Summer Growth 2000

The Moon Shot

The summer of 1969 included mankind's first trip to the moon and the Woodstock Music Festival. This story is by Juan Wilson

The Moon

Something about the Earth's mysterious partner, by Linda Pascatore

A Slow Walk

A romantic short story by screenwriter Stephen Peters.

White daisies stand in crowds

along the damp ditch awaiting

the dusty wind of your car to

make them sway to the radio.

by Juan Wilson - Summer Growth 1999

Spring has clothed her gnarled brown bones.

Now draped in silken greenery,

she pays the sun with ripened fruit.

by Juan Wilson - Summer Growth 1998

The Phase Named Growth

We have divided the year into eight phases, based on the Solstices, the Equinoxes and the midpoints of the four seasons (see Solar Phases below). We are now in the phase of Growth, which begins on June 21, the Summer Solstice, which is the longest day of the year. The period ends on August 6th in the Dog Days, or middle of summer.

The Solstice has been celebrated by many cultures throughout history. In England, bonfires are still lit in Cornwall on hilltops at Midsummer to celebrate the power of the sun at its zenith. A Harvest Mother or Earth Lady was traditionally chosen to lead a procession to the beacon fire. She carried a bouquet of nine valuable plants or herbs and nine weeds. She would cast this into the bonfire, asking a blessing on the beneficial crops and a curse of fire upon the weeds.

The closest thing on the calendar to a Solstice celebration in this country seems to be Independence Day. It is the quintessential summer holiday; with outdoor activities including barbecues, picnics, parades, swimming and camping. The hilltop bonfires have been replaced by magnificent fireworks displays. Here in Chautauqua County we have an old tradition of lighting flares around our lake on the 4th. One of my more magical childhood memories is lying on a blanket in the cool grass while the red flares were lit at the same time, all around Chautauqua Lake, followed by the awesome fireworks show in the night sky.

There are two full moons this period. The first we call Strawberry Moon and will peak on June 28th at 4:55pm. As of this date (6/18/99) the wild strawberries are still green buds on our land. Cherries are still green but ripening fast. The second full moon we call Cricket Moon and it will peak on Wednesday, July 28th at 6:33am. For more information on the lunar aspects of our calendar see the Lunar Phases section below.

Most of our local wildflowers are also ahead of schedule. Here in Western New York, the meadows and roadsides are awash with color: golden black-eyed susans; blue chicory and forget-me-nots; yellow buttercups and birdsfoot trefoil; orange indian paintbrush; purple clover; pink common fleabane and musk mallow; and white daisies and queen anne's lace. In July we should find day lilies, creeping bellflower, phlox, jewel weed or touch-me-not, yarrow, rough hedge nettle, asters, and evening primroses.

It's been cooler than usual the last week or so but we soon expect to soak up the heat of the sun and enjoy a few summer music festivals. See you at the Great Blue Heron Festival, in Sherman NY over the July 4th weekend.

Summer Solstice


Peter Blue Cloud

Come, bring the children. Let them

feel for a moment the rhythm

of the hoe. Let them experience

the wonder of green shoots emerging

from earth, earth given us

in guardianship from the Creation.


Body, mind, and spirit full to bursting

with ripe, sweet berries, the first

tender green beans and corn. We give

thanks, and thanks again. The twin

concepts of Reason and Peace are

seen in each kernal of an ear of corn.


Perhaps we repair our lodges

as do the the beavers living close by.

Our children swim like river otters

and as their laughter reaches us,

we join them for a while

in these hottest of summer days.

Rose Pogonias


Robert Frost


A saturated meadow, sun-shaped and jewel-small,

A circle scarcely wider than the trees around were tall;

Where winds were quite excluded, and the air was stifling sweet

With the breath of many flowers--a temple of the heat.


There we bowed us in the burning, as the sun's right worship is,

To pick where none could miss them, a thousand orchises;

For though the grass was scattered, yet every second spear,

Seemed tipped with wings of color, that tinged the atmosphere.


We raised a simple prayer before we left the spot,

That in the general mowing that place might be forgot;

Or if not all so favored, obtain such grace of hours,

That none should mow the grass there

while so confused with flowers.