The Dog Days of Summer

Twenties Cast Iron "Bird Dog" Bookends (LEO Design)

It’s already happening—the Dog Days of Summer have arrived.  Hot.  Smelly.  The crosswalk seemingly sinking beneath our feet.  But where does the term originate?

It began in ancient Rome.  Astronomers noticed that during the period when Sirius (also called the “Dog Star”—and the brightest star in the sky) rose and set alongside the sun, the temperature was hotter (in those days from about 24 July to 24 August).  Because Sirius is so large and bright, they reasoned, its heat—when added to the sun’s—would make the Earth’s temperature hotter.  Ancient Romans called the period “Dies Caniculares”—referencing Sirius’s position within the constellation Canis Major (“The Big Dog”).  Today the Dog Days have shifted; the Farmer’s Almanac identifies the Dog Days of Summer (in the Northern Hemisphere) as the period from 3 July to 11 August.

The cast iron “Bird Dog” bookends will guard your precious tomes without breaking a sweat.  (Actually, no dog sweats very much.  They cool themselves by panting).  They will also bring a bit of Canine Style to your bookshelf, desk or credenza.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about them.


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