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.

Weather Underground App

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.

Fire truck
Painnt filter used

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.

Firefighter forest training
Firefighters in training

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!

lupine yarrow arrowleaf grass
Miles of Weeds, good with the bad

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!

Sun-Warmed Solstice

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:

Sunset on Arrowroot

“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.

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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130 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: A Wildflower #Solstice

  1. Terri – you’re almost a week into your vacation as I’m so far behind here in Reader. I didn’t know that dogs could get allergies – interesting. Sorry Aero has to miss some of the walks in the grassy areas. I’ll wish you safe travels for the remainder of your trip – I am sure you are having a ball along the way.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Linda, a fine start to the trip, but arrived in really hot temps in Sacramento delta. Nights are getting cooler and hubby can windsurf. We are enjoying catching up with old friends. Thank you for your kind comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: niral
    1. I can see why you would stay in your garden as temps climb, Susanne, it’s so beautiful! Looks nice and cool, too! Road trip is fine, enduring a little heat in the Sacramento River Delta, but the wind came up yesterday and will over the weekend. We can always tell when other windsurfers start showing up…they know! Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Gorgeous captures!! 🤩
    It’s interesting to know that night hours are only this much with such a long day!! It’s amazing really! Thanks for sharing 😊😊

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi, Terri – I could feel summer’s warmth bursting through your photos. We have had such a slow start to summer (and Spring was pretty much officially cancelled) that today was the first day that I actually wore a sleeveless shirt outdoors! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank goodness for the wet spring, Terri. Not only is it helping with not too many wildfires, but it’s helped lady Spring bloom. There are lots of wildfires on the mainland in Europe already, though. They’re currently having a heatwave with temperatures over 40c. It’s only half that temp here in Wales.

    Sunrise in your part of the world is 5 minutes earlier than ours, but the sun sets later here at 21:37. It’s still light when I go to bed, which I don’t find natural. But I guess it’s all about getting used to it. Some folk up north have 24 hours of daylight at the time of the year.

    Here’s what the summer solstice means to me.

    Have a great trip.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. What a great pic of you in that chair, Hugh! You do get more daylight late, I love it! As we head south we gradually lose late night light and it gets much warmer! We left Bend, Oregon earlier this morning, it was 37F! Of course since today is the actual solstice we will arrive at the Sacramento delta in 105F temps…yay.😖 I guess there will be several stand up paddle sessions in my future just to stay cool. Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow! That’s way too hot for me, Terri. I get grumpy when the temp goes over 80F. So the delta would be way too hot for me. But I hope the water brings along some cool fresh breezes. It’s one of the reasons why we love to live on the coast. The summer sea breezes are always refreshing.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Normally, it’s much cooler here at the delta, up to 10 degrees difference than nearby Sacramento. We survived day one and it’s supposed to get “cooler” each day! I like the idea of your coastal breezes, Hugh.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Terri,
    I looked hard and found an image taken near to your home. This is a picture of wildflowers on Mt. Rainier I captured in 2020. The day was glorious and the wildflowers even better. I love wildflowers and you are blessed to have such a variety where you live. Have a great week. Joe

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Happy summer solstice! We have wildflowers that have popped up from last year’s seeds, and new ones are on their way. It’s a slow start this year, but I’d rather have this weather than last year’s heat dome and smoky air.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. These are beautiful Terri. Have a fun trip. I’m working on my post for this week and will link it later…I’ll also try to visit those who normally participate to see if they have posted as well…I may need some inspiration.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Kirstin, I didn’t get a lot of links probably due to Father’s day, or my mention of travel. Take your time and see where inspiration leads you. I’m thinking of you as we are driving to Sunriver OR this afternoon front Spokane. I remember you spent some time there. We’re just overnighting in our nephew’s driveway and heading out tomorrow morning for the Sacramento delta 🚗👏

      Liked by 1 person

  9. June in Thailand is the rainy season, but it’s still hot and our summer months and rainy season months actually look and feel almost the same. It’s always interesting to see summer photos of countries with four seasons. I really enjoyed your photos of summer sunsets and wildflowers.

    Liked by 6 people

      1. Thailand is now open for international travelers and after this July, it will be really easy to visit with very few requirements. I recommend November to February though because it’s usually rainy or hot in other months, haha. If there are opportunities, I hope you can come.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. What a perfect summer post. I almost feel that I don’t need to write anything for next week’s WQW on the summer solstice. You’ve done such a great job. And your pictures are fabulous. I do love the long days but ours are much shorter than yours since we are so much further south. I hope they are still pretty long when I visit up there! September is about halfway to winter – fall equinox. I’m glad your weather has been cool and I hope you get some perfect weather for your trip. San Diego is always nice, though, so you can’t lose. Vince and I are so excited that you are coming this way. Tell Aero I’m so sorry about his grass allergies, but we are twins. He can take some of my meds if he runs out! LOL.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Sorry about those allergies, Marsha. We are so excited to see you and Vince and enjoy your hospitality! We left our driveway at 7:20am. It’s drizzling as we are driving. Crazy. When does your monsoon season start? Thank you for those compliments. Talk soon!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We thought we would have some rain by now. It should start soon, hopefully. There’s nothing as exciting to watch as a monsoon. It never lasts very long, but it is hard and furious. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  11. Enjoy your time away Terri, your post was good reminder of what the solstice means and I love all your images. We are still away up north and enjoying the last week of warmth before heading home to the cold country. I remember being up here a few years ago and writing a winter solstice post – just a bit different to your summer solstice!

    Liked by 5 people

  12. I sure hope the wildfire season in Washington is better this year. Nice wildflowers. I’m glad you could walk through even when the firemen were in training. Sorry to hear Aero had to visit the veterinarian to get relief from his grass allergies!
    When are you leaving for your road trip? Have a wonderful time, Terri!

    Liked by 5 people

  13. Lovely Terri. I cannot believe that you have not had a long holiday/road trip before!! I have neighbours who look after the place and my daughters come out from time to time to check on things as well. When I go to Europe it is for a couple of months. I am part of a group of people who do house sitting. They come and live in your house rent free in turn for looking after plants and animals plus get to have a look around the area as tourists on day trips.
    More humans start fires than natural causes that’s for sure.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Brian! Our neighbors are quite wonderful here. I’ve heard about the house sitting groups. We may look into that when we eventually travel abroad, and we’ll need someone to look after the dogs. Brodie doesn’t do well in a kennel. Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. The oldies but goodies images were golden and glowing –
    And cheers to the fire fighters who do so much – in preparing and in rising to the occasion as needed.
    I hope the wetter spring really does lead to less of a fire season –

    Liked by 5 people

  15. It seems the solstice may finally turn the weather around for us! Sunny and seventies in the forecast this week.
    Those beautiful flowers are sure gorgeous for being noxious weeds.;) Your road trip sounds wonderful! Enjoy!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you, Jacquie! Is it wrong to be a little nervous? We’ve never left a home this long, but we have attentive neighbors and one is taking care of our yard and plants while we are gone and I feel good about that!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. A beautiful tribute to the solstice, Terri. I love the long days and look forward to a little heat and some flowers. But it is nice to have a wet spring too if it means fewer fires. Have a glorious road trip!

    Liked by 4 people

  17. I had to laugh, Terri. After I posted my comment, I see I almost exactly recreated Tofino Photography’s comment. I hadn’t read any of the comments before writing mine. >grin<

    Liked by 4 people

  18. Gorgeous solstice images, Terri. I had to pass on this one, I haven’t been able to get out and about for a while since the dog decided not to stop when doing zoomies and crashed into my leg. Have a fabulous road trip!

    Liked by 7 people

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