Summer is finally here so get out and take advantage

Today’s the day: the official beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, with the June solstice occurring at 11:54 a.m. EDT.

As explained by the website for the Old Farmer’s Almanac, “This date marks the official beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, occurring when Earth arrives at the point in its orbit where the North Pole is at its maximum tilt (about 23.5 degrees) toward the Sun, causing the longest day and shortest night of the calendar year. By longest ‘day,’ we mean the longest period of sunlight. At the June solstice, the Northern Hemisphere receives sunlight at the most direct angle for the year.”

The month of June, so far, has been a bit cold, with temperatures below average. We’re hoping for warmer days ahead.

And we remind everyone just how quickly this season will seem to fly by.

Already, it’s less than two weeks until the Fourth of July, for goodness sake.

So get out there and explore the Upper Peninsula this summer. Visit U.P. landmarks, enjoy its beautiful parks, watch the incredible sunsets and spend some time literally smelling the roses.

Because it’s all going to go by in a hurry. And as Ferris Bueller so wisely said: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

The Old Farmer’s Almanac lists the end of summer as Monday, Sept. 23 this year, but we all know summer in the U.P. is often over before then. Heck, it may snow before Sept. 23.

And back-to-school supplies should be on sale any day now, a marker of how soon autumn will be arriving.

So take every opportunity to enjoy this gorgeous time of year while you can.

The almanac also details where the word “solstice” comes from, the Latin word solstitium — from sol (sun) and stitium (still or stopped).

If only the summer sun could be stopped and hung on to for just a little longer.

Alas, days won’t be added to the season, so we advise squeezing as much joy out of each as you can.