The Dog Days Of Summer

Well the Dog Days of Summer end tonight. When I was a kid I heard my parents and grandparents talking about the Dog Days of Summer. It would be really hot and they would say “oh this is nothing we still have to get through Dog Days”.

I always thought that dog days had something to do with a dog and it does just not the hound dog variety I was thinking of. Dog Days are from July 3 to August 11 each year.

The phrase “dog days” is a reference to Sirius, the Dog Star. During the “Dog Days” period, the Sun occupies the same region of the sky as Sirius, The brightest star visible from any part of Earth. Sirius is a part of the constellation Canis Major, The Greater Dog. The heat is due to the earth’s tilt at this time. Source Farmer’s Almanac

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 hot weather. They referred to this time as “dog days”. Dog Days are from July 3 to August 11 each year 20 days before and 20 days after this alighment of Sirius with the Sun. Source Farmer’s Almanac

Ancient people often believed that this was a time of drought, bad luck, and unrest, when dogs and men would be driven mad by the heat. I know I have felt that way a few times. And even though “Dog Days’ officially end today here in the south we will still have hot hot temps and high humidity which makes the heat even hotter and stickier.

Since I have been recording the temperature every day for my temperature blanket I thought it would be interesting to show you just how the temps here have been. These are all Fahrenheit:

July 3, 88. July 23, 93
July 4, 95. July 24, 87
July 5, 90. July 25, 85
July 6, 90. July 26, 86
July 7, 88. July 27, 87
July 8, 95. July 28, 85
July 9, 85. July 29, 81
July 10, 85. July 30, 84
July 11, 86. July 31, 83
July 12, 88. August 1, 75
July 13, 84. August 2, 90
July 14, 90. August 3, 90
July 15, 92. August 4, 85
July 16, 90. August 5, 88
July 17, 88. August 6, 86
July 18, 85. August 7, 88
July 19, 87. August 8, 88
July 20, 87 August 9, 84
July 21, 88. August 10, 85
July 22, 89. August 11, 82

I always checked the temperature around 1:00-2:00 PM and this gave me a fairly accurate reading for that day. You can see that the “Dog Days” haven’t been very bad at all this year. I think once or twice it got close to 100 degrees in the early evening but that is all. And as I said we could be in for even hotter weather I have often known August and September to be very hot and sticky here in East Tennessee.

My mama always said you could get an infection easier during dog days. I remember if we ever got a scrape or cut or Lord forbid stepped on a nail we were sure to get an infection if it was during “Dog Days.” Is this just a myth? in 2009 a study was done in Finland to test this theory to see if the rate of infection was higher during Dog Days. The myth was actually found to be true. I guess my mama knew what she was talking about.

Old-timers believed that rainfall on Dog Days was a bad omen. You may have heard this little poem:
Dog Days bright and clear
Indicate a happy year,
But when accompanied by rain,
For better times, our hopes are vain

The old Farmer’s Almanac, 1817

You probably knew how the name Dog Days originated but if not now you do. I wonder what Cat Days would be like?

Always remember

Love your day your way!!!!

7 thoughts on “The Dog Days Of Summer

    1. I now live in Texas and it’s REALLY hot here. I miss East Tennesse though. I like your photos. I’m working on a few books and will need to collect photos for the covers at some point…but not for a while.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My family is still in Texas and it’s also really HOT for them. Yuck. And I remember how miserable I was during Texas summers – they are awful. But I hope you’re able to stay cool with a good book.

        Liked by 1 person

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