Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Summer Solstice 2023

August 7, 2023 Update: John's Island is on break

Like the youngsters at Seattle's Broadview Thomson
Elementary school, I'm taking a summer break.
I happened to see the school's reader board and
its current message impressed me. To the Principal,
or whoever came up with this ... well done!

Hello everyone and welcome to John's Island. 

In this post ...

    ➤ Today is the longest day of the year

    ➤ A Cottonwood tree nature experiment

    ➤ Kilauea eruption

    ➤ 2 Months of change on waterfront walk

    ➤ Natural wonders

    ➤ Ship pics, just for fun

    ➤ Looking back 20 years ago

    ➤ Closing thought

Longest Day of the Year

Wed, Jun 21, 2023 7:57 AM

At 7:57AM, this morning in Seattle, Washington, USA, the moment of Solstice will occur. Today's sunlight is ... 15 hours, 54 minutes, 10 seconds ... the exact amount of time between sunrise and sunset in Seattle. Tomorrow will actually be 3 seconds shorter and everyday will continue to get shorter until the December Solstice.

The June solstice is the moment the Sun is directly above the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere. This is the northernmost latitude it reaches during the year. After the solstice, it begins moving south again.

Since the Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the Sun in June, it receives more sunlight during the course of a day. The North Pole's tilt toward the Sun is greatest at the solstice, so this event marks the longest day of the year north of the equator.

This effect is greatest in locations that are farther away from the equator. In tropical areas, the longest day is just a little longer than 12 hours; in the temperate zone, it is significantly longer; and places within the Arctic Circle experience Midnight Sun or polar day, when the Sun does not set at night.

Cottonwood Nature Experiment

Cottonwood trees are plentiful in the Pacific Northwest. Recently, out on a walk, cottonwood seeds floated around me almost looking like snow. This year the trees seemed to have an extra abundance of seeds and the scene, like a snow in June, piqued my curiosity. I wondered, of the millions of seeds, what percentage actually germinate and establish a new Cottonwood tree. I decided to try a Nature Experiment and see if I could get some trees started. Here are a few pictures telling the story ...  [PS I'll be the first to acknowledge that most humans find these trees annoying when the seeds begin to fall. However, for me, nature's amazing method of propagating the trees overcomes the annoyance.]

Cottonwood seeds floating away from the
the tree that produced them.

Lots of seeds on this tree.
Ready to drift away.

Each seed is attached to a bit of fuzz that looks
just like cotton. They drift slowly away from
the parent tree.

Seeds accumulate along walkways.

Seeds are produced in bunches on little stems.

A cottonwood leaf and a couple of seeds.

A handful of seeds.

One tiny seed.

2 days after planting the seeds
and keeping them watered.

7 days after planting the seeds.
Cottonwood trees on the way!

14 days after planting.
Be sure to see the large view.
Slow but on the way.

21 days after planting.
Note how the tiny leaves have already
started to get that jagged edge.

Here is the goal ... Get the seedlings up a couple of inches
and transplant them to a location riverside, where,
hopefully they will thrive.
[In this photo from the web, note how the tiny
seedlings look. I'm amazed at how many germinated!]

June 7th - Kilauea
Kilauea volcano in Hawaii erupted
on June 7
[Screenshot from AccuWeather]

2 Months of Change on Waterfront Walk

Around April 1 the powers in control
buzzed away most of the vegetation at this
popular spot on the walk.

I am amazed at how fast the plants and grass
have come back. 

Natural Wonders

Mt Rainier as seen from the waterfront walk.
The mountain is about 50 miles away.
June 4, 2023

At an intersection near home.
Yes, another Natural Wonder, in my mind.
This is a busy street, but at the moment, I was
stopped at a traffic signal. I happened to notice
this little spot and what nature had done with it.
It's kind of like a message to humans ... throw it
at me and I'll clean it up. Thank you,

A few ship pics just for fun ...

I like this picture ... it's a nice view of scale ...
the average sailboat vs the MSC Container ship.

I like this picture ... it's something I see almost every
Sunday morning. A tug pulling a barge from Alaska.
I'm always curious about how a tug Captain decides
how long the tow will be to the barge. This one
is several hundred feet.

Busy weekend afternoon in the port of Seattle.
In front ... Discovery Princess
Next ... Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam
Next ... A bulk carrier at anchor, in process of refueling
Out in the middle of The Sound ... The Victoria Clipper
Near center ... mast of M5 ... see next picture. 

The M5 -- World's tallest single-masted sailing yacht!
This is the 2nd year the M5 has visited Seattle.
See YouTube video below for details.
[Not my video but I really like it. 😊 ]

20 Years Ago

I've kept most of my digital photos since 2001, a decade before starting John's Island. So, I've decided to go back and pick out some memories to share over the next few posts. The following four pics are all from 20 years ago, 2003 ...

Seattle skyline from Kerry Park
February, 2003

Enjoyed a stay in Hawaii
March, 2003

Visited Yellowstone National Park
and snapped this photo of 
Great Falls of the Yellowstone
July, 2003

Discovered a Rattlesnake while in Montana
July, 2003
[Added this pic for my ticket to link up
with Saturday's Critters. Check it out!]

Closing Thought ...

     “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”
            Wayne W. Dyer

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