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The Canine Days of Summer season –


Within the days earlier than air con was reasonably priced and even out there to most properties, summer season days have been spent within the sun-scorched fields or sweltering factories; and evenings have been spent on the porch. Within the south, older of us at all times referred to the most well liked and most humid days of the season as “Canine Days”. I by no means requested how that time period got here to be and assumed it had one thing to do with the canine who have been too scorching to chase the birds and squirrels. With a couple of clicks on-line, I found that the interval of July third via August eleventh, when the “canine star” Sirius rises with the solar, is traditionally known as “canine days .” Sirius is a part of Canis Main’s constellation, Latin for “the higher canine.”

 

Typical circumstances in a Southern summer season

I take pleasure in motion pictures like “The Lengthy Sizzling Summer season” or “Fried Inexperienced Tomatoes .” Whereas the tales are entertaining, the scenes of the south as they have been so a few years in the past mentally transport me to my childhood and the lazy days of summer season that appeared to go on perpetually.

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With exceptions, folks have been extra tolerant of the warmth than we’re at present with our trendy air-conditioned properties and automobiles. For many of us, enjoyable within the scorching solar contains an ocean spray, a dip in a refreshing pool, or possibly a timed dousing by a garden sprinkler projecting an occasional rainbow.

Once I was younger, and the thermostat’s indicator rose to extraordinary heights, I keep in mind how great it felt to sit down below an enormous shade tree the place the bottom was swept clear, and grass didn’t dare exist. The canine would lay their bellies on the cool earth, solely transferring their tails if being stepped on, which was an absolute certainty. Lemonade quenched the thirst, and hand-held advertisement-adorned cardboard followers with skinny wood handles helped transfer the nonetheless air onto our glistening faces. Home windows have been at all times open, and a automobile or wagon transferring quick on a dry grime highway launched the within of the home to that red-colored mud that needed to be escorted again outdoors by a straw broom.

 

Younger women enjoying leaping in a backyard water garden sprinkler

 

Mosquitoes should love the warmth and humidity of the south as a result of their numbers appear to develop every year. Within the Nineteen Fifties in Savannah, after I was younger, massive vans drove via the new streets fogging bug spray into the air a few occasions a day; nonetheless, the mosquitoes appeared to maneuver in cloud formation in every single place. I seldom walked out the door throughout these summer season days with out my mother giving me a slathering of oily 6-12 insect repellent to fend off these little flying vampires.

In distinction, the lightning bugs coming into early summer season canine days are a delight, as aggravating because the accompanying mosquitoes are. My reminiscences of heat summer season nights and catching these treasured little lantern-adorned bugs are a few of my favorites. Mother would give me an outdated jar, and we might punch holes within the lid. She at all times jogged my memory to allow them to go earlier than coming inside for the evening. I want I might say I at all times did.

 

The Atlanta Rhythm Part paid tribute to the Canine Days of their 1975 album

 

In accordance with the outdated superstitions; throughout “canine days,” snakes will go blind and strike at something, folks will expertise main awful luck, fevers might be extra lethal, flooding will occur extra usually, people and animals might be pushed to insanity, seas will boil, if it rains on the primary of canine days it’ll rain every single day afterward, sores and wounds received’t heal so surgical procedures ought to be postponed, drowning might be extra doubtless, and evil ghosts might be extra lively.

And now for essentially the most important superstitious warnings. Throughout “canine days,” it’s best to at all times put your proper sock on first, or you’ll fall and break your leg (at my age, falling is a real concern, so I’m going to attempt to keep in mind). In case you go barefoot, you’ll get gangrene. Lastly, put on your socks inside out (I couldn’t discover a motive for this final one or a scary final result because of not adhering to the warning, so simply to be secure, inside out, it’s).

Even with the poetic definition of “canine days” from the Atlanta Rhythm Part track by the identical title, I don’t thoughts the “scorchers and southern tortures.”

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