Happy Solstice

Monarch Butterfly, Horicon Marsh, WI

Those of us in the northern hemisphere are entering into summer solstice this week, celebrating the longest day of the year and the beginning of summer. The word solstice derives from the Latin for sun (sol) and to stand still (sistere).


Here are a few North American summer moments, when the power of the sun (and the camera) slowed the natural world down to a perfect stand-still.

Mother Moose and calf, Rocky Mtn. Nat’l. Park, Colorado



Common Green Darner, Anax junius. California

It’s a quiet moment when dragonflies cruise by–nothing says summer days like a dragonfly.

Horicon Marsh

Halloween Pennant Dragonfly, Wisconsin


Insects and wildflowers grace us with color and vibrance as they busily gather sustenance during these longest of days.

Hypericum coccinum, aka Gold Wire, with ladybug. California


Great Spangled Fritillary (female), Wyoming

And is there a more remarkable insect than the butterfly? I don’t think so.


The miracle of life in four distinct stages. They start out the warm season as an egg, hatch into a tiny caterpillar, then forage their way across the host plant, a legacy from their mother.


As they continue to eat, they grow into plump caterpillars until they sense the time for pupation, and form their own protective chrysalis. Then one day they stretch out of the chrysalis, unfurl wings, and fly off.


Anise Swallowtail caterpillar, California


Anise Swallowtail Butterfly, California


Another summer gift for us to behold: birds fledging from their nests, launching into their first flights.

Pacific-slope Flycatcher nestlings, 15 days of life. They fledged soon after.


Carolina Wren, Texas; parent tending the nest


Summer is a time for singing, and no birds enchant us more with melodious sweetness than the songbirds.

Prairie Dickcissel, Attwater Preserve, Texas


Common Yellowthroat, Horicon Marsh, Wisconsin


Rivers and ponds, forests and prairies, suburbs, cities and countrysides all come alive in summer.

Marsh meadow, Horicon Marsh, Wisconsin

Ft. Collins park, Colorado

We humans are cradled by the sun, presented with a whirlwind of nature during these long and productive days. We, too, sing and flutter, grow and frolic.


Written by Jet Eliot

Photos by Athena Alexander

I am taking a short summer break, my friends, will return in a few weeks. I hope your days, whether they’re going into summer or winter, are filled with beautiful moments.

Twelve-spotted Skimmer Dragonfly, California



97 thoughts on “Happy Solstice

  1. Thank you dear Jet for this beautiful blog celebrating Summer’s bounties. I absolutely love the photographs in this post, especially of the insects. They are amazing. I hope that you enjoy a well deserved summer break and rest – and know that you are very much in my thoughts. Janet πŸ™‚

  2. A lovely set of photos, Jet, depicting the life of the season. I had the pleasure to enjoy the summer solstice in Europe. The days there are longer than in Australia. I hope you have a lovely break.

  3. There is nothing like, natural world, that calms down our senses and fills up with positive energy, right?

    Everything get a rebirth during the monsoon months from June to August in Kerala. Though June is supposed to be the hottest time of the year, monsoon rains saves us who, live just north of equator.

    So good to read this beautiful post filled with incredible images.

    Thank you so much for sharing, Jet πŸ™‚

  4. Thank you for sharing your summer road trip Jet! It’s good to see you back on WP. I hope all is going well with the new house and you will be settled soon. πŸ’›

    • Thank you, Val, it’s really great to be back, albeit infrequently. We still have not been able to move back into our house since the October fires, but this week we had electricity restored and a new well installed, so we’re expecting to move back next month. Many thanks for your kind words and thoughts.

  5. Amazing photos by Athena, and wonderful write up of how summer has been going for you. ‘We humans are cradled by the sun, presented with a whirlwind of nature during these long and productive days.’ So well said and i think this is so true. The sun not just warms up the world around us, but lights it up in so many ways as well. Hope you are having a good summer and we’re all here when you get back πŸ™‚

  6. Jet, I’m not sure if I commented on this post or not. Just in case I did not …. these images are fantastic!! Thank you for this share …. Nature in all Her forms never ceases to amaze. I so appreciate bird shots so much more as I now know what it takes to get a good one. And then how exciting it is when you know you have a perfect image. Excellent post! πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

  7. Happy belated Summer Solstice, Jet!!! This post is SOOOO sweet and beautiful. Sitting here with a big, fat, summery smile on my face. I hope You had/are having a restful, most wonderous break!!! Huge hugs and Cheers! And Thank You! πŸ™‚

  8. Just popped in to ensure all was well, Jet. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Feeling wistful because those summer days have left us and we are heading for a damp early autumn. For which many will be thankful. Take care!

    • Thanks so much, Jo, for your visit and kind words. I am expecting to return to WP next month, and looking so forward to it. We have been in an intense rebuilding phase, post-fire, and it takes all my energy and more. But we are progressing, and will be moving back home in September. Your kindness is much appreciated.

  9. It is the second time for me to read this beautiful blog….and second time around it is even more enjoyable. You have been very much on my mind during this summer – another summer riddled with terrible fires….and hope that you have not been hit for a second time around. I am hoping that slowly but surely your property is getting back to the point where you can move home. Sending hummingbird hugs in your direction. Janet πŸ™‚

    • Dearest Janet, thanks so much for your kind words. We were not hit by the August fires, fortunately. We hope to move home next month. I resume my blogging this Friday, looking forward to it. Warmest thanks….

  10. Happy belated Summer solstice! I have been away from January until July. Trying to catch up. Just checking on you, hope all is well. Read that you might return home in September, that’s a good news. Wishing you all the best!

    • It’s one of my favorite visual images, too, BJ — to see a songbird, as you say, singing their hearts out. Such a glorious sight, and a pleasure to share it with you. Thank you.

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