Featured Story

The longest day is today

This morning, at 5:14 a.m., the Summer Solstice, the official start of Summer 2022, arrived in the northern hemisphere.

That includes you, Shelter Island.

It’s known as the longest day, the one with the most hours of sunlight. And with the longest day, Tuesday into Wednesday will be the shortest night of the year.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac tells us, “The term ‘solstice’ comes from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still). At the Solstice, the angle between the sun’s rays and the plane of the Earth’s equator (called declination) appears to stand still.”

We’ll take the Old Farmer at his word, even if he lost us at the plane of the equator and that declination thing.

We will note that our ancestors thought it was a very big deal.

According to the Old Farmer, in ancient Egypt, the Nile rose during the Summer Solstice, and working out when that would occur was important to prepare for flooding. It was also the Egyptian New Year.

The Old Farmer also says that the Irish, thousands of years ago, “would cut hazel branches on solstice eve” to search for gold, water, and precious jewels.

No word if the Irish got lucky.

At Stonehenge in England and in other parts of the world, monuments were built to corral the rays and celebrate another summer.

Today, the National Weather service is calling for partly sunny skies, with a high temperature of about 74 degrees, and a light breeze of about 6 mph.

Happy Solstice, Shelter Island, and many happy summer days to follow.