It almost sounds like a curse, doesn’t it? I did a little research (the Wikipedia kind) and learned that the Romans associated hot weather with the rise of the star Sirius, the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (Large Dog) and there you go! The Farmer’s Almanac indicates the dog days will be ending August 11th. Too bad the heat will still be here.
It was so hot the other day that our two-year-old granddaughter, Karina, very worriedly told her mommy that Darwin, our Sulcata Tortoise was hot! She insisted on taking him a cup of ice! And while preparing this post I received a text message from family members driving from Southern California to the Grand Canyon. At 5:56 P.M. came the urgent text–“It’s 115 degrees right now. OMG!!” I don’t think reading about these temperatures prepares anyone for what that really feels like! Friends in Arizona, Texas and Massachusetts have alerted me to the phenomena of summer monsoons, protracted droughts and relentless heat indexes. So I’m not complaining (not out loud anyway), but we still have to take certain precautions.
Although most of our yard is on a sprinkler system, some pockets require extra attention with additional hand watering. And our outdoor pond requires added scrutiny for algae build-up. Even our succulent garden looks a little over-stressed. The tomatoes I’ve been praising are thriving in this heat, but then the plants get so heavy they need extra staking. Maybe we feel the heat more because we have to plan and think about it so much. And we should be planning for our own heat survival, too. So here are a few things the experts suggest for beating the heat! Total common sense, but we don’t always do as we should!
- Do the bulk of physical activity very early in the day or later in the evening.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
- Eat smaller meals—you’ll digest your food more easily.
- Stay Cool–I actually read this suggestion on a hospital website, but okay, it’s a good reminder.
These are simple, common sense, almost no-brainer suggestions, but when you or a loved one are required to work outdoors or have high energy occupations, acknowledge the heat, and give yourself permission to embrace procrastination. Do it later!
So my nod to the Dog Days is to escape the heat and relocate to the beach. I look forward to this one week every year, anticipating a relaxed and unhurried pace, cooler climates of course, and simply enjoying the beach atmosphere. I enjoyed Newport and Balboa Island with my grandparents when I was a little girl, and now we are passing this tradition on to our granddaughters. It’s an important part of my summer.
Next week I’ll be posting from the beach and I will have to find some way to share the cooler climate and salt air. I wish I could bring all my friends with me!
And if you were hoping “dog days” was the opening for another puppy post…Saturday is Beth’s day to tell us more about her canine friends. Hope you’ll stay tuned.
Just for fun:
- 4 Unusual Iced Drinks (self.com)