The Summer Solstice: for many, this date signifies the official start of the summer season, although some cultures more attuned to the sun's celestial position recognize this date as midsummer, the central date in that quarter of the year with the most potential sunlight.
Growing Pleasures A Garden Club, brought to you by the Garden Mavens, strives to stimulate the love of horticulture, garden design, plant & animal life and natural beauty. The garden club provides education, resources and networking opportunities for everyone. Growing Pleasures A Garden Club researches, develops and promotes sound, practical ideas and techniques covering all aspects of horticulture. This includes plant care, design, crafts, recipes and environmental responsibility.
Many years ago, E. F. Schumacher coined the phrase: "Small is beautiful." While he referred to economics on a small scale, he could have easily been talking about the small in nature. Over the past few years, I have again marvelled at the beauty of snowflakes and ice crystals. Today, I have a new wondrous small beauty to "wow" over: sand grains. The beauty of these small objects has now been unveiled for us in Dr Gary Greenberg's stunning book: A Grain of Sand Nature's Secret Wonder.
With the beginning of solar autumn at Lammastide, the Sun enters its old age, its golden months. The heat of summer lingers a
little longer, perhaps even bringing in the Dog Days of August. The ripening grains are followed by the ripening of the fruits
of tree and vine. A perfect time to give thanks to the Earth for its bounty and beauty.
If you are a die-hard Sloane fan, rejoice that another of his works is again available. In Eric Sloane's ABCs of Early Americana, the author takes us through a variety of objects and practices from past centuries in America. He tells us that he arranged this sketchbook in an A-Z format after early Americans' interest in the lore and beauty of the English alphabet.
This is a link to Dr Kathleen Jenks' marvelous page on the Summer Solstice and Summer season as seen through the myths and customs of peoples around the world. The page includes links to the many Summer festivals of people around the world. Its illustrations alone are worth the visit.
It's tempting to look outside ourselves for answers to life's big questions. If we could just read a book or go to a seminar to discover our true purpose, it would make things so much easier. While the answers that others have found may inspire you, ultimately you have to answer life's big questions for yourself. A personal journal is the perfect place to begin figuring out your hopes, dreams, and visions.
First and foremost, I am a weather watcher, but I also enjoy looking past the lower atmosphere toward those sparkling dots in the heavens. Star-gazing and planet-watching can be a very rewarding experience, particularly when you allow yourself to transcend time and place.
Summer, that vibrant season when life is active, expanding, producing. There is new growth everywhere. There is new life feeding upon that growth. There are storms and there are calm periods. There are periods of heat and drought and hours and hours of sunlight. And there are times when the living is easy.
I first met Karen Skowron just after I started Living Gently Quarterly. Our conversations led to several articles and poems by Karen published in past issues. Karen has many wonderful ideas on how to live a gently lifestyle. She is a lifestyle consultant with a background in psychology, and a superb writer. In addition, Karen, the originator of the term Natural Habitat Houses, has turned several urban properties back to a more natural state and advises others on changing lifestyles.
Recreation and education are strongly linked companions. Recreation must thus be an active stance, not a passive one where we let others control our actions and thoughts. In active play, I open myself to all possibilities some I quickly embrace, others I find uninteresting.
While on a recent walk, I chanced to pass a park where a young father was playing with his child with a large ball. As he watched the joy on his offspring’s face, he remarked with a smile to a companion. Best three dollars I ever spent!
I do want to give you a list of some interesting things to look for in the sky while weather watching. They are generally common, but some may be seasonal in your region. All are quite fascinating, and I throw in a bit of science here to explain why they occur.
September's hidden season provides many fine sensual experiences while keeping the essence of summer close at hand. For the great inner half of the continent, September is a month to be savoured like a fine vintage wine, not swallowed as a bitter pill.
A sailboat anchored in the still lagoon barely moved, its slight rocking likely due to the movements of those stirring aboard rather than wave action. In the still dawn, a gossamer wisp of fog hung like a veil around the hull and mast.