MetaTalkTales - looking past the solstice July 4, 2024 7:15 PM   Subscribe

This year's June Solstice came earlier than it has for 228 years, falling at 20:51 on 20 June UTC. The solstice is considered a time to pause, reflect and celebrate (for those in the Southern Hemisphere) the return of the sun. What are you reflecting on and hoping for over the time between solstices? For some, it's going to be a period of political turbulence, but let's put aside politics (hard, but I know you can do it!) for a change and reflect on the rest of our lives for a bit.
posted by dg to MetaFilter-Related at 7:15 PM (33 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

I hurt myself, mainly my shoulder, a few weeks ago. So my main reflection for now is that I hope this heals up so I can get back to exercising, and to go camping in November.
posted by NotLost at 7:36 PM on July 4 [5 favorites]

Good call. I knew something was different when the sun didn't align with my backyard stone henge/altar when it was supposed to. Looks like I'll have to add a leap stone to it and let NIST/WWV know so we'll all be in synch next solstice. Sigh.
posted by zaixfeep at 10:18 PM on July 4 [9 favorites]

For me, a safe and timely resolution to my mom's situation with housing and her Alzheimer's. I didn't realize how much she had declined between May 2023 (when she turned 70) and June 2024. It really sucks. I am hoping that the LTC Memory Care homes she has been on the shortlist for will come through--my sister, her caretaker, has vetted them--so we can make sure she gets the care she needs.
posted by Kitteh at 3:42 AM on July 5 [9 favorites]

I hope to become a home owner. I have money from the sale of my dad's house and housing prices near me are reasonable-ish. I'm scared, excited, nervous... just all of the emotions.
posted by kathrynm at 6:10 AM on July 5 [10 favorites]

A friend recently forced the first book of a wildly popular fairy romance series on me (Acotar), and since I continue to pounce on any chance to procrastinate painting stuff, I read the whole series in a couple days as a very welcome brain-vacation and it’s always a bummer to end a long series. (I watched some videos about it, too) It was very problematic, but gripping in that soap opera kinda way which I’m going to guess 87% of the Mefi readership would not enjoy.

I hope to get back to painting. Also cooking healthier things again/more often. Both of those items are longterm struggles, though I occasionally get the upper hand. I’m working on that again/still/trying to be positive with all the things happening everywhere.

EDIT: Please accept this invitation to post animal friends when you post.My dogs. Maybe we do that a lot but it is never too much.
posted by Glinn at 10:06 AM on July 5 [11 favorites]

I've started getting more into swimming. When my head dips under the water all my thoughts empty out. It's the one time when it's quiet inside. The pools here are free and in the summer the outdoor pools play house music and it feels like a party. Our summers are hot and humid. The water is cool.

I'm not a particularly strong swimmer but I can swim, so I usually hang out in the deep end and float and paddle around between swimming half laps. My goal right now is to fix my freestyle breathing so I stop inhaling water. I've watched a lot of instructional videos but I think I'll only get there with practice.
posted by capricorn at 10:54 AM on July 5 [9 favorites]

I'm hoping my wife's health improves. She's been disabled by two heart attacks.
posted by doctornemo at 11:02 AM on July 5 [22 favorites]

I have some really scary changes looming. They'll be okay in the end, but right now they feel overwhelming. Shortening days feel like a leading indicator of the need to move forward anyway.
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:06 PM on July 5 [8 favorites]

So sorry to hear about your wife’s poor health, doctornemo. So hard for you both. Traditionally I tend to get sad on the summer solstice because I live at Sweden and now we are swinging back toward the darkness, which is really hard on me. I did not get really sad this year, which is an improvement. I am trying to enjoy the great amount of light we have now and also plan for ways to make peace with the dramatic reduction in light between now and the winter solstice.

Thanks for posting this, dg! I had forgotten we used to have these, and I like them.
posted by Bella Donna at 1:23 PM on July 5 [8 favorites]

well I just found out that 2 people I know have colon cancer. get your screenings peeps!! do the cologuard, get the colonoscopy etc., early detection is a life saver!
posted by supermedusa at 1:55 PM on July 5 [5 favorites]

there are times I'm thinking we're living in the past consequential aspects of the dust bowl, just add an industrial sized mixer and 50 tons of butane.

An Arkansas observer to Huey Long's campaign said:
"it's like a circus hitched to a tornado"

WV 001 NL PD (secret)
New Haven connecticut. September 3rd, 1948 cablegram to j Edgar Hoover.
... some of us Republicans in New Haven have heard on the radio that chairman Thomas of the UAC caused the death of a man named White STOP... I am thoroughly alarmed STOP... we cannot have a killer as a chairman of so important a committee STOP...
sincerely, Dr William Salter.

