the hinge day of the seasons

“Summer Day in Ukraine” by Volodymyr Orlovsky

On this twenty-first of June, the hinge day of the seasons, the yearly tide of light reaches its flood. Tomorrow, it will begin the long rollback to the dark days of December. … And so this longest day in the year comes to an end with silver mist and low-lying land and the smell of the sea. Twilight here is doubly impressive for we are face to face with twin mysteries — the mystery of the sea and the mystery of the night. We, as diurnal creatures of the land, are looking into foreign realms, into worlds other than our own, into the mysterious dark and the mysterious depths.
~ Edwin Way Teale
(Circle of the Seasons: The Journal of a Naturalist’s Year)

~ summer solstice ~
(10:57 am eastern time zone)

29 thoughts on “the hinge day of the seasons”

  1. Hinge Day! I like that phrase. Earlier this morning I saw someone mention that today is Hippie Christmas. Me? I just like the sunshine, call it what you want.

    1. Hmmm… I never heard of it being called Hippie Christmas before. But I do know that in Scandinavia Midsummer is as big as Christmas when it comes to celebrations.

  2. I like thinking of summer solstice as “Hinge Day.” And I do believe we had light for a longer period into the evening hours yesterday. Hope you’re starting to settle in to your new place!

    1. It’s taking a while but we’re getting settled and it already feels like home! The swing in length of days doesn’t seem as pronounced as it was up north down here in this lower latitude.

    1. I’m looking forward to seeing what the change of seasons looks like in the coming months down here. The hours of daylight don’t seem to change as dramatically as they do farther north.

      1. After living in a four-season state your entire life, I imagine it will take some adjustments, although with climate change, maybe not so much now as years ago. I meant to comment on your post yesterday about the high dew points. We had some horribly high dew points last weekend/week which made it pretty miserable for walking.

        1. Those high dew points are suffocating! Every time the air conditioning makes a funny noise I start to panic about it breaking, though I know we could always run over to Larisa’s place. I want to make sure the landlady takes care of any preventive maintenance in a timely fashion. I admire you for getting out there walking in spite of that oppressive humidity!

          1. Yes they are – it was terrible, so that is one downfall of living in a warm climate, but you won’t deal with harsh Winters, so it balances it out nicely. I could do without Winter. It has been difficult getting out this year … rain in the a.m. (not a fan of walking in the rain as I had many years of taking the bus to Downtown Detroit and waiting for the bus in inclement weather many times). Yes, lucky for you, Larisa is close by in the event of an A/C issue. I heard the 9:00 p.m. news and it was 82 degrees here!

          2. With all the central air conditioning here we’re not really bothered by the heat, although I can see all this indoor time leading to cabin fever once we’re done with unpacking and settling in. It would be nice to pull out a puzzle on summer afternoons like I used to do in the winter. And there will be plenty of time in the summers to finish organizing the family history papers. Having it be 82F at 9 pm up there is remarkable. Right now, NC feels cool compared to what they’re going through in Arizona!

          3. That is warm for that late at night – we had a coolish day today – no walk though as the tree cutting crew was there … tomorrow back to muggy weather, heat and storms tomorrow afternoon and Saturday and Sunday. Puzzles are nice. I have many left from my mom that she didn’t get to do … all for my retirement years when I can sit and enjoy them with my extra spare time.

          4. We had a terrific thunderstorm yesterday afternoon with the loudest clap of thunder I’ve ever heard. Tim & I literally jumped out of our seats. We also lost our internet for about 6 hours, but we still had electricity, thankfully, because the dewpoint was 75° and it was a steam bath outside. Never a dull moment with the weather here.

          5. Good you did not lose your electricity in that heat Barbara … it would have been unbearable. You might consider looking for some battery-operated fans though, as you said, you can go to Larisa’s house to stay cool or safe post-storm(s). Our thunderstorm Friday knocked out the power at 4:00 p.m. and it was supposed to be restored by 8:30 p.m., but not restored until 2:00 a.m. Saturday. I have the generator so I was okay, but I left the A/C off as we had a series of severe storms coming thru and will have another later this afternoon. I lost my internet and just went to bed as I got a message about “no gateway” which made me think the lineman took down Comcast lines to repair power lines. The weather has became too volatile to my liking up here too. I am ready for Fall.

