It’s Summer Time!
Tuesday 21st June marks the astronomical start of summer. This year the astronomical Summer begins on 21 June. This calendar determines the seasons due to the 23.5 degrees of tilt of the Earth’s axis, in its orbit around the Sun. (The meteorological summer began on 1 June. The meteorological seasons are split into three months each. They coincide with our Gregorian calendar, making it easier for observing and forecasting to compare seasonal and monthly statistics).
Here at Heritage, we love facts, here are our top 5 facts (followed by some delicious seasonal summer recipes for you to enjoy).
Summer Solstice at Stonehenge
Summer for some in the South West kicks off with an annual solstice trip to Stonehenge on 21 June. At Stonehenge on the summer solstice, the sun rises behind the Heel Stone in the north-east part of the horizon and its first rays shine into the heart of Stonehenge. Solstices are twice-yearly occurrences, and they mark the day on which one of the Earth’s two poles is tilted most prominently towards the sun.
The 21st also marks the longest day of the year when we have the most daylight as opposed to the shortest hours of darkness – which is reversed exactly six months later on December 21, the winter solstice, also the shortest day of the year.
Twice a year around 28 May and 12 July, New York is home to a fascinating sunset phenomenon. Owing to the city’s design on a grid rotated 29 degrees clockwise from true east-west, twice a year the Sun sets directly at the end of many of New York’s major streets. This creates a spectacular sunset to see the Sun slightly above the horizon and nestled between the rows of buildings. Similarly, Milton Keynes’ central road is designed so that when the Sun rises on the solstice, it shines straight down Midsummer Boulevard and reflects in the glass of the train station.
Crickets get chirpy
Next time you hear the sound of crickets chirping on a balmy summer evening, why not try this simple trick to find out the temperature. The frequency of a cricket’s chirps is consistent with air temperature, so you simply need to count how many chirps there are over 25 seconds then divide by 3 and add 4 to tell you the temperature in Celsius.
The best time to look for crickets is in high summer, and the greatest variety of species is found in the south, with the Dorset coast, the New Forest and the East Anglian coast and heaths supporting many species. Look in grassland, woodland edges and bogs. Once you’re tuned into their songs, move carefully through any areas of long grass or dense vegetation and use your ears. Before long you’ll be able to pinpoint the stridulating insect.
Snow in June
On 2 June 1975, snow showers forced the abandonment of several cricket matches across the country. The coldest temperature ever recorded in summer in the UK is -5.6 °C recorded on 9 June 1955 in Dalwhinnie, and again on 1 and 3 June 1962 in Santon Downham in Norfolk.
The warmest ever summer in the UK was in 2006 when daytime temperatures averaged 15.8 °C. The hottest temperature ever recorded in the UK was on 25 July 2019 when Cambridge University Botanic Garden recorded a sweltering 38.7 °C.
The Perfect Summer dishes
Here are our top 5 Summertime dishes for you to try out, stock up your box with the ingredients and get cooking and as always don’t forget to share what you have made with your box contents.
Epic Summer Salad
Prep time: 10 mins
Suitable for Vegetarians
Serve this delicious salad at BBQs and summer feasts with friends and families. It will certainly make everyone smile.
Source: BBC Good Food – Find the recipe here
Grilled Salmon with Tzatziki & Grilled Lemon
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
A quick and tasty meal full of veg perfect for summer evenings. You can use chicken or tofu instead of salmon if you prefer.
Source: Feasting at Home – Find the recipe here