Sunday, June 20th marks the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere. What a perfect week to show off our sunrises and sunsets!

But First, The Solstice!

If being celestial two weeks ago wasn’t enough “geek” for you science buffs, let’s talk about the solstice.

The word solstice is derived from the Latin sol (“sun”) and sistere (“to stand still”), because at the solstices, the Sun’s declination appears to “stand still”; that is, the seasonal movement of the Sun’s daily path (as seen from Earth) pauses at a northern or southern limit before reversing direction.


It’s hard to believe we will lose two minutes of daylight a day in the northern hemisphere for the next six months as we head into Autumn and Winter. As the southern hemisphere experiences their winter solstice Monday, folk down-under will gradually see two extra minutes of daylight each day.

After years of living in both Southern and Northern California, I got used to summer nights lasting until 8:45pm or so, with first light around 5:30am. One year I spent the 4th of July celebration with my Dad in the town of Alturas, in the most northeast corner of California. The fireworks didn’t start until 10:30pm when it finally got dark! As much as I thought that was impressive, Spokane (Nine Mile Falls), WA, sees 16 hours of official daylight on the summer solstice.

Image screenshot from Weather Underground App

You can google more information here if you are interested in seeing your own daylight hours.

There is also something called “Civil Twilight,” where light begins or remains in the sky before the sun rises or sets. Spokane’s begins as early as 4:10am and the light in the sky ends at 9:35pm, that’s about 6.5 hours of darkness. I know many of you live in more northern latitudes (Alaska, Canada, Sweden, etc) and it would be interesting to know what your sunset time will be on the solstice.

For you in the southern latitudes, what time did the sun go down on this cold winter day?

The construction crew is slowly building the polebarn/shop. This was taken at 10:00 pm a few days ago. Still a lot of light in the sky, enough to hide the stars.

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”

John Steinbeck

And so the world turns.

Now that all the science is out of the way, how do you celebrate the solstice? In my world, and for this week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme, we will simply enjoy sharing our favorite sunrises and sunsets.

The Heat is On

Similar to our experience with the summer solstice is the heat that comes with enjoying what summer brings. Marsha at Always Write challenges us this week with “heat” for her Writers Quotes Wednesday Writers Challenge. Marsha has a series of hilarious quotes you don’t want to miss. I found a few of my own to share. But I thought this one seemed appropriate since we just read about daylight hours.

“One benefit of Summer was that each day we had more light to read by.”

Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle

“Dear weather, stop showing off… We know you’re HOT!!!”
“I’m glad it’s finally hot enough to complain about how hot it is.”

Authors Unknown
Weathered sun

And with Summer’s Heat Comes…

To me sunflowers are a wonderful representation of all things “sun.”

red gold sunrise sunflower

The sunflower’s name comes from its tendency to reposition itself to face the sun. It’s genus, Helianthus, is rooted in two Greek words — “helios” meaning sun and “anthos” meaning flower. Here is really great article about sunflowers if you want more information…

I miss my sunflowers, the ones I planted from seeds back in my former home in Sacramento. I spent hours taking photos over three summers. I even got great close-ups of bees seeking pollen!

As I’ve mentioned before, I now live in Eastern Washington where sunflowers and their close cousins, coneflowers, grow wild on our property among the pine trees and lupines.

As always, my sunflowers are shared for Cee’s Flower of the Day!

Ready for Some Sunrises?

It has been a few years since we visited Baja Sur, Mexico. We typically went in late December and early January. Sunrise was at 7:00 a.m. and I made sure I set my alarm to enjoy the spectacular sunrises over the Sea of Cortez. A real treat to see the sunrise over the ocean instead of the sunset expected on the US West Coast over the Pacific Ocean.

Sunrise over Sea of Cortez
Sunrise over Sea of Cortez
A sunrise brings a new day and a renewed chance of happiness.

How About Some Sunsets?

A sunset over the Sacramento River Delta never failed to inspire.

Clouds and waves combined with a sunset provide lovely textures in nature

After a warm, windy session windsurfing, sometimes a sunset sail is the most memorable.

Summer Sun sets on windsurfer getting the last bits of wind.

“Wind is God’s way of balancing heat.”

Author Unknown

Or how about a sunset in the Yosemite high country?

Half light of Tuolumne Meadows sunset

Turn around and even better, alpenglow appears on the opposite horizon from the setting sun!

Alpenglow Yosemite Tuolumne Meadows
Unlike the direct sunlight around sunrise or sunset, the light that causes alpenglow is reflected off airborne precipitation, ice crystals, or particulates in the lower atmosphere. source

A look at my world during the summer. Linking to Lens-Artists challenge “World.”

