The Dog Days of Summer

By , July 3, 2010

Today the Dog Days begin. They will last till August 15th. Generally regarded as the hottest part of the summer, the term has always called to my mind large blue tick hounds panting in the heat of a dilapidated rural southern porch. Actually, the term is derived from Sirius, the “dog star,” which apparently holds sway over the period.

Ironically, our dog days will be dogless.Our “nieces,” Cambs and Lilo, the only dogs in our immediate family, won’t be with Beth and Kim when they arrive this morning on the ferry from Skagway. Our local squirrels will be disappointed—they love to tease the dogs—but we’ll be okay without them, I’m sure. In fact, the absence of these very high strung, sensitive dogs may allow us to use personal fireworks this year. Loud noises set them to fighting with each other.

As to whether or not this is the hottest time of year, it’s hard to say. Like all Americans, we’re paying close attention to the weather reports, waiting to see if we’ll have a warm, sunny Independence Day this year. So far, the forecast sounds pretty wet. However, it seems like it’s always that way here. The trend seems to go to town for the celebration wearing warm layers and raincoats, only to become overheated as the day inevitably clears off and warms up.

Actually, the current forecast is good. When you live in the forest, a holiday that depends so heavily on pyrotechnics for a proper celebration can be disconcerting. Had we been as dry now as we were even a couple of weeks ago, I’d be very concerned about fire danger. It’s still very much on our minds, but it seems a bit less likely with damper, cooler weather.

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