Hold on! Hold on to the Sun! In the weeks since the summer solstice the northeast has been transformed. A great leafy uprising has spread over the land, drawn to seemingly ever-present sunlight. The green swell has been lifting for months, first in measured increments, now burgeoning. Bare forests have transformed in waves of unfurling leaves, flowers and seeds. Northern ground, warmed by the returning Sun, made much of our spring sowings. Now, under high Sun, we are feeding ourselves from our gardens and regional farms. It is our season to loose our dependency on the sunlit fields of faraway lands for our food.
Savor the fullness of the long days, for there’s no holding on! Earth’s North Pole has begun to tilt away from its maximum position in relation to the Sun. Day length at the beginning of this month was 15 hours 13 minutes. At month’s end, 42 minutes will have been added to nighttime. Experience the difference as darkness falls earlier each evening and lasts later into the morning.
After a relative pause (solstice = Sun stand still) momentum is behind the Sun’s southerly movement. The longest days of the year in our locale, 15 hours or more between sunrise and sunset, prevail nearly two weeks before and three weeks after June 21, the summer solstice; that’s from June 8 through this Thursday, July 13, this year. Beginning Friday the 14th there will be a loss of about 2 minutes of sunlight everyday this month, ending the month with 14 hours 29 minutes between sunrise and sunset. Observe sunrise lose its furthest north of east position on the horizon each day. Likewise, the Sun slips from its most northwesterly reach as it sets, moving toward its next marker, due west, at the autumn equinox.
July’s Full Moon, known as the Thunder or Hay Moon, occurred at 12:07am EDT on the 9th. Moonrise tonight, one night past full, is at 9:29pm in the east-southeast. Add half an hour each subsequent night to estimate moonrise time until new moon on the 23rd.