6.20.2016

Summer Solstice and the Journey From Spring




Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year for those in the Northern Hemisphere and the Arctic Circle has sunlight 24 hours of the day. Plants are most vigorous and lively, and earth has completely passed from it's dormant phase from winter, leaving no traces. Spring's delicate signs of life have turned into full blooms. I am still reminded of this spring, when I visited one of the most ethereal places I have ever seen in the early spring, along with spring's humble beginnings. 

Most may not know this, but Illinois isn't all just a flat prairie of cornfields. Most of it is of course- besides Chicago! There is a canyon system in the middle of the state: 


This natural anomaly was formed from a melting glacier over 10,000 years ago. It became a home for tribes of Native Americans. It was then, and still is considered to be a sacred place.  It's preservation is very important to nature lovers and environmentalists.  Nature's historical record can be seen within the canyons of all shapes, colors, and sizes. Sandstone, caves, forests, and waterfalls are abundant. 



In the early spring my little family and I went to visit after a long, cold winter to enjoy the outdoors and discover what we could find along it's miles and miles of trails. My camera became
 infiltrated by pictures, because every few steps it seemed something new would appear that I didn't want to miss and felt compelled to capture. The moss forming and the chilly mist of the waterfalls tucked behind sandstone and along caves were a pleasant start to welcoming our springtime. Now that summertime has officially arrived, I am curious about what a difference I would find in the plant life if I visit. Herbs, flowers, and plants native to the region would be both surprising and lovely. The Ents alone would bring me inner peace and be visually intoxicating.



In folklore and certain cultural circles Ents are defined as "tree-like creatures, having become more and more like the trees that they herded. They vary in traits, from everything to height and size, colouring, and the number of fingers and toes. An individual Ent more or less resembles the specific species of tree that they typically guard":
The search for "Ents" is very easy there if you are a believer in them. They are everywhere to see, both on guard and welcoming. I have included some of my favorites and given them corresponding names with the traits/body parts that I recognized.

 Have a blessed Summer Solstice. Remember: keep your feet on the ground and your head in the clouds whenever possible!



 "The Ents"

"Tiny and Friendly" Ent
"Waving Hello" Ent  (or "Male Genitalia" Ent)
"Whistling" Ent
"Get Out of My Woods Now!" Ent