The ‘dog days’ of summer are here

Published 9:29 pm Friday, July 21, 2017

There is no mistaking that the “dog days” of summer are here. We all know the period between July and late August when the heat is oppressive, air is stagnant and there is no relief even at night.  The “dog days”, I always thought, were those summer days so devastatingly hot that dogs would do nothing other than lie around panting on a shady porch.

Originally, the phrase had nothing to do with dogs, or even with the lazy days of summer. Instead, it turns out, the dog days refer to the Dog Star, Sirius, and its position in the sky. To the Greeks and Romans, the “dog days” occurred around the day when Sirius appeared to rise just before the sun in late July. They referred to these days as the hottest time of the year.

I look at these days as the last blast before fall. Children returning to school, the Exchange Club Fair, and my summer vacation near. As I rest on a sunny beach for a week — I will dream of cooler weather, a fall vegetable garden, pansies, snapdragons and pumpkins on my door step.

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It has been a very good summer – full of building and moving into a new house,  dairy month activities and farmers markets. The “dog days” are here for a while, so look to the sky for Sirius and take a nap on a shady porch.   I think those dogs have the right idea!

Rebecca Bates is an MSU Extension-Lincoln County agent, and can be reached at 601-835-3460 or by e-mail at