Well it is official summer has finally arrived!
Last week was the Summer Solstice and the astronomical first day of summer. Although it is safe to say that with the hot weather it has certainly been feeling like summer for the last few weeks!
What Is The Summer Solstice?
Charlie was asking this exact question!
In the Northern Hemisphere the summer solstice happens when the sun travels along its northernmost path in the sky. It occurs when the Earth arrives at the point in its orbit where the North Pole is at its maximum tilt (about 23.5 degrees) toward the sun. This results in the longest day and shortest night.
The word ‘solstice’ comes from the Latin word ‘solstitium’ from ‘sol’ (sun) and ‘sitium’ (still or stopped). Due to the Earth’s tilted axis the sun doesn’t rise and set at the same point on the horizon each day. This point moves northward and southward in the sky as Earth travels around the sun through the year. At the solstice the sun’s path doesn’t change for a brief period of time. Hence the word solstice!
People around the world have long celebrated the occasion with a variety of wonderful cultural festivals and activities. For the majority of cultures the day involves feasting, lighting bonfires, singing and dancing to reconnect with nature.
By far the oldest and most well known summer solstice celebration takes place at Stonehenge. This year over 10,000 people including druids and pagans headed to the stone circle to experience the solstice. Incredibly the historic stones align perfectly with the movement of the sun. If you stand in the centre of the monument, you can see the sunrise just to the left of a large standing stone outside the stone circle known as the Heel Stone.
How did we celebrate?
Well in a nutshell we didn’t! It was a normal Wednesday at Treway. Which means packing and dispatching our nationwide beef deliveries for me and a day of farming for Will. I think you will agree that the cattle look just wonderful grazing in the tall grass under a brilliant blue sky. We did however do a rain dance as we are absolutely desperate for some rain and it would appear that we missed all the rain that fell locally.
The Week Ahead
It is a busy and exciting week at Treway as we are preparing to welcome our 2000 turkey poults (chicks) to the farm on Friday. This means converting one of our cow sheds into a brooding house so there has been much pressure washing and constructing of temporary walls but more on that next week….