Each year we eagerly anticipate the Summer Solstice (see High Summer). This year I’m even more anxious to mark the event, as this day and a few days around it are the peak of our solar harvest from the newly installed photovoltaic array.
Like on many Summer Solstices here, today is cloudy and cool. Even so, our panels already showed a positive charge when I arose at 5:40 a.m. That’s a bit later than my usual time, but we swept the chimney, blacked the stove, and worked on the trail yesterday, so we were pretty tired.
Throughout the day I’ll mark the intake, which will likely fade out sometime in the 8:00 hour. We can monitor the intake through data, but in keeping with our ancestors, this is a day for observation, not button pushing. We want to see and feel the sun this longest day, not sit inside and monitor it through electronic devices!
Since the 19th and through the 22nd, we’ll get a total of 18 hours and 33 minutes of daylight each day. After that, we’ll begin to decrease in daylight. The progress from today’s solstice to the Winter Solstice in December will provide a quiet drama on our “homestead” this year as the solar array’s true worth reveals itself.
We may forego the traditional beach fire today, as fire danger is quite high currently, but we’ll no doubt open a bottle of last year’s rhubarb wine to mark the day. The weather forecast predicts we’ll clear some in the afternoon, and we seem headed toward another sunny period this week. We may get enough sun to bake dinner on the beach with the sun oven (see Cooking with Solar), which would be an appropriate thing to do on this, of all days of the year.