• John-Michael Scurio

Diēs Caniculārēs


The title of this blog-post comes from the ancient Romans. This term was used to signify the hottest period of the summer months. So hot, in fact, the dogs were said to "go mad."


Truly though "The Dog Days Of Summer" (as we know it) describes the hottest time of this season - usually from the beginning of July to the middle of August.


Yeah, yeah, I know, I'm late to the party - but here's why... our dog days are about to arrive. Yep. It is true! Eureka Springs is about to hit some hot dog days.


Here's the forecast for next week: (beginning Monday, August 23, 2021)

According to The Farmer's Almanac, "the phrase is actually a reference to the fact that, during this time, the Sun occupies the same region of the sky as Sirius, the brightest star visible from any part of Earth and part of the constellation Canis Major, the Greater Dog. This is why Sirius is sometimes called the Dog Star.

In the summer, Sirius rises and sets with the Sun. On July 23rd, specifically, it is in conjunction with the Sun, and because the star is so bright, the ancient Romans believed it actually gave off heat and added to the Sun’s warmth, accounting for the long stretch of sultry weather. They referred to this time as diēs caniculārēs, or “dog days.”


Thus, the term Dog Days of Summer came to mean the 20 days before and 20 days after this alignment of Sirius with the Sun . . ."


According to folklore scholar Eleanor R. Long, "all liquids are poisonous, when bathing, swimming, or even drinking water can be dangerous, and a time when no sore or wound will heal properly. It is also a time when we are likely to be 'dog-tired,' if not 'sick as a dog,' to 'dog it' at work and 'go to the dogs' in our leisure hours-in short, to lead a 'dog's life' until the miserable period is over."


I've come to learn that both the ancient Greeks and Romans noticed that the star Sirius — the dog star, Canis major — is in the Orion constellation. This star began to rise with the sun not long after the summer solstice.

OK, so while this is often the hottest time of the summer, and publications like the Farmer's Almanac has stated that the dog days occur between July 3 and Aug. 11 each year, this smart scholar, Long, has called out that Sirius doesn't rise and set with the sun until mid-August now.


Hence we have - next week!


Check out this blog-post that I published here at the end of July 2019 - pertaining to the heat and our lovable fur babies.


Be sure you and your furry friends are safe, well and with water. (After all, Eureka has plenty of water! 😄)


On the other hand - our beloved Kirby is already pulling out his argyle collection, ready for the slumber of winter's ice and snow. (Truly, he despises winter, but he absolutely loves his argyle collection. Such a teenager!)

Stay cool friends! ❤️

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