Hello, Summer!

This Poppy Pops

Eye-Popping Poppy ยฉ 2011 Bo Mackison

Since poppies are usually in full bloom in Wisconsin during the middle part of June, they are typically available for a Summer Solstice photograph. And what flower could be a better way to say welcome to the hot summer than this hot, summer-y flower?

On this first day of summer (although in my mind, I think summer begins on June first) this is how my micro-world looks and feels:

  • There’s a threat of thunderstorms, but I see lots of blue skies and white clouds. There are a few storm clouds far in the western sky.
  • It’s humid (85%) and on the warm side. 75หšF at 10 a.m. It’s predicted to get in the low to mid 80s later today.
  • The air has that smell of a storm brewing.
  • There’s a breeze to keep the house (and me) comfortable – almost. It’s a bit sticky and I keep my glass of ice water nearby. I have fans on, trying to postpone turning on the air conditioning if I can. I prefer to have the windows open when possible.
  • The upper branches of the ash tree outside my studio window are gently swaying, the leaves are fluttering.
  • A gang of crows just flew through my yard, chasing a smaller bird. The crows seem to be especially vicious this year, and I wonder why. A couple of weeks ago I saw a gang of them attack an owl in the middle of the day. The owl would fly and try to hide in a tree. The crows would follow, heckling and cawing and flapping their wings, darting at its target. Eventually the owl would take off again, only to be followed by a dozen angry crows. They repeated this until they were out of sight, so I never knew if the owl managed to escape.
  • There is fluff from the cottonwood dancing in the air. Lots of fluff. Lots and lots of fluff. I just noticed it this morning.
  • The red osier dogwood bushes are blooming–tiny clusters of deep purple florets cover the shiny foliage.
  • There are a lots of blossoms and several one-inch diameter green tomatoes in my garden. And blossoms and the tiniest beginnings on the green peppers. But only two yellow blossoms on the zucchini – I planted the zucchini late.
  • The grass needs cutting. With the rain we’ve had, it could be cut every 5 days, but that never happens.
  • Two pairs of cardinals are hanging around for the summer–one pair is in the ash tree on the west side of the house, the other pair is in the fir on the southeast side. They seem to stay in their own territories, except when visiting the feeders. Nuthatches, chickadees, yellow finches, sparrows, redpolls, and purple finches round out the birds that visit the feeders.
  • The columbine and coral bells have been in bloom for weeks, as have the flag iris and blanket flowers. The daisies and day lilies are just beginning to form buds so they will soon be flowering. The rabbits have eaten about half of the coral bell flower spikes. Gourmet garden rabbits!
  • The filbert tree died over the winter. Its curly branches are bare, but it is being a nurse tree for a young maple that is growing next to its trunk. The maple is already about two feet high.
  • The paper birch has the most wonderful bark this summer–layers and layers of curling, crinkly papers, patterned in many brown tones–almost as if it was steeped in tea by a painstakingly brilliant artist.

So that is what my world looks like on this Summer Solstice. It’s a vivid green world, highlighted with many bright colors.

What does your first day of summer look and feel like? I hope that, wherever you are, nature has given you many gifts to enjoy on this first day of summer!

Happy Summer Solstice!


Bo Mackison is a photographer and the owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She loves the summer and fall seasons in Wisconsin, and is welcoming summer with a little celebration — farm picked strawberries with home made shortcakes for supper’s dessert.


About Bo Mackison

I’m a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place – a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I’d love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It’s my gift to you.


  1. Gandalf says:

    Let’s hear it for Summer Yay.

    I’d add some nice cold beers into the list, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Of course, I’d probably add the beer for Fall, Winter and Spring.

  2. Sounds like a wonderful start to your summer. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Bo Mackison says:

      I love new beginnings, and it seems like a new season warrants a celebration. I would like to do this the first day of each season, keep a record from year to year. Too bad I didn’t start 35 years ago. Would have been interesting.

Leave a Reply