Washington column for July 30

Doggie days

If the hot, sticky and muggy days have not tipped you off yet, the reason is that the dog days of summer are here.

In the summer, Sirius, the “dog star,” rises and sets with the sun. During late July, Sirius is in conjunction with the sun, and the ancients believed that its heat added to the heat of the sun, creating a stretch of hot and sultry weather. They named this period of time, from 20 days before the conjunction to 20 days after, as “dog days,” after the dog star.

Today, dog days occur during the period between July 3 and August 11. Although it is certainly the warmest period of the summer, the heat is not due to the added radiation from a faraway star, regardless of its brightness. No, the heat of summer is a direct result of the earth’s tilt.

We have about two more weeks left, then maybe the doggie days will fetch us some cooler weather. Days like these, we probably wish for colder weather. Just keep in mind that fall is just around the corner.

Speaking of dog days, Rappahannock County Democrats’ annual Dog Days of Summer yard sale is from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5, and 10 to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 6, at the Washington fire hall.

Perseid meteor shower

A reminder for all night sky observers. August is the month when we can take a peek into the summer Milky Way and the heart of our beautiful galaxy. The Perseid meteor shower will peak around Aug. 11. After the first quarter moon sets, around 2 a.m., meteors should be more easily visible until dawn. You may see dozens of meteors per hour. They will also be viewable toward the end of August.

Mine eyes will be on the sky. Let’s hope for clear skies.


Birthday wishes go out to three dear friends of mine: Lisa Dodson, celebrating next Tuesday (Aug. 4); Clarisa Leggett, whose special day on Wednesday, Aug. 12, and Ann Foster, who will be celebrating her day on Friday, Aug. 21.

WVFR breakfast

The breakfast crew is back from vacation. Let’s celebrate the kids being back to school by enjoying the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet at Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue on Saturday, Aug. 15, from 7 to 11. The menu includes: Scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, sausage gravy, biscuits, pancakes, hash browns, fried apples, coffee and orange Juice. Cost is $8; ages 10 and younger eat free. For more information, call 540-675-3615.

In my column two weeks ago about the Confederate battle flag controversy, I neglected to attribute some of my observations to an online forum at Quora.com.

Have a wonderful week and try to stay cool!