It was hardly midmorning when I noticed through the window that the cattle had already "found the shade" as the Cowboy would say. But, it's that time of year, for the dog days of summer are upon us.
And, if I should have gone looking for Millie I would have known right where to have found her, for she would have surely been in her shady corner of the little rock garden next to the house. She has dug a nice little hole there, but it is hardly noticeable, actually, for it is behind a fairly large abelia with long arching branches.
For the past couple of days, I have played the role of the good fairy, and poured a bucket of water into her hole before filling it back in with soil. In this way, she won't have to dig deeply to make for herself a cool damp bed. I've never scolded her for it. I used to take Nell inside on hot afternoons, but Millie seems to prefer being outside.
Actually, the Dog Days of Summer, which are taken to be the hottest, most uncomfortable part of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, doesn't have anything to do with dogs, or even with the lazy days of summer. Instead, it turns out, the dog days 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.
Although July and August are generally known as the hottest months of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, the hottest period can vary from year to year. And depending on your latitude, the astronomical dog days can come at different times.
As soon as breakfast is finished, Millie and I head to the garden. She lies under the shade of a tree and watches me work with my head bent low beneath the okra and zinnias.
I made some miscalculations when I planned this year's little garden. (Imagine that!) There is no room...zero...to get between the rows to cut the okra pods. And, on the other side of the row, it's no better because of the tomato plants that are reaching out from their cages. I just didn't expect the California Giants to be so...well, gigantic! But, my how I love them! Oh well...there's always next year. I am now thinking the old plow in the center of the garden wasn't such a good idea. But there will be zinnias again, even Giants! Let's see, I could always move the old plow over there..... And, so it goes!
Millie isn't the first dog to lie in the shade of this tree while I worked in the little garden. This was Nell's favorite spot too. Oh, how lonely I was when there was no Nell under that tree, so you must know how happy I am to have found another little doggie friend that loves me as much as Nell did! I really doubted that I ever would.
Millie and I talk about things. She's a girl, you know, and girls talk. She in her way and me in mine, but we each understand the other. It's a mutual love, for sure!
Also........... A blogger friend, E.C., has gone into the black swallowtail butterfly business. :~) For the complete story, you'll have to go back a few posts, but it's worth it. Good job E.C.!