We are in the middle of the dog days of summer here in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. What are the “dog days of summer?”. You may have never heard that phrase. As defined on dictionary.com, the dog days of summer are
the sultry part of the summer, supposed to occur during the period that Sirius, the Dog Star, rises at the same time as the sun, now often reckoned from July 3 to August 11. A period marked by lethargy, inactivity, or indolence.
Yes, we are in the middle of the dog days of summer. We are also in the midst of a heat wave referred to as a Heat Dome. A Heat Dome, in the US, is when high pressure develops and pushes the jet stream (with comfortable, cooler air) farther north, into Canada. This high pressure pushes the air down and as the air moves downward it heats up. The hot air is then held here.
Because the dog days of summer coincides with a heat dome, the temperatures are high and remain high. It is important to take precaution against the heat and humidity. Being careful not to overdo it physically outdoors during this time is important. Drinking plenty of water and remaining hydrated is extremely important. Make sure that pets have access to plenty of fresh water and shade. Do not allow anyone, pet or human, to wait in a parked car.
During these days my thankful thoughts turn to those who do outdoor work. Those folks who continue to do utility to work to maintain the power, HVAC workers who work hardest during these blistering day in order to keep us cool, and others who work in the heat while I rest. The farmers who bring their ripe watermelons to the stands so I can cool off with a watermelon and mint smoothie. There are many others who work while I rest in the coolness of the indoors.
My dogs and I are taking full advantage of the “inactivity” portion of the dog days. We will be lounging around inside, with the blinds pulled closed to shield us from the warming light and the electrical appliances such as the dishwasher on vacation. The chores can wait as we place ourselves in front of a fan. I will read and doze and they will curl up next to me. We will pass these days of summer and heat dome in a state of blissful inactivity.