The Dog Days of Summer

The Old Farmer’s Almanac says the traditional Dog Days are the 40 days from July 3 until August 11, coinciding with the rising of the Dog Star, Sirius. These are the days of the year when rainfall is at its lowest levels. According to The Book of Common Prayer (1552), the “Dog Daies” begin on July 6 and end on August 17. Regardless the source, western North Dakota has arrived.

We sure don’t need a thermometer to know the Dog Days have begun. When it is particularly humid, I’m known to say it’s a “Minnesota kind of day” and everyone within earshot laughs knowingly because  our climate borders on semi-arid.

This is the “hot earth, hot wind” time of year I wrote about in my poem titled, “A Passion for the Prairie.” Haying has begun in earnest and grains are taking on that famous amber color. Mother Nature may cut our summers short on the calendar but she rewards us with the bonus of 16 hours of sunshine every day and every North Dakotan takes full advantage of those daylight hours.  It is the time we pine for when winter bears down hard on the high plains.

For now, there’s no resting until October and there will be no complaining.

Author: Bonnie Larson Staiger

Winner 'Voices of the Plains and Prairies Poetry Award' by NDSU Press. My chapbook, 'Destiny Manifested' is scheduled for release Nov 4, 2018. Fascinated with the fusion of the written word on the printed page. On my blog, North Dakota Roots, I share poetry and observations about life.

One thought on “The Dog Days of Summer”

  1. you are an inspiration. i have been writing as well… but mostly off-line. trying to tighten a few things up… make them flow and work the way they should without sounding forced or contrived…
    like i said, Bonnie, you are an inspiration.

    thank you.

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