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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Observing Sweden - Summer Solstice

Summer solstice is the first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. For those of us in the north, today will be the longest day of the year and tonight will be the shortest night. The entire Earth is about 3 million miles farther from the sun at this time of the year. The difference in the temperature is due to the fact that our planet is tilted on its axis, and at this time of year, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the sun, receiving more direct radiation for longer periods of time each day. It is that slight tilt, only 23 1/2 degrees, that makes the difference between winter and summer. The rise in temperature allows most of the plants we eat to germinate. Wheat and many other plants require an average temperature of at least 40° F to grow. Corn needs a temperature of 50° F, and rice needs a temperature of 68° F.

Postcard From Sweden
This sans sunset day
twilight til dawn
another summer solstice
endless clock of seasons.

Magic hours when animals can talk
and humans dream of lovers
dress the maypole
join in celebration
gatherings of thousands
celebrate until the early morning mist.

Another day is born.

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