I wouldn't mind being Drusus for an hour or two.

who remembers green stamps.

why is Winston Smith burning gas in the middle of the night

"the wheel survives the myth"

-Wallace Stevens.
posted by clavdivs at 1:59 PM on July 5 [2 favorites]

I burned a candle the day of and laid down some cards with my intentions. Mostly hoping to manifest a little more financial prosperity. We're doing ok but my adult kid is having some real struggles and I'd like to be able to help more.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 3:11 PM on July 5 [5 favorites]

Heat domes aside, I onlly wish the summer solstice lasted a week before turning back.
posted by y2karl at 6:48 PM on July 5 [5 favorites]

I spent most of the time between the last winter solstice and the summer solstice dealing with cancer. I was super lucky and the surgery in January got it before it spread: no chemo and no radiation needed. I was really feeling physically recovered from that abdominal surgery until the middle of June, when my gall bladder went nuts. I'm now recovering from my second abdominal surgery and my goal for the rest of the year is to both complete recovery from that surgery and take advantage of all the medical help I can get for all the other underlying issues (specifically my autoimmune joint problems, which I'm going to get into PT over as part of a new pain management strategy).

Also I want to reorganize/declutter/redecorate my house along with fixing minor physical issues and some yard upgrades we've been doing.

People think at the beginning of the calendar year about setting an intention and focusing on a word. I didn't do that this year but at mid-year, my word for 2024 is obviously REPAIR.
posted by gentlyepigrams at 6:54 PM on July 5 [13 favorites]

Good luck, doctornemo.

I hope the rest of the year is better for you, gentlyepigrams.
posted by NotLost at 9:14 PM on July 5 [5 favorites]

doctornemo, sending hugs your way if you want them. Watching Mr. Epigrams deal with all my surgery stuff has made it clear how hard being the caretaker can be even if the illness isn't necessarily completely incapacitating.
posted by gentlyepigrams at 10:47 PM on July 5 [4 favorites]

The solstice came at a really positive time for me. I was thinking how much I like winter now I have stuff to look forward to, I worked a day (hard to organise sporadic care for my young kids but my mum gave us an amazing gift and I could work a day.)

But somehow it all came crashing down. I'm sick- probably not covid but who knows, I've only done RATs which are negative. Hacking up cough. Immediately before that I suddenly had labour-style pains that took me to hospital and: medical diagnosis: enormous poo. (Not every day you're officially told you're full of it.) The CT picked up some other stuff as well so I've got an appointment this week to find out about that.

I'm frustrated because things were going so well and now we've still got a long winter ahead of us and all I want to do is isolate and not get sick ever again. Ha.

Also I seem to be the calendar for our local mum's group, wishing happy birthday has been a habit of mine (all our kids are born in the same couple of months) and no one else remembered my daughter's birthday today. I'm not especially upset about it (I suspected as much that no one else writes down birthdays on calendars any more), but I'm then wondering if people think I'm the weird one... Nevermind.

Thanks dg.

Other than this illness I've actually been going really well and it's helpful to remember that.
posted by freethefeet at 4:33 AM on July 6 [6 favorites]

I am on the other, summertime side of the globe, and it is swampy and humid and gross in my particular neck of the woods.

The dog has been licking us more often; I am not sure if we are deliciously salty from all the sweat or if he's simply being a weirdo.

I need a vacation but dislike planning and decisions, so I guess I am hoping to get my act together to go to the beach or something soon.

Thanks for posting a new metatalktails dg!
posted by the primroses were over at 4:57 AM on July 6 [5 favorites]

Sorry to hear about your health woes, gentlyepigrams! May I adopt your word for the rest of 2024 and, perhaps, other years as well? Repair definitely resonates with me. Also, hope you are healthy ASAP, freethefeet! Glad things are going well otherwise.

While I was in Stockholm, there was a bit of a heatwave and it basically knocked me out. Was thrilled to return to bumfuck on Wednesday evening. It has rained every day, sometimes really hard. But as there is no danger of flooding in the immediate area, I am simply enjoying the cool air. It feels like a luxury, a most welcome one.
posted by Bella Donna at 8:34 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]

Please accept this invitation to post animal friends when you post
Say hello to Luna (again).
posted by dg at 4:09 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]

I've gotta get a job. I need better health

I'd like to be able finish a continuous 800-meter long course swim.
posted by jgirl at 4:36 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]

jgirl, have you tried
posted by HearHere at 2:46 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]

I'd like to get better acting roles, and by that I mean "get a line in a musical show." Seriously. I know I don't fit much and don't have that much talent, but that would be nice.

I also want to find true love. It's been 20 years. How come other people can find their perfect schmoopy match (at early ages in some cases) and I just...can't find anyone? At all? Ever? Why does it seem like there is nobody?

The work struggle is over now, thank god. That goal has been achieved. Next up is to figure out the actual job and spend the year figuring out how to apply for the next pay grade when I am eligible.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:14 AM on July 8 [7 favorites]

Well, jenfullmoon, it took me 57 years to find 'the one', so don't give up just yet! I do know exactly how you feel, though.
posted by dg at 4:44 PM on July 8 [3 favorites]

jenfullmoon, i don't know what'll happen, but i believe in you!
posted by HearHere at 7:38 PM on July 8 [3 favorites]

*hearts to both of you* :)
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:10 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]

I have had a moment the past two days with a pot planted with Night Scented Stock and a Black Prince snapdragon. Night Scented Stock flowers wilt closed when it gets light out and open after sunset. But yesterday, there was a bumblebee working at the night scented stock in the heat, wilted as the blooms were. It would try to land on the very thin stalk which had it swinging around like a jack in the box. Well, even cooler, a female Anna's hummingbird took a shot at it just now and to the snapdragon, too. At about five feet from my chair. It was sublime.

