Pat Shingleton: "Dog Tired"
Canis Major or Sirius was designated the "Dog Star" by ancient astronomers. As noted in a previous column, Romans believed that Sirius rose at sunrise, convinced this star was the cause of hot, sultry weather. To appease the rage of Sirius and believing that the star created the weather pattern, they sacrificed a brown dog, thus the reference-Dog Days. Ancient Rome catalogued the Dog Days from July 24 through August 24 and The Old Farmer's Almanac designates these 40 days from July 3rd to August 11th. Since June 20th, the sun has reached its highest point and slowly begins its track toward the equator. In 2012 there were two 101 degree days. Last year July 12th was the hottest at 96 and this year our hot days were July 1, 11 and 12.