It’s hot. The dog days of summer are here.
Why they call them the “dog days of summer” I do not know.
Actually that’s not true. I just looked it up on the interspace web and now I am a well versed expert on the subject.
Ok. That’s not true either. But I did look it up and read a whole bunch about it. So now I have an answer. And it has to do with science and not folklore involving large dogs, big fans, porch swings, and sweet tea.
I must pause to admit that I am no scientist. I like to star gaze with the best of them, and although I did particularly well in my college astronomy class, it was due
entirely in part to the tutoring I got from a boy. He used a reading lamp, an orange, and an apple to explain the basics of the earth’s rotation and orbit. The fact that my husband used fruit and a library lamp to help me with a basic concept most fourth graders master should have made him run. Far and fast. I’m glad he didn’t.
Anywho, I digress. It turns out these hot days of late July and August are called “dog days” because of a star. Not just any star, but a very large star called Sirius “the dog-star” in the constellation Canis Major. Sirius is so big that is visible in the sky during most of the year. However, during the weeks of late summer, Sirius nearly aligns with the sun and disappears in the sun’s light. This lead ancients to believe that during these weeks, Sirius made the sun larger, added to its heat, and made our days hotter. Thus the term “the dog days of summer.”
All fancy astronomy aside, I still somewhat believe we call them the “dog days” because our furry friends are the only one who seem to be with ok with August weather forecasts from professional meteorologists that include words like “hot, humid, muggy, and miserable.”
Jack is our resident expert in “dog days,” and he doesn’t seem to mind any of those meteorological adjectives. The warmth (code for downright hot and yucky) makes for good napping. And good ball catching. And just about anything else that strikes his fancy, including posing for silly pictures after being dressed-up by eight-year-old girls.
Jack and his fellow canines may revel in these days of their namesake star. Good for them. They obviously enjoy the dog days of summer a wee bit more than me. After the cold winter we had I promised not to complain about the heat. But this week is testing my tolerance.
Truthfully the summer hasn’t been that bad. But still. Sheesh. I’m kind of over it.
Luckily this was in my path this morning.
And thankfully, these dog days are numbered.