The dog days of summer typically are in the months of July and August in the Northern Hemisphere (January and February in the Southern Hemisphere)
The term “dog days” comes from ancient Rome and even more ancient Greece. The name coincides with the rising of Sirius. Sirius is the brightest and most visible star in the night sky and is part of the constellation of Canis Major (Large Dog). Sirius, the dog star, is one of the companions of Orion in Greek myth and in also in the constellation of Orion. The other companion of Orion is Canis Minor.
“Summer has set in with its usual severity.” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Like Coleridge, the ancient Greeks were not fans of hot July. They attributed the hotness and woes of summer to the Dog Star, Sirius. The ancient Romans also believed that the star caused dogs to pant more and that it made all more susceptible to disease.
In other mythologies Sirius is also seen as a wolf, a coyote, a white horse, and I digress…
Back to the Western concept of the dog days of summer which means it’s July already.
“I came, I saw, I conquered.” – Julius Caesar
July was named after the ancient Roman Julius Caesar. I suggest William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar for summer reading or a jaunt to summer theater.
“Experience is the teacher of all things.” – Julius Caesar
July’s birthstone is the ruby and the flowers are Water Lily and Larkspur. More on those in a later post.
“The glowing Ruby should adorn
Those who in warm July are born,
Then will they be exempt and free
From love’s doubt and anxiety.”
“Live in each season as it passes: breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit.” – Henry David Thoreau
Great site on the month of July. http://projectbritain.com/year/july.htm
July Trivia http://voices.yahoo.com/trivial-facts-july-6231792.html
Ten July Facts http://www.ten-facts.com/interesting_facts_about_july.html#.U3bULnQU_b0
How to see Sirius, the Dog Star http://earthsky.org/brightest-stars/sirius-the-brightest-star
Julius Caesar Biography – http://www.biography.com/people/julius-caesar-9192504#synopsis&awesm=~oIlfu0GBzbmZuj
“Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.” – Sam Keen