With apologies to those who have been melting in excessive heat since the beginning of May. Summer has officially arrived.

The Northern Hemisphere summer solstice began on June 21 when the sun reached its highest point and signaled the longest day of the year.

From now on, we go to bed later as daylight shifts to early dawns, long days, late sunsets, and short nights.

Psychologists say there’s a link between our level of happiness and the amount of sunlight in the day. The extra daylight is supposed to make us feel happier. The heat on the other hand, not so much

For millennia, many cultures celebrated the summer solstice, especially when it occurred with a full moon. One such celebration was California’s Summer of Love in 1967.

Scores of hippies converged of San Francisco to celebrate the solstice and Hippie Life about being happy. By the end of 1967, the Summer of Love and most of the Hippie Movement had moved on, leaving lingering misgivings about the hippie culture.

I missed the Summer of Love—something about hubby’s Army duty. If you missed out too, here’s a link to fabulous photos of the event.

There was another full moon summer solstice in 2016. I did celebrate that one because we won’t see another until June 21, 2062.  I won’t be around. I even blogged about what I saw.

This year Earthsky.org reported a cosmic trio for summer solstice. If you watched the sky, you saw a waxing crescent moon next to a brilliant Venus with the much, much dimmer Mars nearby and Regulus in Leo the Lion above. And below the twin stars, Castor and Pollux, in the constellation Gemini. Did you see it? If you got a great photo of this solstice sky, send to EarthSky Community Photos.


Lastly, summer always calls for a celebration well before the solstice occurs. The last day of school signals the lazy, hazy days of summer with freedom from homework and lesson plans for three glorious months.

Enjoy your Summer!