Category Archives: Seasons

Welcome to Summer/Summer Solstice

With the Summer Solstice today, summer officially begins in the Northern Hemisphere. Below the equator, the seasons are reversed, and it is the Winter Solstice. The June Solstice takes place between June 20-22. To determine the exact time of the Summer Solstice in your area, go to

This illustration shows how daylight falls on Earth at the seasonal points.
Image: NASA

Summer is the warmest of all the seasons with daylight hours the longest. The Summer Solstice has the longest day of sunlight. Prior to the solstice, daybreak gets earlier, and sunsets much later. While it gets warm and dry in North America (except for thunderstorms and hurricanes) and Europe, other areas particularly in Asia see tremendous amounts of rain called monsoons. Summer is usually time off for students in schools and universities. Also, many take time off from work to celebrate vacation with their family and friends. A lot of sporting events and outdoor concerts take place during this time as well. In areas of the far north, the sun never truly sets during this period (and in wintertime the sun never really rises either).

Summer field in Belgium (Hamois). The blue flower is cornflower and the red one a corn poppy.
Image credit: Luc Viatour (via Wikimedia Commons)

The Summer Solstice (or the local beginning of summer depending on custom and tradition) is celebrated in different ways. Some light bonfires, houses are decorated with festive banners, and special foods are eaten. Some go to Stonehenge and watch the sunrise of the first rays of summer. In Sweden, it is tradition to have the first strawberries of the season and the first full moon after the solstice is called the Strawberry moon. In some places, Midsummer’s Day is celebrated on 24 June preceded by Midsummer’s Eve. Since summer means then end of long and dark winters in some places of Europe, lighting torches and bonfires became a way to note it, sometimes in town squares or mountainsides.


Summer Solstice 2024: When is the first day of summer? (2024, June 17).

June Solstice: the Longest (and Shortest) Day. (n.d.).

Wikipedia contributors. (2024, June 3). Summer. Wikipedia.

Welcome to Spring

Colorful Spring Garden
Photo:Anita Martinz(Flickr)

Today the March Equinox takes place ending winter and ushering in spring. To find out the exact time this will occur where you live, please go to

A sure sign spring is here is when lambs appear.
Spring Lamb In The Sunshine
Photo: Tanya Hall/

The March Equinox marks the moment where the Sun crosses the equator and usually occurs between March 19-21 every year. Both the March and September equinoxes are when the Sun shines directly on the equator making night and day nearly equal. This equinox is the transition from winter to spring in the Northern Hemisphere but the reverse in the Southern Hemisphere (summer into fall). Various cultures celebrate March equinox as a time of rebirth. Many spring festivals are timed to coincide with the equinox and some religious events (Passover and Easter) use specific calculations based on the equinox to help determine the exact day of the event.

Solstices and Equinoxes Image: NASA

Early spring is when the Earth’s axis increases its tilt relative to the Sun resulting in more daylight for that part world where it spring is occurring. It is a time when the increased warmth results in more plant growth (spring forth as it used to be said and how spring got its name). The resulting warmth also makes snow melt causing streams to swell and frosts to diminish. For areas that get little or no snow, ground temperatures will increase quickly as well. Despite spring beginning in March, in areas where there is no snow early plant growth can begin as early as February (or August down below). Arctic zones may not experience spring until May.

However, despite all this, winter can and does often continue on in many places. And spring also heralds unpredictable weather. There is a funny Garfield cartoon that illustrates it perfectly. Garfield is outside. First it is warm and sunny. Then cold and rainy. Then back to warm and sunny. And then rain again and then another dry day. Finally, Garfield yells in exasperation “Will you make up your mind?” The next frame is split with one half having rain and the other half sunny.

Welcome to Spring!