This is something, too -- Black Prince snapdragons have very dark red stained leaves. Which get even darker in the hot sun. One in an especially bright spot has the darkest bloom I have yet to see. It is a deep deep vermillion. I would link a picture but my Google Photos archive is lagging behind my phone's photo Gallery. If it catches up soon, I will link it.
posted by y2karl at 1:39 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]

a female Anna's hummingbird took a shot at it just now

I set up a couple of hummingbird feeders on my deck last fall and they got plenty of traffic. Then all the hummingbirds disappeared around January or so, and have yet to come back. I keep the sugar water refresh, but since then I've only seen one hummingbird and that was over a month ago. What sort of targeted advertising do I need to use for hummingbirds?
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:09 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]

I use Audubon Park nectar mix -- I have two feeders zealously guarded by one male and fed upon by him and his consort and her chick. They drain my two wasp waisted Perky Pet feeders in two to three days, aided by the occasional interloper.

And God, the fights are impressive -- when they aren't spiraling around like Bat and X-wing fighters out of Star Wars, they're hovering and going beak to beak Three Musketeers style sword fights, trying to poke each other's eyes out. Most songbirds -- the singers are always males -- see their testosterone levels go up 200% in the Spring. Anna's Hummingbirds, like all their ilk, are set that high year round. And they never stop singing their buzzy little zzt! zzt! zzt! song.

And, by the way, forget that only use clear sugar water nectar hype. It's an urban legend dating back to a controversial 1962 Soviet study that linked Red dye #2, made from coal tar or petroleum, to cancer in lab mice. Back in 1962, the FDA banned Red dye #2 out of an abundance of trepidation upon public outcry at the time. Which is the root of no red dye urban legend. You would not believe the crap I've taken on Facebook's Pacific Northwest Birding page. But I says forget the Hummingbird Humbug!

Cochineal is made from bugs that feed on prickly pear cacti. Way over half a hummingbirds diet is bugs and the migratory ones love them some cochineal bugs when they run across them. Which bugs are used in the decidedly non Kosher Carmine food dye, don't you know. So forget the hype and try Audubon Park -- our hummingbirds are trying to hit on the feeders as I hang them.

And here's an interesting fact -- hummingbirds recognize and remember faces. A fact I learned twenty years ago when I let a feeder go dry on the back steps of my four-plex then. Our resident male flew up and hovered a yard from my face, made eye contact and gave me what for in metallic sounding clicks. I filled the feeder forthwith. It is a mystical with a small 'm' experience to have a hummingbird stare into your face and look you in the eye. I kid you not. I get shivers when it happens. How can anything that small be that smart and that overbearing, too?

There was a prehistoric hummingbird that grew to the size of a robin. Judging from my experience, we'd be seeing PSAs on TV about wearing fencing masks outdoors if hummingbirds their size were still around. They are the angriest of Angry Birds.
posted by y2karl at 3:27 PM on July 9 [5 favorites]

In fact, some authorities, like Dr. Tallamy, view hummingbirds as insectivorous birds that happen to also eat plant nectar. "Hummingbirds like and need nectar but 80 percent of their diet is insects and spiders,” Tallamy explains. “If you don’t have those insects and spiders in your yard, it doesn’t matter how many hummingbird feeders you have, you are not going to be able to support hummingbirds.”
I stand corrected.
posted by y2karl at 3:49 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]

My yard has not substantively changed since last fall, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Like certain small dog breeds, the bravery and arrogance of hummingbirds far outweigh their physical size.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:53 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]

It's all relative. I've seen one chase a crow off a treetop by dive bombing it with their patented pop dive.
posted by y2karl at 4:25 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]

Speaking of hummingbirds, I must add the following. In order to keep these guys in the yard, I have been watering our western courtyard lawn to keep the grass green because Eastern Cottontails get their water from the greens they eat. Especially after scraping two very eviscerated ones off the street below our courtyard. And today while I put the cone sprayer out, I saw the coolest thing ever. I set it up to spray this morning and the second I did our Anna's hummingbird male shot right up and hovered in the spray for a minute and then dropped to the sidewalk to the steps down to the parking strip sidewalk below and splashed in the puddle there for about five minutes. But I had this phone on charge back in my basement apartment that is so cool in the summer. I could only watch and watch I did. That is the second time I've seen a hummingbird hover in a sprinkler. It is a mystical with a small 'm' experience on par with having one fly up an arm's length and six inches away, stare me in the eyes and give me what for in his loud metallic clicks for letting the feeder get emptied. And that has happened alot this summer. There is no Angry Bird angrier than a het up Anna's hummingbird. As the Roger Torey Peterson bird guide lists them: Temperament: Pugnacious.
posted by y2karl at 10:36 PM on July 15 [1 favorite]

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