June 21st, the Longest Day of Sunshine


A coyote watches a New Mexico style sunset - June 21st, the Longest Day of Sunshine. 

According to our Gregorian calendar, June 21st is the beginning of the southern solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, and the start of the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. It marks the day with the most hours of daylight for those of us living north of the equator, and the least amount of daylight for those south of the equator. Simply put, it means we’ll still have daylight past 9 PM. Here in New Mexico, the day is our double helping of sunshine, with a little over 15 hours of light. 

How do our dogs view June 21st? For those living below the Artic Circle it’s doubtful that they will even realize the lingering daylight, but for those north of the Circle, they will be coping with nearly 24 hours of daylight.

Such a condition messes up a human’s sense of when it’s time for sleep, since it plays havoc with the body’s circadian rhythm or sleep-wake cycle. In northern latitudes where around the clock sunshine is normal during this period of the year, animals have the ability to suspend their need for prolong sleep by utilizing short naps, or coordinating their sleep with the digestion of food. 

I know if Chloe lived north of the Artic Circle, I’m sure both food and sleep would easily fit into her schedule. So, how will you and your favorite canine be spending the added daylight of June 21st? 

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