Sunner 2012 Begins

Yesterday was the first day of the Summer of 2012. The earth wobbles a bit during its rotation and once each year the northern hemisphere is tilted towards the sun. When the direction of the wobble reverses, that is the day summer begins in the northern hemisphere. The day is called the Summer Solstice. By the way it arrived one day early this year, it normally occurs on the 21st of June. It is the longest day of the year. Actually it was 24 hours long just like every other day but it was the day with the most daylight, 14 hours and 5 minutes from sunrise until sunset where I live. The further north one goes the longer the daylight hours will be until the sun never sets or disappears below the horizon. I saw the midnight sun once while stationed in Keflavik, Iceland. It was a clear night, a rare occasion up there, and a few minutes before midnight the sun dipped halfway below the horizon and then came right back up. Anyway back to Texas, our days (daylight hours) will be getting shorter each day until on December 21 when Winter Solstice occurs, then days will again get longer. Today we have 3 seconds less daylight than we had yesterday. Also, we had almost an inch of much needed rain on the first day of summer. The year started with lots of rain during the first three months, then no rain in April and less than 3 inches in May and June. The streams stopped running the first of May. Pastures and meadows still look good but there is no deep soil moisture. Heat over 90 degree every day from now on will will soon take its toll on vegetation. Long range forecasts are not too optimistic about rain for the next several months so we may be breaking out the water hose again. Beef producers are trying to rebuild their pastures and meadows hurt by last years drought. Another dry spell this year could mean herds will not be replaced so stand by for higher beef prices in the grocery store. Having a nice garden this year. Didn’t plant many different things but what I did plant has produced well. Planted sweet corn beets, tomatoes , bell peppers, cantaloupe and watermelon. A few pics follow as proof! Click on a picture to see larger version with description, use arrows on sides of picture to see next or previous photo, Esc to exit.

2012 Flowers and Garden

Spring is past even though the calendar says otherwise. Temperatures are hitting the 90 plus mark  every day. For the first three months rainfall was above average. In April we received less than one tenth inch and in May 2.8 inches. Things are beginning to get very dry and long range forecasts are not very optimistic about much rain. I’m sure a burn ban will be set in the next week or so. So far the flowers in the yard and vegetables in the garden have thrived without much additional water. We had lots of sweet corn, beets and broccoli. Tomatoes are plentiful at the moment. Cantaloupe and watermelon have lots of small fruit set. The fig tree has lots of small figs on it. Here are a few pictures of what is growing and blooming.