Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Summer Solstice 2022

 Today marks the longest day of the year in terms of sunlight in the northern hemisphere. Accompanying the summer solstice we are also experiencing an early summer heatwave and dry spell in my neck of the woods. Last week, temperatures were near one hundred degrees with high humidity, making it miserable. A cool down over the weekend was a nice reprieve, but now the heat has returned as temperatures climb again to the century mark this week.

Photo by me, June 2022.

My New Dawn rose in the rear garden has bloomed for the first time in its life. I planted the bush in April after ordering it from a nursery in Michigan. These are the same roses my family grew when I was a child that I have written about in my books. I never expected this rose to be so difficult to find as local growers and nurseries do not stock this rose. I am uncertain of the origin of the rose bush we had at my childhood home, but I know that it was planted in the 1970s. I suspect my mother purchased it at her favorite nursery in Paulding County that was near our house. I had to have one at my new house to go along with the other varieties of roses that we are growing. Of course, the New Dawn is my favorite among the seven bushes that we have.

Photo by me, June 2022.


Last night I heard the cicadas for the first time this summer. I found the first cicada shell and then another this morning while gardening before the heat became too much. Next it will be the June bugs that I am looking for, but despite their name it will not be until July before they arrive.

I do hope that we are fortunate to have some rain by this weekend. It has been an extra chore to establish a completely new garden from scratch at the new house during a dry spring and early summer with high heat. Should this weather pattern last through July then any further planting will need to be scaled back for the year. The rear garden is a multi-year plan anyway, but I am trying to put in place the foundation this year.

We have not had a sustained heatwave similar to this one in Georgia in a few years and it has caught me somewhat unprepared. I grew up in Georgia without the benefit of air conditioning so I was accustomed to the heat and humidity at that age. I lived in the country, surrounded by trees and my family used fans and opened the windows for circulation. The daytime could get uncomfortable during some of the hot and dry years of the 1980s, but by evening it was tolerable. It was not until I was nearing the end of high school that we finally had air conditioning. I would not want to live that way again, not at my present age.

And after today the hours of daylight will grow shorter by a few seconds and I may not mind it all that much.