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.
It’s a quiet moment when dragonflies cruise by–nothing says summer days like a dragonfly.
Insects and wildflowers grace us with color and vibrance as they busily gather sustenance during these longest of days.
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.
Another summer gift for us to behold: birds fledging from their nests, launching into their first flights.
Summer is a time for singing, and no birds enchant us more with melodious sweetness than the songbirds.
Rivers and ponds, forests and prairies, suburbs, cities and countrysides all come alive in summer.
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.