99°F
weather icon Clear

No denying summer’s arrival

Today is the summer solstice. It’s the day when the sun is at its highest and northernmost point in the Northern Hemisphere sky.

Because of its position, the sun’s rays will strike the Earth at a more direct angle. This, in turn, causes efficient warming, also known as summer.

Here, in Southern Nevada, we certainly don’t need a reminder that the sun is high in the sky and shining brightly. All we have to do is walk outside for a couple of seconds. That’s all it takes to feel a burning sensation on your skin or cause you to squint your eyes because of the intense brightness.

It’s also the longest day of the year. In some places, it’s a really long day as the sun will shine for 24 hours.

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, there are many myths and traditions associated with the start of summer, which traditionally marks the midway point between planting crops and harvesting season.

However, the region’s temperate climate started harvest season earlier for many people, myself included. My tomato plants and apricot tree certainly haven’t consulted a calendar. They have been ripening fruit at a pace faster than I can pick and enjoy — much to the delight of my family, friends and co-workers.

Summer fruits, strawberries in particular, are at the center of Swede’s celebrations. They eat the berries, light bonfires and dance around a maypole to welcome summer.

In Iceland, the first day of summer is marked with parades, sporting activities and other events — though their celebration is actually held in April when the days begin to lengthen and warm up.

And thousands trek to Stonehenge to mark the summer solstice there because of the way the sun aligns with the prehistoric monument. It’s such a popular ritual that the world heritage site establishes special rules to ensure all are safe and can mark the occasion with their own ceremonies, and provides free access.

Summer is also a traditional time for vacations as families pack up and head to exotic destinations around the world. For us desert dwellers, those destinations generally include cooler temperatures and refreshing water.

Spending time outdoors is a common activity for the first day of summer. Whether it’s dining al fresco, taking a hike or just relaxing, many people enjoy celebrating by appreciating the natural world around them.

Even those of us who have to work can sneak in a few extra moments outdoors because of the extended amount of sunlight. But, be sure it’s only for a few moments; weather forecasters are predicting an excessive heat warning with temperatures hovering around 110 today (Thursday).

The National Weather Service’s warning extends from 11 a.m. today (Thursday) to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 23.

That’s some way to start the summer.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Never miss a chance to learn from others

As human beings, we are not infallible and are prone to making mistakes. While perfection is a great goal, no matter how hard we strive, it is nearly impossible to achieve.

Nation needs more understanding, fewer guns

With the Fourth of July fresh in our minds, the country is still charged with patriotic pride — and that’s great. We are a first-world country. That is something to be grateful for.

Education about economy critical for coming election

For the first time in 24 years, I felt like a stranger in Boulder City. In the Damboree parade, I carried a banner for a political candidate, along with two other city residents. The three of us have lived in Boulder City for 68 years collectively. We know a lot of people, yet we felt like outsiders, looking into a crowd of folks who were unfamiliar to us.

Letters to the Editor, July 18

Historic preservation planner vital to city’s vision

Transparency seems AWOL

Tuesday night’s selection of a new council member to fill the seat vacated by Kiernan McManus when he was elected mayor certainly raises some eyebrows.

Gravity always wins

Fall is just around the corner.

City played role early in DiCaprio’s career

I was on Facebook recently when Boulder City resident Samantha Foster shared a video showing 2016 Academy Award winning actor Leonard DiCaprio cruising through our town. The 1995 Japanese commercial, which can be found on YouTube.com, has DiCaprio toting a Honda Civic as he and co-star Yasuko Matsuyuki briefly explore Boulder City and the surrounding desert.

Letters to the Editor

Politics, holiday parades should be kept separate

City makes the Fourth fabulous

Today is a day of great significance in our nation. It’s America’s birthday, the celebration of our declaration of independence from England.

Boulder City’s spirit shines brightly

Words cannot express my gratitude for the involvement and support of many of you during the campaign and election process. I am honored to have been elected as your mayor, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve our great community.