Category Archives: Natural World

Minor Heat xiǎo shǔ 小暑 Jul 6th

We were fortunate that this year the coolness lingeredas long as it did. In fact we had three late frosts, a gift of the Arctic.    Now however, we are making up. On  July 6th we entered the solar term … Continue reading

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The Dog Days Are Upon Us

Starting yesterday, on July 3rd we moved into the Dog Days of Summer, which will be with us until August 11th. These  days of muggy, hot, oppressive weather punctuated by thunderstorms or plagued by drought are considered the hottest days … Continue reading

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Grain in Ear máng zhǒng 芒种 Jun 6th

On June 6th the solar term of Grain in Ear began. China is divided by climate into a wheat growing north and a rice growing south. At this time in the north the wheat becomes ripe and in the south … Continue reading

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Small Full (Grain) xiǎo mǎn 小满 May 21st .

On May 21st we moved into the Chinese calendar solar term of Small Full Grain. This refers to the grain and seed crops which are now beginning to become plump, but are not yet ripe. As an example, my blackberry … Continue reading

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Grain Rain gǔ yǔ 谷雨 Apr 20

The traditional East Asian calendars divide a year into 24 solar terms. Gǔyǔ, Kokuu, Gogu, or Cốc vũ is the 6th solar term. It begins when the Sun reaches the celestial longitude of 30° and ends when it reaches the … Continue reading

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Vernal Equinox chūn fēn 春分 Mar 21st

Monday was the vernal equinox. It was a very warm sunny day here and without much wind , which has been unusual lately. Everyone seemed very happy to celebrate the first day of spring, including yours truly. In the traditional … Continue reading

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Major Cold dà hán 大寒 Jan 20th

January 2oth will begin the period of Major or Greater Cold. It is supposed to be the coldest time of the year. In fact we had extremely cold weather a few weeks earlier and now we are having what might … Continue reading

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Winter Solstice dōng zhì 冬至 Dec 21st

Today is the winter solstice. Where I live in Virginia it comes at 11:19 PM EST. In the modern west the solstices are said to be the first day of winter and summer. Yet an older tradition marks the solstices … Continue reading

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Capricorn Dec 22nd 4:20 AM

In astronomy, Capricornus is one of the 88 modern constellations, and was also one of the 48  listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy. Its name is Latin for “horned goat” or “goat horn” or “having horns like a goat’s”, … Continue reading

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Major Snow dà xuě 大雪 Dec 6th

On December 6th we move into the solar term of 大雪Dàxuě (Chinese), Taisetsu (Japanese) 대설 Daeseol Korean and Đại tuyết (Vietnamese). It is literally translated as major snow and is the 21st solar term. It snows heavily for the first time in the year, … Continue reading

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