Post-411: Summer Solstice, Twenty-twenty-one edition

June 20, 2021
11:32pm Eastern Daylight Time

Such was the Northern Hemisphere Summer Solstice moment which has just passed us by.

I often try to mark the exact solstice moments, winter and summer, and occasionally the neglected siblings known as the equinoxes.

Summer Solstice this year happens to have been in the dark-of-night at the latitude/longitude where I am.

This is how it looked:

I also note that because the Summer Solstice moment fell close to midnight, the coveted title of “longest day of the year” must by all fairness be shared by both June 20 and June 21, the difference being (must be) minuscule and measurable in seconds. If the Solstice fell at midday or so, there would be a clear winner.

Here is the same view lightened up:

Photography is funny in that most of the time it fails to do its job, which is to capture an image. Take a picture and you do get an image, but it’s not really what you see.

(Good photographers are good at staging, or something, and create more pleasing images; the poor photographer can aim to capture the same scene as the good photographer and take a picture at the same time and from the same vantage but it somehow ends up feeling different. And neither of them have truly captured the image in the sense the human witness saw it.)

Everyone who has ever tried taking a picture of the Moon knows this problem well. The way my little “Moon at Summer Solstice night portrait” actually looked was roughly a combination of the sky/moon in the first and the ground and ambiance in the second, or maybe even more navigable still. It was a very hot day and warmly pleasant at late night.

The picture is timestamped 11:19pm, 13 minutes before the Solstice. It seemed the best shot I would get. The place I wanted to be, a few minutes walk away, had some people loafing around and it wouldn’t have done for me to stand around waiting for the moment. I had to improvise, which meant wander and hope for the best. When the clock struck the Solstice moment (11:32pm), I was near a stream. The Moon was bright in full view.

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The good news is: days will stay long for a while.

The return of darkness at something like the 6pm hour is many months away.

I wonder how much of the “work at home” zombie army has lost touch with the phases of the Sun in their work lives. (More than our civilization already has, given easy artificial light, to say nothing of losing touch with temperatures and other weather conditions, given ubiquitous A/C and heating.)

In the pre-Zombie state (before March 2020), most of these people had 5pm or 6pm quitting times, and were therefore out of “work” and into “the world” at those times or thereabouts. In the months around the Summer Solstice this meant good daylight after work and usually accompanied by favorable weather. A great gift to the 9-to-5-er. But after the mass-conversion to Zombiedom, it was all disrupted.

Or is it? I know enough about the Zombie ideology to know many of the Zombies will defend their Zombiesm and how great Zombieism is, how much better the Zombie lifestyle is than the Human one.

If anyone reading this doesn’t understand my Zombie references, vis-a-vis 2020 and 2021, you’re on your own.

On the other hand, what I see is many do seem to be indulging in the long days and fair weather, by being out “late” more than they may have been in their pre-Zombie lives. I’ve heard others remark the same. I’d almost describe it like the 8pm and 9pm hours of May and June seem like turbocharged versions of former 6pm and 7pm hours or the same months, pre-Zombie. This has struck me, but I think it may be an artifact of the hold-over Zombie custom of outdoor dining, which of course makes people more visible.

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