Dog Star Sirius

12 08, 2019

Summer Dog Days and Back-to-school Time

By |2020-07-06T09:12:39-05:00August 12th, 2019|Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

It’s August. It’s hot, it’s humid in Texas. There doesn’t seem to be any relief from this year’s record setting summer heat. We’re having realio, trulio dog days of summer.

Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

The term comes from the Egyptians who believed the Dog Star Sirius added heat to the sun and produced a long stretch of sultry weather during the forty days beginning July 3 and ending August 11.

Those of us who live in Texas know that dog days can (and do) begin well before July 3 and extend long after August 11 no matter how bright Dog Star Sirius shines. And, like our dogs, in this extreme heat, all we want to do is nothing but lounge around.

This year triple digit heat warnings of dog days are competing with all the excitement of back-to-school preparations.

Tax-free shopping days add to the frenzy for school clothing and supplies. Even though it’s been years since I’ve taught, I find myself caught in the eagerness and stocking up on pens and pads and folders.

Teachers are braving the temperatures and getting ready for the new school year. Not just public schoolteachers but also all those moms and dads who undertake to homeschool. To all of you, thank you.

Soon, let us hope, these dog days will be a memory. Fall will bring cooler weather and colorful leaves, pumpkins, and holiday bazaars.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready!

10 09, 2018

The Dog Days of Summer

By |2018-09-11T07:05:12-05:00September 10th, 2018|Make Me Think Monday, Writer's Life|0 Comments

Here in Texas we’re in the “dog days of summer.” It’s hot, it’s humid, and there doesn’t seem to be any relief.

We’re floating in swimming pools, searching for spaces to park our car beneath shade trees when we have to go shopping. Mostly we’re hibernating inside our air-conditioned homes to escape the heat and stay cool. Our dogs lie at our feet panting even though they’re not running around.

But summer heat doesn’t really have anything to do with dogs.

The term dog days of summer comes from astronomy and is a reference to the Dog Star Sirius, which rises and sets with the Sun in the summertime.

Ancient Egyptians believed that the brightness of Dog Star Sirius added heat to the sun and produced a long stretch of sultry weather during the forty days beginning July 3 and ending August 11.

The accuracy of those ancient “dog day” dates doesn’t hold true today according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Jim Andrews. Dog day dates vary based on in the rotation of the Earth and whether you live in the northern or southern hemisphere.

Anyone who’s lived in Texas knows that dog days in Texas can (and do) begin well before July 3 and extend long after August 11. Afternoon temperatures can soar to the nineties with heat indexes pushing well into the triple digits and heat wave warnings are sounded well into September.

Fortunately, dog days don’t last forever. And, summer can have its charm.

We get to enjoy lazy days sitting under the porch fan sipping lemonade and reading. Flip flops and sandals. Ice cream cones and frozen slushies. Watermelon and fresh veggies. It’s a laid back time.

Soon, these dog days will become a memory until they return next year. Fall will bring cooler weather and colorful leaves, pumpkins, and holiday bazaars.

I’m ready!