Tag Archives: summer

Welcome To July

Due to the Independence Day holiday, I did not post my usual month message. So here it is! July is the 7th month on both Gregorian and Julian calendars, and one of seven months with 31 days. The month was named for Julius Caesar by the Roman senate in recognition for his achievements as a Roman general (this was before he became emperor). June is traditionally known (in the northern hemisphere) as when the dog days of summer begins. Generally that means when it gets real hot and some say sultry. Of course in the southern hemisphere July is in winter.

July’s birthstone is the ruby and there are two flowers (Larkspur and Water Lily).

Larkspur (Delphinium officinale) Is one of two plants for July. The other is the water lilly. Image: Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen (Public Domain)
Larkspur (Delphinium officinale) Is one of two plants for July. The other is the water lily.
Image: Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen (Public Domain)

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Summer in San Francisco

Most tourists learn quickly that while San Francisco can have nice and sometimes sunny days, that having a sweater or light jacket can come in handy. Especially in the early morning and often in the late afternoon when the fog comes in.

San Francisco Summer Photo: Brocken Inaglory(Wikimedia)
San Francisco Summer
Photo: Brocken Inaglory(Wikimedia)

There is a well known saying attributed to Mark Twain that says “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” It sounds like something he might say and if you visit San Francisco one can be astounded how the weather can go from warm and mild to cold and breezy. Except Mark Twain never wrote it. He could have said it and someone wrote it down. People have searched through his writings, public and private, and cannot find he ever said it. He does seem to allude to it at one point when asked about a cold winter, which he replied “last summer” which may refer to San Francisco. How and where it originated is a mystery. Someone might have guessed he thought it and wrote it down and then got repeated.
Source: And Never the Twain Shall Tweet (Snopes.com)

Welcome To Summer

Today is the first day of Summer in the northern hemisphere. For those below the equator, it is the Winter solstice. The Summer solstice day has the longest hours of daylight (above the equator that is). In some places, such as in the Arctic Circle, they get the “midnight sun” during the night. Those who live closer to the Antarctic Circle will not see the sun at all during this time of year. However if you live near the equator, the sun neither shifts up or down so day length does not vary much.

The sun rising over Stonehenge on summer solstice(2005) Photo:Andrew Dunn (Wikimedia)
The sun rising over Stonehenge on summer solstice(2005).
Photo:Andrew Dunn (Wikimedia)

Summer Is Officially Here

The Summer Solstice officially occurred today at 5:04 hours UT, 1:04 a.m EDT, or if you are on the West Coast at 22:04 PDT. It is an important day on the calendar as it marks an important shift from spring to summer. Ancient times saw the day celebrated with all kinds of rituals to welcome summer. It is the day of the highest sun and the longest daylight hours, but not the hottest day as some used to believe. And it was the time when the growing season for most crops had reached a turning point. National Geographic has a good article here about the 2013 summer solstice.

Today most of us have forgotten the significance it had for our ancestors. Today it is marked as the shift towards a time for vacations, kids to play, and work to be done on homes needing repair. The rituals have changed but the season is a vital part of the year for those who grow our food. Perhaps we ought to be thanking them.

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