer solstice?
The June solstice marks the exact moment when the noon sun appears directly over the Tropic of Cancer, a line of latitude 23.5 degrees north of Earth’s equator. It’s the northernmost point where the sun can be seen straight overhead (90 degrees above the horizon) all year.
In the Northern Hemisphere we see the sun take its longest and highest path across the southern sky. The high sun angle means you will cast your shortest midday shadow of the year on the summer solstice.
Solstice means “sun standing still” in Latin. On the summer solstice, the sun’s daily northward movement in the sky appears to pause… (Source: Washington Post)
Sun standing still. Yes, an illusion, but an engrossing illusion. And such lovely language! Found poetry pollinating the day.
And what about casting our shortest shadow? Neat. But a little bit challenging to witness convincingly.
In India, cities like Ujjain and Gandhi Nagar witness a zero shadows moment when shadows disappear at noon. (Source: The Weather Channel )
I’m pretty certain that casting no shadow at all would make an impression. But such luck isn’t ours at Rosslyn. Our summer solstice is the shortest shadow day. Midday, mini shadow.
Today’s celestial inception prompted a fleeting reverie, winter solstice, half a year ago. Seems like yesterday. And looong ago. A peculiar trick of time.
Welcome to day one of the Adirondack Coast‘s coldest season. Today is the winter solstice, the first official day of winter, and — more importantly for the likes of my mother and others who favor longer days and shorter nights — the threshold between the briefest day and the most prolonged night and imperceptibly-but-steadily lengthening daylight. (Source: Winter Solstice: Longer Days Ahead)
And tonight we’re on the flip side of imperceptibly-but-steadily lengthening daylight. Tomorrow the nights begin to lengthen and the days shorten. Imperceptibly. But inevitably…