Friday, June 17, 2011

Winter Solstice

I always count down the days to our Winter solstice, which usually occurs around 21 June. Why?
Because then I know I can start looking forward to longer days. Although I know we will still have a lot of cold. rainy days, somehow it doesn't seem so bad if it is light.

At the moment I leave for work in the dark and return home in the dark. Since I work 5½ days a week that only leaves me about 14 hours a week to enjoy my garden. Now that could get depressing!

With longer days I can at least spend a few minutes before work taking a quick walk around to see what's growing.

I found a useful site that gives the sunrise and sunset times and I spent some time comparing different places around the world.

Here in Cape Town on 21 June we will have daylight for 9 hours and 53 minutes not bad when compared to London who will only have 7 hours and 49 minutes of daylight on their winter solstice which this year falls on 22 December.

Cape Town's Summer Solstice on 22 December will give us 14 hours and 25 minutes of daylight, very similar to Sydney. London gets a whopping 16 hours 38minutes daylight on their Summer Solstice on 21 June.

I feel very fortunate to live where I am, I have about 4½ hours difference in the amount of daylight hours between mid winter and mid summer. Just enough to make the difference noticeable and enjoyable.

London has more than 8 hours difference and Moscow 10½ hours, but Oslo has a humongous 13 hours. Huge differences like this can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder. You can find out more about it here SAD

I have another reason to be happy about where I live, because when our Summer Solstice comes around I am almost guaranteed to have a full 14 hours blazing SUNSHINE. Unlike other cities who have cloud and rain interfering with their sunlight hours, Cape Town summers are always sunny.

Only 4 days to go ….......

You can compare your daylight hours here Time and Date


  1. LOL - does that mean we should get an 4½ extra hours of work done / day in summer compared to winter?

  2. Do you have "Daylight Saving" in ZA? We adjust the clocks by an hour each Spring and Autumn to make the most of the available daylight. For me 21st June means SUMMER, and in June ought to get our best weather of the year.

  3. Hi Dani - No it should mean 4½ hours extra leisure time, but we do tend to keep our shop open a little later in summer.

    Hi Mark, as I recall there was some discussion many years ago bringing in Daylight saving, but nothing ever happened, I guess the difference is too short to warrant it. What are your average summer temps and do you still get a lot of rain in summer?

  4. Hi Garden Girl; Right now our Summer is probably a lot less attractive than your Winter! Daytime temps are between 14 and 20 most days - hardly sizzling. And we have had loads of rain the last couple of weeks (hence the photos on my blog!)

    What's the shop, by the way?

  5. That is pretty cool. I just look up for the sunrise and sunset here in tokyo and it is around the same as you. Now we are in full summer, so we have long and sunny days.

    Hope you get some sunshine sonn.

  6. I noticed that you'd recently joined as a new follower of my blog and today saw your comment, for which many thanks.

    I've just been viewing some of your earlier posts and feel quite envious of your lovely new pond, which was looking very good when you photographed the completed project. I'm looking forward to keenly following your gardening adventures from now on, too.

  7. Hi Desiree, it's great to "meet" another Capetonian. I actually found you via an Australian blog. Crazy internet world we live in!