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Field Notes

Covering the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest

June 21, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Summer solstice: a day to walk in the beauty of the world

Summer arrived in Seattle today — and blissfully so. At 5:30 this morning the light was golden on the maple outside my window, and the day bright, and forecast to be one of the prettiest so far this year. Longest, prettiest: a fine combo indeed.

By 9:30 a.m. new roses had opened in the back yard in all that warmth. rose with swing.JPG

Sun on summer solstice morning in Seattle, and everything blooms, even us, reveling after a long cold spring.

Fat berries on my breakfast. Fledglings fluttering in the trees. On the drive to work, great cushions of clover beckoned in the green swards of Green Lake Park.

Walking in the Beauty of the World is a good book for today. Do you know it? If not, you should: and it’s the right stance for today. By Joseph Arnett, it is a compilation published by the Washington Native Plant Society in 2004 of his writings as the botanist for the Central Puget Sound Chapter of the society, writing for its monthly newsletter.

photo of book.JPG

Some 24 articles in all, they are informative celebrations about the native plants in our midst, but also our relationship with nature. “The title for this collection came out of remembering moments when I felt deeply happy and part of the beauty of the world. My own mission is to find a way to reconcile the need to be close to nature with the needs to make a living and be part of my culture. These essays are an interim report on that ongoing experiment.”

Not a bad solstice thought.

Meanwhile, the sun, the star of the solstice after all, started the day off with a bang, with a massive solar flare, pointed directly at Earth. For video and updates of this morning’s solar flare go to this link:

Later today, Dennis Paulson, a world-expert on dragonflies, will go for a foray with me at Magnuson Park, to see what we can find. Dragonflies are creatures of sun and heat, so today is their kind of day. I’ll write about it for tomorrow’s Seattle Times and post some photos later on this blog.

And, as if you didn’t know: crows are controversial. Here’s a response to all our crow news of late, live from the refrigerator here in the newsroom:

anti crow.JPG

Lynda Mapes photos

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