kids dream of tomorrow
and all the possibilities
from One World, One Day
written by Barbara Kerley
most of the photographs were chosen by the author
National Geographic Society, 2009
Even though we say a day is 24 hours long, the real number is
23 hours and 56 minutes, (86,400 seconds). Smart people at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England, keep us all on track. They’re located at the Prime Meridian and everyone’s time is measured from there. It’s been that way since 1675 in England and 1883 in the United States.
On November 1, 1884, GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) was adopted universally at the International Meridian Conference in Washington, DC. The International Date Line was drawn up at that conference and the 24 time zones were created. If you want to know more about all that, go here: https://greenwichmeantime.com/what-is-gmt/
As we approach the Summer Solstice, we experience the most hours of daylight and the least amount of darkness. About 5,000 years ago, Ancients in what is now England began building Stonehenge to mark the solstice sunrise. It is believed that work was completed 1,500 years later!
Halfway around the world in the Egyptian desert, the sun sets exactly between twin pyramids at the end of each summer solstice.
This Thursday, when you look up you’ll see the sun at its highest point in the arc between sunrise and sunset. (If it’s a sunny day.) Wear sunglasses!
The first day of Summer!
This week is also National Pollinator Week. Bees and butterflies and all kinds of bugs and other pollinators will have lots of daylight. They'll work hard so we have food. Here are some interesting facts about pollinators and pollination: pollinator.org/assets/generalFiles/Pollination-Fast-Facts-General-2018.pdf
- About 75% of all flowering plant species need the help of animals to move their heavy pollen grains from plant to plant for fertilization.
- About 1,000 types of pollinators are vertebrates such as birds, bats, and small mammals.
- Most pollinators (about 200,000 species) are beneficial insects such as flies, beetles, wasps, ants, butterflies, moths, and bees.
- In the U.S., pollination produces nearly $20 billion worth of products annually.
Summer was always a carefree time for me. Although I didn’t ever really get the hang of roller skating, and we didn’t have a swing set in our yard, I liked to ride my bike to the neighborhood pool, play freeze tag and “Mother May I?” and “Stone Teacher” with the neighborhood kids. Do kids even do that anymore? I liked to jump rope and play jacks and draw with sidewalk chalk. I liked hopscotch.
I probably won’t do any of those activities on the Summer Solstice this year. My celebration will be much more relaxed and quiet. I heard that the hummingbirds are back. Maybe I’ll sit outside and watch for them a while.
I really enjoyed Varina by Charles Frazier. I’m reading Tiny Infinities by J. H. Diehl. It’s about a young girl who babysits her mute next-door-neighbor and hears her speak her first word in 6 years. It’s also about dysfunctional families and swim meets. A lot to pack in a book for 8-12 year olds, but it works!