Sunday Stills: A Solstice #Sunrise-Sunset

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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15 Summer Cycling Safety Tips



Summer is upon us and outdoor leisure activities abound! What is better than a bike ride on a beautiful summer day?

Despite the heat and humidity, we still want to ride for fitness and leisure. Don’t let this stop you, but take some time to read through these summer cycling safety tips that will take you through the hot summer months.

General Advice:
Plan ahead and check for weather advisories. Don’t overdo if it will be extremely hot and/or humid, or if the air quality is projected to be poor.

Use protection! Be sure to wear your helmet.Yes, it can be hot, but bike helmets are cool, light, and necessary! Wear appropriate clothing with SPF and wicking material to keep cool and dry. Wear sunscreen on exposed skin.

Stay hydrated. Bring extra water for a longer ride. If you have a hydration pack, this is a good time to use it.

Observe the rules of the road for extra safety. There will be a variety of levels of riders on the roads, including children, and many beginning riders do not always understand how to ride correctly on streets and bike trails.

Give your bicycle a good once-over, especially if you haven’t ridden your bike in a while. Check the frame, lights, reflectors, tires, seat and repair anything before you venture out.

Keep your mobile phone and flat repair kit handy.

Join riding groups if you do not want to ride alone. Look for groups through Facebook, Meet-ups, and through local leisure organizations. Bicycle shops and retailers often have bulletin boards with groups looking to add new riders.

While Riding On the Streets:

Be seen. Wear bright colors. If you are riding on the streets, the bright sun and glare from car windows can make cyclists difficult to see.

To beat the heat, many cyclists ride in the early morning hours or later in the evening. Riding during these times may expose you to more street traffic. These times of day, when the sun is lower in the sky, you are harder to see, so take extra precautions when riding on streets.

Use designated bike lanes when possible but remain aware of traffic.

On Urban Bike Trails:

There are more commuters. Depending on time of day, there may be more riders on the trails, as the good weather makes it desirable to ride to work.

Watch for our wild, four-legged and feathered friends. Deer, squirrels and water fowl may have young that can dart out suddenly onto the trail. If you are riding in the early mornings and evenings, you are more likely to see animals near the trails.

More people are using the trails for jogging, walking, hiking and walking dogs. Trail-ExerciseMore strollers are out, too, and these can take up space in bike lanes. Proceed with extra caution around pedestrians in these circumstances, and keep your speeds low.

Keep a close eye on loiterers. If someone looks suspicious, ride quickly past them. Sadly, assaults on urban bike trails are more common that one would think. Avoid stopping in remote areas along the trails unless there is an emergency. Even men can be victims of assault.

Bicycling is a wonderful activity, whether riding for leisure, to work, or for fitness. Play is safe and keep on riding! For more information on cycling, here are some general tips you may find helpful.

I am linking this post to Debbie In Shape and Midlife Luv midlifeluvbadgeTip-Tuesday-Link-Party-Debbie-in-Shape-weekly-light-small