Here we are. What is referred to as the dog days of summer.

Have you ever wondered why it’s called that? The ancient Romans called the hottest, most humid days of summer “diēs caniculārēs” or “dog days.”

The name came about because they associated the hottest days of summer with the star Sirius. Sirius was known as the “Dog Star” because it was the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (Large Dog).

I’m always curious about such things. Some people believe that dogs are laziest during these periods. But then, who could blame them?

The Old Farmer’s Almanac lists the traditional timing of the Dog Days as the 40 days beginning July 3 and ending August 11.

I recall growing up that we always had a copy of the latest Farmer’s Almanac. And I remember thumbing through it, wondering what it all meant.

Seems to me that the heat gets intense earlier and earlier in the year. My poor garden was definitely suffering by June. And that seems kind of crazy.

I used to think it was August when the heat would press down on my flowers and veggies and ooze the life out of them.

Makes me want to focus on herbs because they seem to be more durable plants.

Yet I can think of only one time so far this summer that I have gone out and snipped the chives to bring inside and put on my food. I’ve got to remember to do that. Last year I recall that I used chives quite a bit.

The eucalyptus, that I’ve only been growing the last two summers, seems to always look perfect. I haven’t seen any sign of the heat getting to it. However it is partially in the shade some of the day.

I know eucalyptus is currently a very popular trend with decorators. I’ve seen many of the fake plants used in styling.

But really the actual plant is easy to grow. And it’s nice to be able to just snip off some of it and bring it indoors and put it in water. The shape and texture of the leaves are so pretty.

You can see it growing alongside the purple petunias below.

Here’s a clearer photo of the eucalyptus partially covering the chippy angel.

I got up early to start a load of laundry. Soon I will take Charlie in to the groomer. I’ve read that a dog’s coat can keep them cool. But Charlie’s gets so unkempt that to me it looks uncomfortable.

Since I get my own hair cut so short I suppose I figure since it keeps me cooler, the same would go for him.

Now that I’ve had my hair cut so short, I don’t think I’ll ever let it grow any longer. An inch of hair is about all I want these days. It’s easy to take care of and feels so much better than having thick hair against my scalp.

These are the days when I will mostly stay in with the curtains closed, although I have to be able to look out on my patio some of the day because the sight of it brings me such joy.

I look around me and I have all the room I could possibly need. But being able to look out those French doors onto my fenced outdoor space makes the area I live in seem so much larger.

Sometimes I think I’d like to live in an apartment with an elevator on a floor where I could look down on the city. And maybe someday I’ll do that. For now I am content with what I have.

And that’s so very important. Being able to say that you are content with what you have and where you live.

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14 Comments

  1. That’s interesting about the origin o_ the “dog days” o_ summer. I’ve always tho’t it re_erred to the dogs not moving around much because due to the heat, too.

    We’ve had a nice breeze here tonite and it seems to be cooling _or overnight. A nice relie_. I hate to say this but we actually could use a nice rain since it’s been hot and sunny or about 5 or 6 days and the ground is quite dry.

    I’m with you regarding hair. I need a cut really badly right now, but have to wait ’til I get my next check! I don’t go quite as short as you but almost. When it is longer like now I have to blow-dry it to have it look anywhere near good. I don’t like the bother. So next week o__ I go to the hairdresser.

    Take care, Brenda. Pats or the _ur babies.

  2. It is cooler here than there I think…at least not near so hot…but still, I do not like humidity much. Was thinking the other day about the “dog days of summer”…but you filled in the blanks as to what that means and the history of it. Thanks. Hope Charlie is doing better. My hair is the shortest ever, but I just wish I had more of it!! Thin hair on a woman is not good!!

  3. I remember as a child in the midwest the unforgiving heat without the pleasure of air conditioning. Kids that we were, we played hard until lunch and the heat sent us inside in front of the window fan. Drowsy and full of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, we’d lay on the cool floor and read until sleep overcame us. Mom would be folding clothes and making beds—chores that didn’t involve much movement. When we awoke, we’d beg for a chance to play in the sprinkler and off we’d go, laughing and screaming through the cool water until dinner. A quick bite to eat and out the door once more to play hide and seek in the dark while the mosquitoes snacked on our arms and legs. Mom would call us home and it would be bathtime and right to bed, listening once again to the droning of the fan. Times have certainly changed.

  4. We have the coolest summer here before July Fifth here near Dallas, Texas. It has rained and rained so much that I have not used the irrigation system since October. The fields are green. The corn and maize are tall. Usually they are burned by this time. I even saw hay bales that were green earlier this week.

  5. I enjoyed the explanation of the dog days of summer. Thank you. I didn’t bother planting hanging baskets this year because they don’t last till August. I rotated them last year from a sunny spot to a shady spot and watered and fertilized and they still shriveled up. I’m inside with the curtains drawn also. Happy dog days to you.

  6. Depending on your breed of dog, shaving them makes them hotter as they no longer have the fur to protect their skin and they can get sunburned. Please do research on your breed of dog before you do that. The groomers do not know, they will just shave them if told to. Dogs with double layers of fur are dramatically cooler with their fur than without. I fill a 50 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank that my dog loves to jump in and splash around in especially on hot days.
    You Only have an inch of hair? Not much styling options there. I do know that wearing the hair off the face and neck is cooler and a number of women I know prefer to keep their hair long enough to pull back and up off their neck.

  7. Beautiful view! I’m sure it’s prettier & so much more peaceful looking out your back door at nature than looking out at a bustling city! You have created a beautiful patio oasis. Enjoy!

  8. I like to know the origin of things, too…and I was just wondering about the Dog Days, so thank you. It’s hot here, too. The humidity is awful. I go outside for small breaks then come back inside to breathe in the ac. Your garden is always so lovely to peek at Brenda. I wouldn’t want to shut those curtains for too long either!

  9. I have always heard the “Dog Days of Summer” . My Mother and grandmother use to say that all the time. We have been having warm days and cool nights, which is so nice for sleeping.
    My Hayley has such a thick coat I have her groomed every 6 to 8 weeks otherwise she just pants and pants.
    Hugs to sweet Charlie and sweet Ivy Lou.

  10. My grandmother used to talk about the dog days of summer but I never knew what she meant. Thanks for explaining the meaning.. I live in Alabama and the heat is almost unbearable. Like you, I stay inside with the room darkening panels drawn across the patio doors. I try.to prepare meals that dont require turning on the convection oven. I don’t have a stove and I don’t want one. Sounds like someone else I know!!! (Smiles) What are your favorite hot weather meals, Brenda? Love and hugs to Miss Ivy and Charlie Boy.

  11. As always… such a gorgeous view out your french doors !! That patio garden is stunning !!!!! Have a very prosperous and blessed day !!!

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