          6. I’ll have to ask around and see if having a generator is a thing around these parts. I know all the electrical wires are underground so they probably don’t lose power that often. I never heard of battery-operated fans before! I’m ready for fall, too, and am curious to see what it’s like down here, even though I was staying down here with Larisa for a couple of months in the fall of 2018 around the time Finn was born. Not surprisingly, I don’t remember much about the weather then!

          7. Oh, that is wonderful that the electrical wires are underground, so you will not experience the downed wire incidents there. You are lucky. I saw the misshapen top of the chain-link fence where the power line fell and arced and the burn marks and it made me cringe a bit. I had a lot of provisions for my canary should the power go out. I had a fan my mom had from years ago – it was a hand fan, so I had that to fan him lightly as I could not blow the air directly on him but around him, but the battery-operated fan kept the area cooler, plus I had measures for Winter as well.

          8. Linda, I found this cool website called Risk Factor ( You put in your zip code and it tells you what kinds of odds your area has for fire, flood, heat or wind damage. We have a minor risk factor for fire and flood, but a major risk factor for heat and wind. (The scale is minor, moderate, major, severe, extreme.) The information that goes along with each risk assessment is very interesting. Now I know where to focus my worries. 😉

          9. Thank you for sending this website to me Barbara. Very interesting. I left here and commenting twice last night as we had another storm, so I finally shut down for good. We are going to have severe weather this Wednesday and I’m already worrying about it – it will be in the evening, with the risk for tornadoes (multiple tornadoes) and high winds, flooding. They put in new sewers for us in 1990 so we’re lucky (but had a major flood in 1969 with everything ruined in the basement). This storm tomorrow is going to be part of a derecho which they say will be ongoing through August 8th … seems strange to me as to the longevity, but we had a derecho in July of 1980 and it did a lot of damage around here. It was known as “The Green Storm” for the color of the sky. I am scared of this volatile weather.

          10. You’re welcome, Linda. Wow, the weather just never lets up for you out there! I remember you talking about that derecho before — so scary. We had a freak EF-3 tornado about 85 miles east of us last week, and there had been nothing in the weather forecast to expect one to develop. I guess it was the first tornado ever to happen in this state in July. Climate change is definitely upon us.

          11. Oh Barbara – right now it is the calm between the storms as I wait for Round 2. Due to the severity of Round 1, this storm won’t be packing a big punch, but it will be after dark they say … I don’t like that. Thank you for the link to the story. A week ago today I was having angst about last Thursday’s predicted bad weather with the two tornadoes. So, I heard about that tornado on the news, but the news stories seemed to be more focused on the story of all the medicine destroyed rather than the tornado damage to people and other items.

  3. Hi Barbara, Another blogger Rita Ott Ramstad posted this poem this week. I think that you would enjoy it, too. So I’m sending it to you with love.

    Laura Foley
    GRATITUDE LIST Praise be this morning for sleeping late,
    the sandy sheets, the ocean air,
    the midnight storm that blew its waters in. Praise be the morning swim, mid-tide, the clear sands underneath our feet, the dogs who leap into the waves,
    their fur, sticky with salt,
    the ball we throw again and again. Praise be the green tea with honey, the bread we dip in finest olive oil, the eggs we fry. Praise be the reeds, gold and pink in the summer light, the sand between our toes,
    our swimsuits, flapping in the breeze.

    1. Thank you, TD! What a lovely poem! It takes me back to summer days on Cape Cod when I was a child and later when we brought our own children there. It’s going to be something living here so far away from the ocean…

  4. I also took interest in the risk factor website! Very interesting!! Here the website expects heat as extreme and hurricanes and floods as minor. I would have never thought that.

    I did see the TV news on the NC tornado and wonder how close it was to you. I have been in a tornado myself years ago and it came out of the blu sky. I was eating pizza about to go to the movies, but that tornado had other plans for me! Horrible!! Mini cooper convertible car damage and my nerves shattered.

    Glad to know that your family and Linda are alright. 🥰

    1. Happy to know you found the risk factor website interesting, too, TD! The extreme heat risk sounds very accurate for your zip code in light of the temperatures you’ve been enduring this summer. The hurricane and flood risk being minor is very puzzling… How awful that you’ve experienced a tornado firsthand! What state were you in? It must have been very frightening and left you shook up, to say the least. I’m so glad you survived. ♡

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