Sunrise this morning as we greet the longest day of the year--6/20/12.
Here's an informative solstice article over on the National Geographic website.
|Last year's onion harvest--Granex Sweet onions were yummy!|
Day length is an important consideration for gardeners, because plants are dependent on day length to regulate their life cycles. Here in northern Florida, we grow onions right through the winter, but we must use short-day or day-neutral onion varieties, otherwise they'd never form a bulb. In Maine, just the opposite is true--they grow onions in the spring and into the summer during the long days.
Sometimes plants flower in the wrong season because they've confused the temperature and day length signals. The Asian azaleas so widely grown here in the south almost always have some boom in the fall here. And now there's even a variety developed that's been bred to bloom twice a year called "Encore."
This morning as my husband and I were trimming back the wax myrtles near the driveway, I noticed this cool white cocoon amongst the trimmings. It's about 1.3 inches long and it's fairly hard. Some of the leaves were incorporated into the cocoon.
I had no idea what this was so I posted it on Facebook and had my answer within a few minutes. It's a Polyphemus Moth (Antheraea polyphemus) a type of silk moth.
And so we now slide backward into shorter days until the next Summer Solstice. Enjoy yours.