In case you need ideas, consider sharing anything anything related to sunrises and sunsets: sunflowers, glow, lighthouse, brilliance, alpenglow, dusk, twilight, dawn, rooster crowing, Stonehenge, stone circles, sun god, ancient myths, etc.

In the Pink Blogger Links

Color challenges seem to be waayyy popular! Bloggers shared 17 links just on Sunday alone with a grand total of 33 by Saturday! Thank you for your continuing support and I hope to see a lot more for this week’s prompt!

I am also “sharing my snaps” over at Denyse Whelan’s blog this Monday!

I’ll sign off with this image of me from 2019 enjoying a very boozy sunset Mai Tai at the Bali Hai restaurant in San Diego in Fall 2019.

Terri enjoying a beverage at Bali Hai

Next week, we explore the Great Outdoors (June is Great Outdoors month somewhere). I will share a sneak peak perspective of Becky B’s July Squares: Trees.

Enjoy the solstice and have a wonderful week ahead!

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134 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: A Solstice #Sunrise-Sunset

  1. I can’t believe the days are already shortening again and the summer has only just started! Something doesn’t make sense to me, but the solstice does. 🙂 You always have an interesting and open-minded interpretation on these themes, Terri. I love it!

    I did it! I am finally joining the #sundaystills link-up and photo challenge. Here is my entry: I’ve linked back to your post and used the hashtag, although I’m not sure what the last thing does…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, Liesbet, you’re in the Sunday Stills club (If there is such a thing, LOL)! I always thought that was strange, as well, to mark the first day of summer then lose daylight after. I suppose you could just tag your post with Sunday Stills rather than a hashtag ;/


  2. Hey Terri! Awesome photos of sunflowers, sunsets and all sorts of things! We both love sunflowers and yours were especially incredible. And great info about the summer solstice too. So important to remember how we are all connected to nature. Funny how it is so easy to just live day by day and forget that. Thanks for the reminders and enjoy your summer! ~Kathy

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  3. I really liked the quote about the sunrise – that no problem has ever been able to defeat sunrise or hope. Every sunrise is a new possibility!
    I’m one day after solstice – but here in Ireland, today sunset occurs at 21.56 according to my photography app on the phone.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, in the summer we have nice long days! It’s a different story in the winter though. And even worse in Sweden where I originally come from. Actually the darkness was one of the things that made me move away from there.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Tried to capture some shots for the word celestial last night but the skies were not being very cooperative or inspirational. Did get a pretty good sunset. Your sunflower photos are so detailed and precise. Especially like the photo labeled ‘incoming.’ Great capture!!

    The photo of the sun art is one of my favorites of the post. You snapped the subject at such an interesting angle…not centered like us novice photographers would tend to do. Much more interesting to see just part of the sun and the rays snaking across the rest of the frame.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Leslie, I’m all about the weird angles! Plus the sun was high up on the side of the house. I was so excited to get that bee in flight, with my phone no less. I’ve had a few mad bees chase me in my quest for a photo ops! 😁


  5. What beautiful photos! Sunrise for us this time of year is around 5:15 and sunset is at 8:27.


  6. Lovely photos Terri – I especially like the sunflowers (‘Incoming’ made me smile) and the alpenglow in Yosemite. It’s too easy to forget to look around during a sunset – you remind us that there may be beautiful scenes away from the setting sun itself.

    I’m sharing one of each, a sunset and a sunrise, from our stay in Botswana a few years ago:

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Swansea, South Wales – 21st June 2021 – Sunrise 04:58 Sunset 21:37
    Weather: Sunny intervals and a moderate breeze High 64f Low 52f
    The summer solstice took place at 04:31.

    I always found it strange that summer begins with us losing the amount of daylight we get per day. Shouldn’t it be more daylight? Another mystery of life and our world, Terri.

    I’m a big fan of sunsets and sunrises, but they seem to be most spectacular during the winter months. This sunrise was taken in mid-December.

    I’m a big fan of sunflowers too. It’s great to hear that you have varieties that grow wild. I wish we had the same.

    Enjoy the longest day, Terri. And Happy Solstice to you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nice to read you are not in some ridiculous heatwave, Hugh! Is that a typical summer temp? I often wondered the same thing as to why we begin to lose daylight. Your image of a winter sunrise is beautiful, what lovely colors! You have a lot of daylight, too, being further north. Hope you had a great weekend…happy summer!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, those are average temps for Swansea in late June, Terri. The average temp gets a little warmer in July and then starts dropping from August. Thankfully, we don’t get many heatwaves, although other parts of the UK do get them, especially London and the South-East of England.

