Saturday, June 21, 2014

Solstice Evening on the Pond

Early this morning came the summer solstice--the moment in Earth's orbit when the sun was directly above the Tropic of Cancer, so we in the northern hemisphere would experience the most direct rays and the longest day in the year.  That makes today the first day of summer; a surprise to those who think summer is defined by warm weather, instead of the the angle formed by the earth's orbit and its equator.  

This was a very significant moment for ancient peoples, reliant on such calendrical markers for agriculture and its attendant ceremonies.  Ceremony is still important to us today, of course.  (My wife tells me Stonehenge was mobbed.  To each his or her own, I suppose.)

I consciously acknowledge such days, though I have no ceremonies to mark them.  But I did think it lovely weather for a little paddle on a nearby pond, Nippenicket.  And appointments earlier in the day meant the opportunity would come later, so I resolved to be on the water at sunset.  (Sunrise would have been more appropriate, but I an NOT a morning person.)

I took my skin-on-frame boat, Musketaquid, and shoved-off at 7:30, paddled around a little island and back with many stops for photos, and landed just after the sun disappeared about 8:40.  Everything was growing.  The yellow water lilies just on the point of blooming, the white water lilies just behind them.   But the sunset alone made it worth the trip.

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