And it’s August. I have this inexplicable thing about August. It’s a good inexplicable thing. I just can’t seem to drill down to the one underlying reason for the “August Thing.” So let’s just go with it is what it is.
There are many delightful characteristics about August. For example a couple of the national celebration days include August 8 which has a double dip. It is National Happiness Happens Day, which is lovely. My personal favorite is that August 8 is also National Sneak Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day. I had a harrowing experience with zucchini when I lived on a farm for 8 hellish years. I wrote about this sorry tale in a previous blog. LINK Today being the 10th, I thought you’d like to know it is National S’mores Day. Bon appetit!
There are so many aspects of August one could talk about such as gem stones, flowers, holidays, watermelon, corn, fairs, harvest beginnings, for example. As we are now into the dog days of summer, let’s go with that. Are the dog days really about our four legged friends?
“We often hear about the “dog days” of summer but few know what the expression means. Some say that it signifies hot sultry days “not fit for a dog,” others suggest it’s the weather in which dogs go mad. The Dog Days of Summer describes the most oppressive period of summer, between July 3rd and August 11th each year. But where did the term come from? And what does it have to do with dogs?
The phrase is actually a reference to the fact that, during this time, the Sun occupies the same region of the sky as Sirius, the brightest star visible from any part of Earth and part of the constellation Canis Major, the Greater Dog. This is why Sirius is sometimes called the Dog Star.
In the summer, Sirius rises and sets with the Sun. On July 23rd, specifically, it is in conjunction with the Sun, and because the star is so bright, the ancient Romans believed it actually gave off heat and added to the Sun’s warmth, accounting for the long stretch of sultry weather. They referred to this time as diēs caniculārēs, or “dog days.”
Thus, the term Dog Days of Summer came to mean the 20 days before and 20 days after this alignment of Sirius with the Sun—July 3 to Aug. 11.
While this period usually is the hottest stretch of summer, the heat is not due to any added radiation from Sirius, regardless of its brightness. The heat of summer is simply a direct result of the Earth’s tilt.
During summer in the Northern Hemisphere, the tilt of the Earth causes the Sun’s rays to hit at a more direct angle, and for a longer period of time throughout the day. This means longer, hotter days.” – from The Farmer’s Almanac
Okay, dogs of the world, you are off the hook for this one. I did a little more research and discovered that today, August 10, is National Spoil Your Dog Day. Caveat to dog spoilers: Do not share any of today’s S’mores with your dog. Chocolate can be deadly to your pet.
Comments are welcomed.