        On Wednesday this week, the sun does not rise until 04:59, yet the evenings carry on drawing out until June 29th. The same thing happens after the Winter solstice. Tomorrow we lose 2 seconds of daylight before daylight finally stops decreasing on December 21st.

        As you can see, I love talking about time. But being a time-traveller, I would, wouldn’t I?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. As a time-traveler, you can just hop to whichever hemisphere and have perpetual daylight, Hugh 🙂 Living in our alpine environment, 85 degrees is hot! The air is so dry that you feel the heat more intensely. Funny, when I walk into the shade, it immediately cools down 10 degrees! The only shade in our yard is from the framed up polebarn. It’s still open as you saw in pic, except for the roof, and my dog Brodie loves to flop down on the carpet remnant I put there. After mid-80s (F) yesterday, the overnight temp was in the low 50s. And that’s your weather report from Eastern WA! LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Terri, Geelong Sunrise on June 20 was at 0738 and set at 1709. Today June 21 the Sun rose at 0739 and will do so at that time until the end of June. At the other end of the day, we will have gained and extra three minutes of daylight by the end of June with the sun setting at 1712 on June 30. However, we still have to get through July and August…strange that solstices and equinoxes are near the beginning of each season.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Don! I’ve been missing your SS images! You’re in winter..7:39am sunrise? So late! At least your evening isn’t too dark early. That is a strange phenomenon about when the seasons begin and end!


  9. Loads of great information, Terri, and a beautiful post- it’s a wonderful world, isn’t it? 🙂 🙂 Amy says so! 6.10 sunrise and 8.53 sunset here, which is still less daylight than I was used to in the north east. There is a magic to those long evenings. Fascinating the variation, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. How lovely this post was to see all your memories shared too. Just awesome. That “incoming” on your sunflower photo gave me a smile too, as I used it recently on an image of mine of a bird! And I admit, it reminded me of Hamilton when the word incoming…meant much more dangerous things were about to happen. I have the whole soundtrack as a running commentary in my life…LOVE it.

    I have seen a sunset from Hawaii’s Wailkiki Beach and that was special for me as my beaches are on the eastern side of Australia so I never view a sunset at the beach.

    Our longest day, Summer 22-23 December, was a traditional time for 3 young grandchildren to stay with us and we would venture out to see the Christmas Lights in the local streets…but nothing went on till as it was too light, and toddlers and babies were meant for bed by then. We still managed it but I feel tired remembering.

    I intend to go a view another sunrise this winter as it will be closer to 7 am and much more civilised than April when I left home at 5.20!


    1. It is just so fascinating to read everyone’s sunrise/sunset times and the traditions related to the days. It would be so strange to celebrate Christmas in so much daylight–too many years of indoctrination of winter Christmases with snow according to traditional literature, I suppose. I’ve seen a few Waikiki sunsets, oh boy, unforgettable! I chuckled at the notion of your grandbabies too tired to see the Christmas lights because it was light at 9pm! Have a wonderful week!


      1. It’s been great to revisit your photos for the link up. Am looking forward to seeing this ‘big’ building go up and be completed for you. So tall!!

        Thank you for linking up for #LifeThisWeek. Next week, we reach the midway point of the link up with Optional Prompt: 26/51 Optimism. Mr W is back with this one! It’s always great to see your post and comments, I appreciate that very much. Denyse.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. You take such beautiful photos, Terri. Phew. And I love this longest day or summer though it’s herald of shorter days ahead. Great quote from The Glass Castle… more daylight to read by!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Terri, I love your cool barn picture. Isn’t it amazing to have a light sky at 10:00 p.m. That’s how it was in Indiana where I grew up. Sunrise here in Prescott is at 5:17 and sunset at 7:45. The temperature at 9:17 is 82 degrees. You are getting some interesting weather reports from all around the world. Isn’t that fun. Are you growing sunflowers this year? You had a lot of varieties. You almost rivaled the Woodlake Botanical Garden, and they had a ton of varieties. You get points for bees, you know. Minus points for flies. 🙂 So you are way ahead on points for this post. I had fun visiting you, and here is my link so you can come over to my house. Miss you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are cracking me up with your points system, Marsha. I’ve probably gotten a few flies in the shots, hahaha! But thank you for that amazing compliment on my former sunflowers. I do miss them and my plumerias but there are so many new flowers I can grow here, too. Isn’t it fun to read the differing rise/set times? Now you know I’m a geek! Will you be on the chat Tuesday? I plan to.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. love those sunflowers you featured and also the entire joy of the post – such a celebration of summer 🙂
    (and I did have some pink images picked out for the PINK theme – but did not quote get the post up – hmmmm maybe I will do better for yellow
    in the meantime – wishing you a great week

