As I contemplated the theme “again the solstice,” and imagined which images I could use to convey another solstice, I took a nice hike with my bigger dog, Brodie, up in the hills. I had to leave little Aero at home due to his grass allergies.
After living through two long winters here in the Inland Northwest, I very much look forward to the long summer nights. Morning light starts quite early—4:10am, and there is light in the sky until well past 10:00 pm. Barely 8 hours of darkness.
Our long winter and extended cool, rainy spring have produced jungles of beautiful wildflowers and of course, weeds! Last year by this time, we were in a drought here in Eastern Washington and temps were averaging 90F+ topping out at 110F. Neither of these conditions is the norm for this area.
Tuesday, June 21st marks the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere.
The summer solstice brings all the things we love (or hate) about summer: sublime warmth (or extreme HEAT), late nights outdoors (or EARLY morning light), backyard BBQs and picnics (or unwanted INSECTS), wildflowers (or waist-high WEEDS), longed-for vacations (or LONG LINES to everything)…well, you get the idea!
“The word solstice is derived from the Latin sol (“sun”) and sistere (“to stand still”), because at the solstices, the Sun’s declination appears to “stand still”; that is, the seasonal movement of the Sun’s daily path (as seen from Earth) pauses at a northern or southern limit before reversing direction.”Solstice Wikipedia
Not a Wildfire Solstice in Eastern Washington
The beginning of summer often marks the wildfire season in the western US. Some states are already dealing with devastating wildfires.
At the trailhead which is next to the Stevens County Fire District Station 1, I noticed the trucks out and a small crowd of firefighters milling. I stopped to ask if it was OK to continue the hike and a fireman said though they were conducting training, it was OK to walk through.
I asked his opinion of the 2022 wildfire season and he said the outlook was better with the wetter, cool spring. He confirmed that even all the knee and waist-high weeds shouldn’t contribute to the fires, as I had originally suspected. This was good news after enduring several wildfires last year within a 25-mile radius of our area.
The Solstice Brings Wildflowers and Noxious Weeds
Stevens County has a noxious weed ordinance for which landowners must understand and take action. I have been pulling what seems like a million weeds lately. In 2021, our property had been rototilled so much that barely any weeds showed themselves except the sunflowers and lupines shown below. Then it got so hot, last June, that everything withered. But Spring 2022 is ripe with fields of wildflowers and weeds.
Lately, when I take the dogs for walks, I have to stay away from the roadsides and trails where the grasses have overgrown and are going to seed. Poor Aero had to visit the veterinarian to get relief from his grass allergies!
I just love the names of these weeds: downy brome (looks like foxtails), common yarrow, and dalmatian toadflax. But these are so pretty, how can they be weeds?
The featured image is of the wildflower Gaillardia aristata, another species of sunflower that is popping up as the balsamroot sunflowers are waning!
To celebrate the summer solstice, some of my photos today are oldies, but (I hope) goodies that depict some of my favorite sunrise and sunset photos.
“One way of celebrating the Solstice is to consider it a sacred time of reflection, release, restoration, and renewal.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach
And a favorite to combine the wildflower and summer sunset:
“Sunflowers know the secret of life is to follow the sun.” ― Clifford Thurlow
Inspiring Photo Challenges
Each week I am inspired by my fellow bloggers’ photo challenges. I find it fun to incorporate these into my Sunday Stills weekly themes.
- Cee’s Flower of the Day
- Hammad’s Weekend Sky
- Johnbo’s CellPic Sunday
- Marsha’s Writers Quotes Wednesday
- XingFu Mama’s Whatsoever is Lovely
Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders
- Remember to title your blog post a little differently than mine.
- Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
- Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
- Tag your post “Sunday Stills.”
- Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post.
- I also recommend adding your post’s URL to the comments.
Lovely Bloggers’ Links
Thank you all so much for your amazing pink-themed links last week! Your engagement with over 30+ links and lovely comments and tweets really tickled me pink!
Please continue to link your posts to my Sunday Stills posts while I’m traveling. I am able to approve and comment on your posts with my mobile!
Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers, sons, brothers, grandpapas, uncles, and anyone who has taken on a fatherly role!
We will be on the road early Monday morning as we head out on our 31-day road trip. Due to travel days and spotty internet, I’m taking a one-week break on June 26 while we are camping at the Sacramento Delta.
The next Sunday Stills challenge is July 3 “Beautiful Beaches.” I’ve scheduled a Flashback Friday post for June 24 if you can stop by for that. Be kind and stay safe!
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