Sunday, June 10, 2012

Summer & All the Good Things that it Brings

Summer officially begins June 20th in the northern hemisphere this year, and I for one cannot wait.  In 10 days the solar azimuth, or the sun's path through the sky, will arc as far north and as high overhead as it gets before the days start growing shorter, and the sun slowly retreats to the south for next winter.  This will be the "longest day" of the year.  At my latitude in Eugene the sun rises at 5:30am and doesn't set until 9pm resulting in 15.5 straight hours of sunshine!  The farther north you go, the longer the daylight lasts, and above a certain latitude (in parts of Alaska, Canada and Northern Europe for example) the sun will not set at all.  Those nearer the equator will hardly notice the difference in the day's length.

The Peas Are Taking Off

The summer's approach brings many good tidings in general, and this year a few specific good tidings for me.  Not only are the long days and fair weather conducive to a more active lifestyle, and the general quality of recreation improves significantly, but the long hours of sunshine make the garden grow fast and strong.  You may recall some of my disaster stories from the last two years of gardening, well this year we are starting to figure it out.  I have been turning a compost pile since April of last year, and at the beginning of spring I tilled up the vegetable patch in our yard and turned the compost into the patch.  So far, the vegetables we have planted love it.

We also have a few little planter boxes of herbs right by the kitchen door that are doing very well, and our one survivor from previous years, the blueberry bush, has more little green fruits than ever before.  We are about to plant a few tomatoes and plan to add some lettuce and other leafy green along the fence (which doesn't get nearly as much sun).

But this year, the best thing that summer brings with it is my wife, who has completed the Master's of Architecture program at UO and has her commencement in a week.  After three long years in Design Jail, she is a free woman once again.  The last two quarters have been fantastic (she got the studio teacher she most wanted and it was everything she hoped it would be) and her final review went extremely well.  Considering the fact that final reviews are usually a bloody affair consisting of a group of cynics tearing apart your hard work and design aesthetic, I think Courtney's face at the end of her review says it all.

Courtney in Front of Her Final Presentation
So for the rest of the summer, (in addition to my usual stuff about going green) you can expect a lot of posts about gardening, barbequing, and for the first time in a while probably some posts about traveling around Oregon, which Courtney and I are very excited about.  So I leave you with a Eugene send off, what everyone here says instead of goodbye when it is not raining: "enjoy the weather!"


  1. Lovely post. Congrats to your wife.

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