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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Celebrating the Critters of Summer

Tonight will mark the Summer Solstice. Astronomically, it looks like this:

The Summer Solstice occurs exactly when the Earth’s axial tilt is most inclined towards the sun at its maximum of 23° 26′. The seasonal significance of the Summer Solstice is in the reversal of the gradual shortening of nights and lengthening of days. That will occur on June 21st at 5:04 UTC (1:04am Eastern, 12:04am Central, 11:04pm June 20th Mountain and 10:04pm June 20th Pacific Time).

Tomorrow the sunrise (near where I live) will be 5:15am and sunset will be 8:29pm … 15 hours and 14 minutes of sunlight. On Winter Solstice, 6 loooong months ago, sunrise was at 7:15am and sunset was at 4:22pm, barely 9 hours of sunlight.

That is all the sciencey stuff. Of course, we know that there is more to it than that.  

Twice a year, on the Solstice holidays, Basement Cat and Ceiling Cat are locked in mortal combat over the Light. At Winter Solstice, Ceiling Cat prevails and the light starts returning … gradually at first and then more quickly until the light and dark are equal at the Vernal Equinox.

The daylight continues expanding and then … on Summer Solstice … Basement Cat prevails!!

In the Northern Hemisphere “summer” comes earlier than the Summer Solstice (the astronomical event).

Solar summer” began in early May, and is the quarter of the year when the most amount of sunlight is entering the northern hemisphere. Astronomical summer essentially marks the midpoint of solar summer.

Meteorological summer” is the warmest quarter of the year based on daily normal temperatures. This exact period varies slightly from place to place; but, in general, meteorological summer starts the first week in June and ends the first week in September

But “early May” and “first week in June” are not precise enough to plan a gathering around so the sun(ning) critters chose today.

Let’s join them in the sun …

The Midsummer, or Litha, is one of the eight pagan festivals or “sabbats” from the Wheel of the Year . It is a “quarter day” along with the equinoxes and the winter solstice. The Summer Solstice is a time for celebration of the abundance of summer.

   Midsummer is the time when we celebrate the bounty of the earth and the power of the sun. Our fields are flourishing, fruits are blossoming on the trees, herb bushes are fragrant and full of life.

   It’s the time of year when the crops are growing heartily and the earth has warmed up. we can spend long sunny afternoons enjoying the outdoors, and getting back to nature under the long daylight hours.

Lisa Thiel – Litha (The Summer Solstice Song)

   I am the fire that burns within your soul

   I am the Holy light that fills and makes you whole

   I am the Flame within, that never dies

   I am the sun that will ever arise


   Power of the Sun we honor you this night

   We leap across the fire to keep our spirits bright

   Power of the Sun, fire in the night

   We leave behind, that which blinds, to restore our sight

   I am the fire that clears away the old

   I am the holy light that guides you to your soul

   I am the Flame Of Love for which you yearn

   I am the sun that will always return

To all my pagan and non-pagan friends alike, “A Sunny Solstice to You and may your bonfires burn brightly tonight!!”

(Summer and sun hover quotes courtesy of

(Crossposted from Views from North Central Blogistan)


  1. I am trying to balance the joyfulness of the holiday with the knowledge that, starting tomorrow, the daylight begins to wane. 🙁

  2. Kysen

    are (mostly) alive and well in our backyard.

    We have dragonfly nymphs on the greens in the lily pond. 4 (FOUR!) unique/identified box turtles meandering the property. Happy (hoppy?) frogs and toads. Squirrels chasing and chittering in the trees. A wide variety of birds feed regularly from multiple feeders and flowers. We even had a hawk land to eat his (her) catch on our picnic table (I have since hosed off the remains…ick). The fireflies delight nightly…almost making up for the mosquito bites. /grin

    I say ‘mostly’ alive and well, because, though they are considered a ‘nuisance’ by many…I miss the rabbits that used to roam our neighborhood. We protected our gardens from them long ago, so I did not mind seeing them about, especially the wee babies. I may get in trouble with the pootie peeps here, but, the reason the rabbits are gone is cuz a particular neighbor decided to keep an entire litter of kittens a few years back and turn em all into ‘outdoor’ cats. They wiped out the rabbits. It is frustrating because Virginia Beach actually has a leash law for cats. Pet cats are not supposed to be let to roam any more than pet dogs are. Ah well. 😛

    Happy Solstice, all!


  3. slksfca

    I love all the wee critters getting them some sunshine.

    Just got back from a long walk in the park and trip to the hospital for lab work.

    I saw cuteloads of dogs romping on the park’s emerald lawns. They must know it’s the solstice!

  4. bfitzinAR

    Not sure what to say besides that – the sun is life, the sun is death if you aren’t careful and sometimes if you are.  I need the strength of the sun to deal with the nimbys and nutjobs tonight at QC.  And with the frustration of responsibility without authority at work.  Thanks.  (And I will celebrate tomorrow by going and getting blueberries to freeze for the winter.  Which of course means I’ll be offline.)  Today is also the Sun on the Tarot Major Arcana, so I guess dancing in the sun is a good thing 🙂  

  5. princesspat

    According to the weather widget sunrise was at 5:06 AM and sunset will be at 9:16 PM. I’ll have to assume that to be true because the cloud cover is all I see.

    Thanks for the hope summer will eventually arrive in the PNW!

  6. Ebby

    It always feels too soon for the days to begin getting shorter, but there’s still a lot of warmth and daylight to be enjoyed for a while yet.

    Wishing the best of the summer season to everyone.

  7. But this little feller (and his half-dozen fellows) at the farm where my horse lives arrived toward the end of spring and will be meeting his sausage maker come fall, so I guess he is a creature of the summer:

     photo pig6_zps2682bc84.jpg

    Did you know that pigs can bark?  Or at least make a sound that would fool you in the dark into believing a hound was nigh.  It’s rather disconcerting to be eye-to-eye with a wee porker and have it suddenly bark at you.

     photo pig5_zps89b17e47.jpg

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