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Summer Solstice on My Own Terms

July 1st, 2023 by Michael Dyet

Hmmm, on that day when the sun appears to be still in the sky, does all of life follow suit?

Welcome to summer. Yes, I am a bit late with that greeting by official standards. Summer Solstice, which marks the first day of summer, took place on June 21.

But being a nonconformist, I have my own measure of such things. Summer officially begins for me when I sight the first Silver-spotted Skipper (displayed at the head of this post) which happened on Thursday. In celebration of the bloom of summer, here are a few facts about Summer Solstice interspersed with the winged wonders that hold court during the season.

Summer Solstice is the day with the longest period of sunlight in the northern hemisphere. The sun appears highest in the sky and its rays strike the earth at a more direct angle causing the warming we call summer.


On Summer Solstice, your shadow at solar noon is the shortest that it will be all year. Solar noon, as opposed to clock-time noon, is when the sun crosses the local meridian – an imaginary line between the North and South poles.

White-winged Meadowhawk

After Summer Solstice, the sun appears to reverse course and head back in the opposite direction. But in point of fact, the sun itself is not moving. This change that we perceive in its position in the sky is caused by the tilt of the earth’s axis as it orbits the sun.

Northern Pearly-Eye

In some cultures, Summer Solstice is celebrated with the gathering of family and friends, raising and dancing around a maypole, decorating houses with greenery and enjoying food and drink.

Eastern Pondhawk

The word solstice comes from the Latin solstitium – from sol (sun) and stitium (still or stopped). And so for me, Summer Solstice is when the relentless march of time pauses for a heartbeat, when life in all its myriad forms breathes most deeply and when winged wonders unfurl their gossamer wings in humble praise and celebration.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Diet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at .

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