Friday, August 19, 2011

Dog days of summer

Unusual angle on a dragonfly. (Lynn's photo)

The dog days of summer - but you probably already know...
In Roman times, the hot, languid days of summer were believed to be caused by the dawn rising of the Dog Star, Sirius. An appropriate sacrifice (a brown dog) was made to appease the angry Sirius in attempt to ease the heat wave.
From just a little bit of reading, I've found that we should see Sirius clearly in our winter sky, when it's overhead, and located not far from Orion's belt. I guess in the summer it's up during the day (logical, since it rises with the sun).

Okay, this Dog Days bit was prompted by Lynn's cellphone video of the chirring of a Dog Day Cicada. The cicada itself, she says, is just above the cluster of red leaves!
Link here:

Calvatia cyathiformis - Purple-spored Puffball, growing over near the blackberries. (Lynn's id)

Okay, I'll try to get a bird list squeezed in here, between photos.
Another two-week period, but with fall migration approaching, it may be time to get back to weekly listing and blogging.

Birders for the weeks of August 8-12 and 15-19, 2011:
Lynn, Sue, Tom

Birds for the two-week period:
Wild Turkey
Canada Goose
Herring Gull
5. Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk
Rock Pigeon
10. Mourning Dove
Northern Flicker
Blue Jay
Common Raven
American Robin
15. Northern Mockingbird
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Black-capped Chickadee
20. House Wren
Barn Swallow
Yellow Warbler
American Redstart - possible/likely
Northern Cardinal
25. Song Sparrow
American Goldfinch
House Finch
Common Grackle
House Sparrow

one of our paths is choked with poison ivy!

and our blackberries are ripening in the warmth of August

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