Same Old Summer Solstice

We tend to make a fuss over the solstices, summer and winter. Winter Solstice is easy in many ways—the darker the better. Summer Solstices, in Southeast Alaska, tend to be a little less dramatic.

Our Summer Solstice, which fell on June 20th once again, 8:56 p.m. Alaska Time, just before 1:00 a.m. June 21st for everyone who relies on their calendar, which inevitably shows these events in East Coast Time, seemed unusually cool and wet. We discussed it as Michelle and Aly prepared to go to town for work, and agreed that it seemed less “summery” than previous years.

Later, I consulted the journals of weather observations we’ve kept for seven years, and discovered that this was a very typical summer solstice, weatherwise. I guess we rarely get a classic summer day for our midsummer celebration. We may hold the ideal in our minds, but we have to accept the reality of what actually happens.

To make matters worse, I’ve been enjoying several sun related gadgets, which I’d intended to display and write about for the solstice. To do that, one needs bright sunshine for photos that demonstrate the gadgets!

As if to add insult to injury, Friday the 23rd, which marks Midsummer’s Eve in some traditions, dawned sunny and warm. I set up a baked dessert in the Sun Oven, and planned to take my gadget photos. Before I could get started, a “long” squall blew up the channel (on very little wind at surface level, I noticed) and squatted on us for about 3 hours. The Sun Oven got shaded by clouds, shutting it down; it rained! The morning had showed such promise, but by lunch, we’d returned to normal weather for this time of year. Then, in the afternoon, after the ridge behind and above us shades our property, the sky cleared, and warm sunshine returned.

That seemed a bit unusual, in a period that otherwise seemed to be the same old Summer Solstice.

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