Celebrating the Solstice!

Nicola here, talking about midsummer and using it as an excuse to post some gorgeous pictures! Yesterday marked the summer solstice, the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the shortest day in the Southern.  The June solstice is considered to be the beginning of summer and it’s rather nice that finally the warm, sunny weather has arrived in the UK so it really does feel like summer here.

I’m reading in various places that the solstice today is the earliest since 1796. The dates of the solstice occur within a relatively small range (June 20th or 21st and December 21st or 22nd.) As 2024 is a leap year, the time of the solstice occurs a whole 18 hours earlier than it did last year. The last year a solstice was this early, 228 years ago, Napoleon and Josephine got married, Edward Jenner administered the first smallpox vaccine, George Washington issued his “Farewell Address” and “Auld Lang Syne” by Robert Burns was first published.

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What We’re Reading & a Some Favorite Things

Cat 243 Doverby Mary Jo

At the end of every month, we do a What We're Reading blog, but now and then, we mix it up.  Today is What We're Reading plus A Few of Our Favorite Things.

So these are a few of our Favorite Things!:

CARA/ANDREA: Today Mary Jo suggested we talk not only about favorite books we’ve recently read, but also other “favorites" that have caught our fancy. Now, I always have books to dish about, but last week I saw a wonderful art exhibit in NYC and Bailey--Andreawanted to share some thoughts it provoked. As a college undergrad, I was lucky enough to have studied drawing with William Bailey, and have loved his work from the very first time I saw his paintings. (In addition to being an amazing artist, he was the nicest, most encouraging, warm-spirited teacher one could ever wish for.) Viewing the current exhibition reminded me of how much he influenced my creative life. He’s a leading American Realist, and yet he paints from his imagination—he looks at the objects, but doesn’t set up an actual still life. He simply sees what he wants to do in his mind’s eye.

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