Tiger diving for meat

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Diving into summer
Akasha, a Bengal tiger, dives into the water after a piece of meat on June 20 at the Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, Calif.


The first day of summer turned out to be a real scorcher for cities all across the United States, especially in the Northeast where some temperatures exceeded 100 degrees.


* * * 
Children cool off whie playing in a fountain

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Cooling off
Children cool off while playing in a fountain on June 20 in Vallejo.


In the Bay Area, coastal temperatures stayed near a pleasant 70 degrees, while more inland cities and towns such as Vallejo sweated it out in 90-degree weather.


* * * 
Man in a straw hat executes a yoga stance

Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Mass yoga class

Yogis brave high temperatures on June 20 during an outdoor yoga class organized as part of the annual Mind Over Madness all-day yoga event in New York City's Times Square.


The free event in Times Square — a symbol of the city's hustle and bustle — is held in celebration of the summer solstice. Sessions open to all skill levels were held throughout the day, with the midday slot appropriately reserved for practitioners of Bikram, also known as hot yoga.

* * * 
Solstice observers gather at Stonehenge

Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Meanwhile, a soggy summer solstice in England
Revelers gather at dawn to celebrate the arrival of summer on June 21 at Stonehenge near Salisbury, England.


Although North America spent the first day of summer heeding extreme heat advisories, conditions across the pond were quite different. Cloudy skies and rain met solstice observers in England, significantly reducing the attendance of the annual summer gathering at the 5,000-year-old stone circle.

* * * 

Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.

Photos: Summer kicks off with heat advisories
Cities across the United States are sweating it out in the midst of record-breaking heat that coincides with the official start of summer.