The Dog Days of Summer

Apparently, this time of year was referred to as the dog days of summer by the ancient Greeks because they associated the hottest days of summer with the star Sirius, or “Dog Star”, and its rise just before the sun. I can believe that. It most certainly wasn’t because creatures covered in fur who have just a few sweat glands on our paws and cool off via panting are at all comfortable at this time of year. You’ve seen it. Dog on a hot day with its tongue on the floor. It may look like a big smile but, believe me, I’m not smiling.

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Yes. I know. It’s long.

 

Holy hot, what is going on this summer? It’s been hot almost every day since the beginning of July with most days out here on the farm rising above the thirty degree mark (that’s 86 Fahrenheit). Now I know it’s not Arizona or Australia kind of hot, but for many of us northerners, especially those of dressed in fur year-round, it’s just too hot.

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Morning road walk. Anybody have a bowl of water?

 

Teresa tries to get us out early for our daily walks, but even in the morning that sun seems to blaze into my black coat. Since the start of the heat, we’ve been walking along the canal so that we can swim and drink as much as we want to. And then they sprayed weed killer. Teresa’s not a fan of chemicals and won’t walk us down there until there have been a couple of good rains. I appreciate the consideration but, man, I sure miss the water when we’re baking in the hay field or down the road. Come on, rain!

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Rain dance in the hay field.

 

I went out with Teresa late this morning on a horse manure pickup mission. Thankfully, the area the horses had dropped most of their piles was near a shady spot where I could lie and watch. I said I went out with her, I didn’t say I went along to help. Not much I can do anyway other than supervise and I think I handled it just fine from fifty feet away in the shade. But, even with the shady vantage point, by the time we came in I was panting like a locomotive and seeking a little cool from the hardwood floor. I used to spend a lot of time in the basement during hot weather but, now that I’m getting on in years, I try to limit my trips up and down the stairs. Preservation, you might say.

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Maybe next time I’ll stay inside for horse chores.

 

On a positive note, Dictionary.com says that the Dog Days of Summer is “a period marked by lethargy, inactivity, or indolence.” Well, at least I’m doing it right.

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Hot Times in the Desert

On the heels of a colder than normal December, January, and February, March is making up for it. Our first day at Telephone Cove on Lake Mohave was cool and breezy but, since then, the thermometer has been 30 degrees Celsius (that’s 86 Fahrenheit) or better every day. For some of you sun lovers, that may not sound terribly hot, but try wearing a black fur coat complete with leggings instead of shorts and flip flops. I guarantee you’ll have a different hot weather threshold.

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How I prefer to spend beach time.

I’ve always been a shade lover, unless it’s a cold day and I’m lying on the wood deck in front of the house. Even then, my ability to lie in the sun is limited. With the majority of the winter as cool as it was, I’ve probably done more soaking up the sun than in any of our previous trips, but it seems that my sunbathing days are over, the heat has arrived.

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Moonlight is so pleasant.

Telephone Cove was our first hot spot, beyond that first day. The breeze off the lake was cool, but it eased in the afternoon, right about the time things were really heating up. Nollind normally parks the trailer so that the big windows face north in hot weather, keeping it cooler inside, but at Telephone Cove he couldn’t situate us that way very easily. By mid-afternoon, the trailer was like a sauna. Luckily, there was a lot of hanging out in camp at that spot so afternoons were spent outdoors in the shade. And, of course, there was the lake for cooling down. The water was pretty chilly after all the cold winter weather, but even Teresa went in for a swim on the last two days.

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Cooling off in Lake Mohave at Telephone Cove.

From Telephone Cove we drove to Las Vegas for an overnight. It was hot there too and I was worried it would feel even worse in that asphalt/concrete jungle. What I didn’t consider was that RV parks have electricity and when we can plug Sid in we have air conditioning. What a treat! For twenty-four hours I didn’t have to think about how to stay cool.

Whitney Pockets was our next stop. We arrived at sunset with a cool breeze blowing off the mountains but the next day the thermometer climbed again. We did our exploring early in the day and spent the hottest part of the afternoon hanging out in the shade of the trailer with margaritas—well, the humans had margaritas, we dogs stuck with water. Water is a much wiser choice in the heat.

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Morning hike at Whitney Pockets.

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A shady, lazy afternoon.

I don’t like Teresa & Nollind to alter their plans on my account—normally—but when they opted to head further north into slightly cooler temps for my benefit, I didn’t argue. It’s still pretty warm here in southern Utah, the days getting up into the high 20s (80ish Fahrenheit), but it doesn’t feel so intense and it cools off nicely overnight. It helps that we’re camped at the top of a hill so there is almost always a breeze.

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Leaving Whitney Pockets headed for cooler places.

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Walking near camp in southern Utah.

I’m not sure how long we’re staying here or where we’re off to next. From what I’ve picked up from recent discussions, Teresa & Nollind don’t seem to know either. I guess we’ll all be surprised.

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The desert sun leaving us for another day.