Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog

Origin of the Dog Days

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Why called the Dog Days of Summer

Hello fellow readers,

The dog days of summer are soon to end. No longer will we be sweating like a pig. These old sayings came up as Curt and I were walking Miss Ellie during these last hazy lazy days of summer and we wondered their origin. After all, what do dogs have to do with summer? And, like pigs, they barely sweat. Though its true dogs pant heavily in summer to cool themselves as they only have a few sweat glands on the pads of their feet. Maybe their heavy panting is what earned the name Dog Days.

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Why called the Dog Days of Summer

A hot day in the garden of weeding and Miss Ellie plopped herself in the thick of it all :^)

It turns out the Dog Days of summer originates from the Roman days when observers associated the rise of Sirius before the Sun beckoning the beginning of evil drought and disease. Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, means “scorching” in Greek and is referred to as the Dog Star reflecting its celebrity in the constellation Canis Major, the Greater Dog. On the contrary, the ancient Egyptians associated the rise of Sirius before the Sun with the floodwaters of the Nile River, which was welcomed to their desert lands bringing fertile soil to grow crops. While the Dog Star seems to rise later than it did in ancient times, it still makes its appearance during the heat of the summer. In fact, is sometimes visible to the naked eye in the height of the day.

We’ve had the 15th warmest July on record, per the National Weather Service, and its been 2.6 to 4.6 degrees above normal for August. Never mind the oppressive humidity adding to the Florida-like summer misery with several days of heat advisories. Air temps have been in the nineties though it feels like a hundred and four. Exerting yourself in the heat is downright dangerous. And, combined with the wetness, its caused havoc to many plants, though slugs have had a ball. I gave up on trying to manage their holy mess with slug remedies weeks ago and I find myself photographing fascinating formations of fungi rather than flowers in the garden.

By the way, pigs have only a few sweat glands too which aren’t very effective in managing their body temperature. Hence why Wilbur wallows in the mud to cool off. The origin of sweating like a pig comes from melting pig iron, a crude iron that sweats when it cools. Pig iron was so named because its shaped into molds that look like suckling piglets.

While Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer and the beginning of the new school year (sorry kids), summer doesn’t officially end until September 22nd.  But hopefully, we’re at the end of the dog days and soon we can dig in the dirt again. Fall is for planting! Happy Labor Day! Garden dilemmas? AskMaryStone@gmail.com

A few of my Fun Fungi Photos …okay, maybe I’m getting slap happy.

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Fun Fungi

Soccer Player Fungus

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Fun Fungi

I wonder who snagged a bite?

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Fun Fungi

Have a heart fungus

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Fun Fungi

The eyes have it!

Mary Stone, owner of Stone Associates Landscape Design & Consulting. As a Landscape Designer, I am grateful for the joy of helping others beautify their surroundings which often leads to sharing encouragement and life experiences. These relationships inspired my weekly column published in THE PRESS, 'Garden Dilemmas? Ask Mary', began in 2012. I dream of growing the evolving community of readers into an interactive forum to share encouragement and support in Garden and Personal Recoveries - seeking nature’s inspirations, stimulating growth, weeding undesirables, embracing the unexpected. Thank you for visiting! Mary

Leave a Reply

*

captcha *