A monthly compendium of random wisdom for the natural world and beyond
June 1 Average temps: high: 78ºF; low: 54ºF; 21% chance of precipitation (average 1.4 in.). Sunrise 5:58am, sunset 8:52pm.
June 2 Bumble bees vibrate their burly flight muscles to shake pollen loose from flowers. Flying bees build up an electrostatic charge, which discharges when they land on grounded flowers, and spreads the pollen they are carrying.
June 3 NEW MOON 4:01am. Does your deck, house, fence or shed need staining or painting? Do it now, before it gets too hot.
June 4 Attract good bugs (and repel the bad ones) in your garden with plantings of dill, fennel, parsley, artemisia, feverfew, marigolds, calendula, sunflowers, zinnias, yarrow, basil, sage and thyme.
June 5 World Environment Day. This year’s theme is “Air Pollution,” with a conference in China to explore renewable energy and green technologies to improve air quality worldwide.
June 6 Flies, mosquitoes, rats and mice hate catnip. Place pots of this easily grown member of the mint family on the porch to keep flying pests away, and around sheds and garages to repel rodential ones.
June 7 “Terroir” relates to more than just wine. It is the environmental factors—the weather, the climate, the microbes in the soil and air—that give foods produced in an area a distinctive character.
June 8 Retain soil moisture and keep plant roots cool with organic mulch—straw, chopped leaves, grass clippings, compost or purchased bags of ground bark.
June 9 Make a habit of visiting your garden every day. Take photos. Note sun and shadow at various hours. Pull a handful or two of weeds. Which plants need more water? Consider keeping a garden journal.
June 10 For a better yield, thin the clusters of fruit on your fruit trees. Retain 2-4 in. apart for apricots and plums; 3-5 in. for peaches and nectarines; 4-6 in. for apples.
June 11 Many species of birds, including hummingbirds, line their nests with aromatic leaves to keep mosquitos away, kill bacteria and act as a sun shield.
June 12 Aphids abhor chives, coriander, mint and thyme. Rosemary is the bane of bean beetles, carrot flies and ticks. Borage discourages tomato worms. And chamomile, “the plant’s physician,” protects against myriad pests and diseases.
June 13 Bedbugs were walking…er, crawling…the planet long before there were beds. The ancient insect coexisted with dinosaurs for more than 100 million years.
June 14 What to do with spent coffee grounds (other than compost them): Sprinkle them on your lawn or in standing water. Female mosquitoes lay fewer eggs in the presence of coffee, and existing larvae do not progress to adulthood.
June 15 CATALYST’s 9th Annual Bee Fest: A Celebration of Pollination! Visit exhibitors, vendors and educators today, 9am-2pm, at downtown’s Green Team Farm, 622 W. 100 South. Free for all ages!
June 16 What’s your favorite memory with your dad? What memories might you still make together?
June 17 FULL MOON: 2:30am. The June Full Moon is called the Full Strawberry Moon.
June 18 There still time to plant a garden! Vegetables: beans, beets, carrots, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, kale, kohlrabi, melons, peppers, pumpkins, radishes, squash, tomatoes and turnips. Flowers: bachelor buttons, cannas, cosmos, dahlias, gladiola, marigolds, morning glory, sunflowers and zinnias. Plants successions of radishes, carrots, snap beans and corn, every two weeks, through July.
June 19 Seagulls can’t fly until they’re 45 days old—but they can swim a few days after hatching!
June 20 Are jets leaving contrails? If not, it probably won’t rain in the next 24 hours.
June 21 June Solstice (Summer Solstice) is on Friday, June 21, 2019 at 9:54 am in Salt Lake City. This day is five hours, 51 minutes longer than on December Solstice.
June 22 Looking for an old-fashioned date night? Consider a drive-in movie. Check out Redwood Theatre in West Valley City.
June 23 In the 1841 book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Scottish journalist Charles Mackay considered such subjects as magnetisers (the uses of imagination in curing disease), popular admiration of great thieves, relics, and the influence of politics and religion on the shapes of beards and hair.
June 24 You’ve heard of Master Gardeners. Now there’s a Master Naturalist program.
June 25 Got horseradish growing in your garden? Why wait to harvest the root when you can eat the leaves? Tasting similar to the root, they can be eaten raw or cooked, sautéed or stir-fried, in salads or pesto.
June 26 As of today in 2015, same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 U.S. states.
June 27 Before cooking, give fresh broccoli a quick salt water bath to coax out the perfectly disguised (and not so tasty) cabbage worms. Italian immigrants first brought broccoli to the Americas in the early 1800s. Broccoli has antiviral, antibacterial and anticancer properties.
June 28 Ever-bearing strawberries grow well in hanging baskets. Suspend them in a sunny spot and feed and water often.
June 29 Creativity is conceived as a reproductive act with a tangible result—a child, a book, a monument—that has a physical life going beyond the life of its producer. Creativity, however, can be intangible in the form of a good life, or a beautiful act, or in other virtues of the soul such as freedom and openness, style and tact, humor, kindness.—James Hillman
June 30 Sunrise 5:59am, sunset 9:02pm. Average temps: high: 90ºF; low: 63ºF.