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The Dog Days of Summer

The Dog Days of Summer

Molly writes...

It was a hot July here in North Eastern part of the United States. One of the hottest on record, they say. I think it is fascinating how affected we are by weather. I think that is why I enjoy living in a place where we experience very extreme changes throughout the year. It really challenges my routines, frames my memories and encourages me to explore the ever-changing landscapes. People around here love to talk weather. It is almost ceremonial in a way. It makes me laugh how much we ooh and aahh and then whine about the daily temperature and precipitation. As it turns out, this behavior is as old as it gets with us humans. We have been sculpting our lives and survival around the weather for as far back as we have been able to learn about.

I was recently out for an early morning run on one of our hotter days that we have had, I thought I was avoiding the heat but it turned to be pretty hot. The air was so thick that I felt as though I was practically swimming. My mind started wandering about how our activities this time of year are different. Many people take vacation time or travel to places where there is water. It is not uncommon this time of year for businesses to close down and of course most school age children are on a break from school. It is quiet, people are moving at a slower pace, and it is hot.

Sometimes you might hear people refer to this time as the Dog Days of Summer. And, because I was recently thinking about how we react to this time year, I was puzzled by why we say this. Well it turns out it doesn’t have much to with dogs at all … well not exactly anyway.

According to Wikipedia: The dog days or dog days of summer are the hot, sultry days of summer. They were historically the period following the heliacal rising of the star system Sirius, which Greek and Roman astrology connected with heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck. They are now taken to be the hottest, most uncomfortable part of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

How fascinating. I guess sometimes we just need to let the stars talk to us … and perhaps during these last dog days of summer we just need to slow it down … and pick up a pen and tangle. No rush, no expectations, just let the ink tell the story.

And to my friends in Australia, you can read my previous blog about Winter Whine.

So, my tangling friends, how does the weather or time of year affect your creative flow and tangling practice? Let us know and we will send some Zentangle goodies to a randomly chosen commenter.

Molly Hollibaugh


  • As always a great read. I think about where sayings come from all the time and thanks to my good friend ‘Google’ it is so much easier to find out these ‘dog days’ :).
    Last year It led me to look up ‘raining cats and dogs’. That’s a good one. I can use any type of weather as an excuse to tangle though…

    Jody Genovese on

  • This is very interesting to me… for me, I prefer a good amount of natural light when tangling, or painting or even working at my desk. I live in Southwestern Ontario, so we also experience the extreme weather and seasonal changes you speak of.
    When I find myself being most affected is during the winter months, when the days are shorter and there are fewer opportunities to create using natural light.
    Great topic for discussion – interested to read how others around the globe are affected by their environment.


    Heather Moffatt on

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