It’s sultry, hazy, languid, whatever you want to call it, it’s hot.
These are the “dog days” of summer. I’ve always heard that expression, but then I wondered, why are they called dog days? Theory one (on the internet) is that it’s so hot that dogs lay around on the pavement because it’s too hot to move. Theory two is because dogs go mad in the heat. As Noel Coward wrote, “only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noon day sun”. Is that it? Well no.
The dog days come from the ancient Greeks and Romans and refer to the dog star, Sirius, and its position in the heavens.
To the Greeks and Romans, the “dog days” occurred around the day when Sirius appeared to rise just before the sun, in late July. They referred to these days as the hottest time of the year, a period that could bring fever, or even catastrophe.
Sirius is the brightest star in the sky. Sirius is the “nose” of Canis Major, the “dog” chasing Lepus the rabbit.
This is the star I always look for wherever I go to orient myself in the world. As a sailor I marvel that people could navigate across oceans just by reading those twinkling lights. As a storyteller I marvel that people read whole volumes into those stars. As a beadmaker I want to tell the story of the stars.
From wondering about the dog days of summer, I moved onto contemplating yet again, the stars. And I created these, my Starry Sky earrings.