Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy First Day of Summer!

Yes, boys and girls, the Summer Solstice arrived at 7:28 a.m.at Morning Wood Acres this morning as I started the coffee, let the ducks out and fetched the morning paper from the road. What a gorgeous morning it is.

Some interesting tidbits about the first day of Summer:

Today is Nude Hiking Day, the annual event that calls on naturists from all over the world to take to the woods to commune with Mother Nature au naturale. Around these parts most enthusiasts will be heading out to the Appalachian Trail wearing nothing but hiking boots and a fanny pack. Watch out for Poison Ivy and be sure to bring a buddy along to check you for ticks. Enjoy!

"Solstice" derives from the Latin words "sol", meaning "sun" and "stice", meaning "stand still". The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year and the shortest night. After six months of the days getting longer, they begin to shorten. The midpoint is when the sun stands still.

Pagans called the Midsummer moon the "Honey Moon" for the mead made from fermented honey that was part of wedding ceremonies performed at the Summer Solstice.

Ancient Pagans celebrated Midsummer with bonfires, when couples would leap through the flames, believing their crops would grow as high as the couples were able to jump.

Midsummer was thought to be a time of magic, when evil spirits were said to appear. To thwart them, Pagans often wore protective garlands of herbs and flowers. One of the most powerful of them was a plant called 'chase-devil', which is known today as St. John's Wort and still used by modern herbalists as a mood stabilizer.
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