Well, Spring has finally sprung and not a moment too soon. I’m sitting in my Adirondack chair, with my bare feet on the ground, watching the sunset through the limbs of my Hackberry tree. Yes, I have short feet. Shut up. (All photos are my personal collection. ©)
According to the Farmers’ Almanac 1818, this is the earliest First Day of Spring in 124 years. Yahoo! Maybe some warm, beautiful weather will offset the corona beer virus and this needless, manufactured hysteria that has appeared with it.
I did a Vernal Equinox post last year when it coincided with the Full Worm Moon. In our area, it was as high as 80° and I was out in it. My buddy Ray had some errands to run so, off we went to the county north of us. Once the errands were completed, we headed to downtown Roxboro for lunch & a minor visit to their museum (pictures coming tomorrow).
From Farmers’ Almanac 1818:
[Spring] will occur at 11:50 p.m. EDT for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere […]. Traditionally, we celebrate the first day of spring on March 21 but, astronomers and calendar manufacturers, alike, now say that the spring season starts on March 20th, in all time zones in North America. And, in 2020, it’s even a day earlier than that…something that hasn’t happened since 1896.
There are a few reasons why seasonal dates can vary from year to year. The first is that a year is not an even number of days and neither are the seasons. Another reason is that the earth’s elliptical orbit is changing its orientation (skew), which causes the earth’s axis to constantly point in a different direction, called precession. Since the seasons are defined as beginning at strict 90-degree intervals, these positional changes affect the time the earth reaches each 90-degree location in its orbit around the sun. The pull of gravity from the other planets also affects the location of the earth in its orbit.
Additional Interesting Reading:
First Day of Spring (The Old Farmer’s Almanac 1792)
In my last post on March 2, I was talking about sitting under my Hackberry tree and getting pelted with debris from a little woodpecker above me. I tried to get some shots of him but, they weren’t clear enough. My S7 just doesn’t do well with distance. That’s OK. I have other stuff.
I did a post last year, celebrating the Summer Solstice of 2018. I got some really cool pictures that day. I got a few this year with some visitations from nature.
If anyone can identify my caterpillar, let me know. ~Vic
The Summer Solstice for our area of the planet was at 11:45am EDT.
The word “solstice” comes from Latin solstitium — from sol (Sun) and stitium (still or stopped), reflecting the fact that on the solstice, the Sun appears to stop “moving” in the sky as it reaches its northern or, southernmost point (declination) for the year, as seen from Earth. After the solstice, the Sun appears to reverse course and head back in the opposite direction. The motion referred to here is the apparent path of the Sun when one views its position in the sky at the same time each day, for example at local noon. Over the year, its path forms a sort of flattened figure eight, called an analemma. Of course, the Sun, itself, is not moving (unless you consider its own orbit around the Milky Way Galaxy). Tnstead, this change in position in the sky that we on Earth notice is caused by the tilt of Earth’s axis as it orbits the Sun, as well as Earth’s elliptical, rather than circular, orbit. The timing of the June solstice is not based on a specific calendar date or time. It all depends on when the Sun reaches its northernmost point from the equator.
Did you know that the Sun actually sets more slowly around the time of a solstice, in that it takes longer to set below the horizon? This is related to the angle of the setting Sun. The farther the Sun sets from due west along the horizon, the shallower the angle of the setting Sun. (Conversely, it’s faster at or near the equinoxes.) Bottom-line, enjoy those long romantic summertime sunsets at or near the solstice!
Many cultures, both ancient and modern, celebrate the sunlight with rituals and holidays. Every year on the summer solstice, thousands of people travel to Wiltshire, England, to Stonehenge […]. There are many Midsummer celebrations all over the planet.