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I am sure I do- even though I do not photograph those that often – but guess what? I did just get some photos of sunflowers – yesterday (Saturday) I saw some gems while out and about. and so I will ry and put those into a post –
        in the meantime – wishing you a great start to the week

        Liked by 1 person

      2. well I had more than enough without the pink and so left them out – and by the way – I like how you called it “first light” – that has a nice sound
        and Terri – this is such a celebration of summer kind of post

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Lovely pics. We are also in the think of solstice but it’s winter here, so it took me a minute to process your pictures. Ha! #Lifethisweek

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi, Terri – Great topic, great info and super great photography (as usual). Your sunrises and sunsets are very inspirational. The most impressive panoramic sunset that I ever witnessed was in Finisterre, Spain. Finisterre was once considered ‘The End of the World’. On the night that we watched the long, kaleidoscopic sunset, all spectators broke out in applause. Truly exceptional!

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Hi Terri, Today, in Toronto, sunrise was at 5:36 AM and sunset at 9:02 PM. Your photos of sunflowers, sunrises and sunsets are beautiful, especially the one with the incoming bee. I hope to join your photo challenge next week. #lifethisweek

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hi Terri, such an informative post with the solstice details and your beautiful sunflowers, they are my favourites too! Then your delightful sunsets and sunrise photos – truly stunning. Great to see that progress is being made on the barn and I can hardly believe that photo was taken at 10pm!!

    Here in Tumbarumba in the souther hemisphere we have the winter solstice and the sun came up at 7.18am and will set at 5.01pm! It was a frosty start to the day but the sun is shining and it’s a balmy 4 degrees celsius! I am so happy we now get extra sunlight in very small increments but it’s good to know we are moving slowly towards spring, as you start to move slowly towards autumn.

    Here’s my post for this week’s theme, I had the perfect opportunity to snap the sunset from my sunroom on Saturday afternoon, just in time for this week’s Sunday Stills!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I enjoyed researching the solstice and the weather info for the daylight lengths. And who isn’t inspired by sunsets and sunflowers, Debbie? You and I really love our orange for sure! So, 5pm is decent sunset hour for winter. I think we were similar in Sacramento CA. Our sunset during our winter solstice will be around 3:45pm–egads! Well, I’ve already lived through one when we moved here in mid December. I’ll be on the lookout for the northern lights! Thank you so much and I always appreciate your thoughtful posts!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Hi, Terri,
    I LOVE the picture of you and the Mai Tai–great smile! Many years ago I visited Leningrad in the former Soviet Union. We attended an opera and when we came out at midnight, the sun was still shining. I could never get used to that. My contribution is a sunset picture taken two nights ago at Whidbey Island, WA. Sunset was at 9;15 and it was worth the wait. Have a great week! Joe

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Joe! The last time I’d been to that Bali Hai restaurant was when I was 4 years old attending my great-grandparents’ 50th! Sunshine at midnight would take some getting used to, but I would try it once for sure 🙂 Thanks for sharing your gorgeous sunset. I need to read your latest post!


    1. I’m not too excited about 4pm darkness in December, either, Graham! I’ll enjoy the long days while they last. The pole barn is coming along, but now our contractor said the 12-foot doors are delayed for a few weeks. Sigh. At least I have good internet (satellite for now).


      1. It hasn’t been that bad looking back at it all. Some things went smoothly and others were just (and still) slow going. A testament to the weird times we live in. Some new folks are moving in down the street soon, I hope they have a smoother journey–they are significantly older than us.


  19. Good morning Terri. I loved your photos and this theme. It always makes me sad when we start losing minutes in our days. Though some nights when I’m in bed and it’s still light out I think “oh, I wish I didn’t have to get up so early so I could stay up and be outside late into the evening.”. I had never heard of civil twilight. But that makes sense and we definitely experience it here on the west side of Washington as well. I love sunflowers and all their varieties and colors too.

    Here’s the link to my post:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kirstin, and good morning to you! I had fun researching the solstice and as much as I like long daylight hours, I actually enjoy winter. We moved here in mid December and it was dark at 4pm!


  20. Years ago when we lived in Toronto we went for dinner to Swedish friends to celebrate the Solstice. They had a drink that was put into small classes and, about every ten minutes or so, they would sing a special Swedish Solstice song and down the drink. It was something similar the Schnapps and very intoxicating so I had to stop before I fell over. But I continued to sing the song with them. We do not have any particular celebrations planned for today but perhaps a swim in the pool at sunset!

    Liked by 1 person

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