Wednesday, 26 June 2013
Solstice, Supermoons and Midsummer in a Garden
Soon will the high Midsummer pomps come on,
Soon will the musk carnations break and swell,
Soon shall we have gold-dusted snapdragon,
Sweet-William with its homely cottage-smell,
And stocks in fragrant blow;
Roses that down the alleys shine afar,
And open, jasmine-muffled lattices,
And groups under the dreaming- garden- trees,
And the full moon, and the white evening-star.
By Matthew Arnold (1822 - 1888)
Friday was the 21st June, the summer solstice, the longest day of the year when the sun rose at 4.52am and set at 9.21pm, depending on where you are in the country; we had daylight for approximately 16 hours, 38 minutes and 2 seconds. As usual our great British summer weather was overcast, cool and wet, so didn't disappoint! This Sunday also saw the evening when the moon looms larger and higher in the sky and is the closest distance to earth for this year while it is in full phase. It is supposed to look 8% larger and 17% higher in the sky. This is known as the 'supermoon' phenomenon, but again in sunny, starry Knebworth it was cloudy and not a glimmer of the moon could be seen. Luckily we got a good view the following evening and captured it on photo, although the moon had begun to wane, it was still shining bright. It is most unusual for the 'supermoon' to occur so near to the summer solstice.
Monday was the 24th of June and traditionally celebrated in European, Latin American and Scandanavian countries as 'Midsummer's Day'; It is also celebrated by Christians as the birthday of John the Baptist. So Midsummer's Day was a very apt day for a wander around Cambridge University Botanical Gardens, a colourful and tranquil oasis on the outskirts of the city. Have a wander through the photos and enjoy the midsummer garden.
You who walk,
Maybe with troubled thoughts,
Come enter here and rest;
And may the sweet serenity of growing things,
And the heavenly peace,
Be mirrored in they soul.
Besides all the natural phenonema going on with solstices, supermoons and midsummer, it just so happened that the 21st day of June coincided with 21 months of waiting for my transplant. Perhaps it is written in the stars ...
If you want to sign up to the organ donor register click on: www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/