We have had a few "cooler" days lately but when I walked out of the house this morning I could feel that it was heating up again. I was grateful to walk back into our air-conditioned house.
Its been so hot this summer . The days have been burning hot. We have been surrounded by humid, heavy air that sucked the breath right out of me.
My mother and her mother called hot summer days when the sun scorches the earth the "dog days”. In this kind of weather dogs stretch out, pant and keep still.
Lately there have been times when I wanted to lay down on the floor with my wise dog.
Do they call them the dog days because of those sleeping dogs?
Wikipedia knows most things so I looked it up.
The name " dog days" came about a long time ago from ancient times when people first noticed that the stars formed shapes in the sky. Canis Major - the big dog - also called Sirius - is the brightest star. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canis_Major From July to September it rises and sets with the sun. Because of this the Romans believed it added extra heat to the sun - hence--dog days.
Today we know that Sirius does not add extra heat --that comes from the tilt of the earth - but the name stuck. We still call these hot days - the "dog days".
It's like other bits of knowledge our elders hand down through the family - a knowing that didn't come from a book - but from hearing the stories of your family and remembering the people that told them. Their voices creep into our heads when we invite them in and whisper the "old wisdom."