Summer’s in home stretch
When people talk about the ‘dog days of summer,’ they’re referring to the sultry, hot days of the season that sometimes seem to stretch on forever–just like those long legs on the star of today’s homepage. This is a maned wolf, also known as a ‘fox on stilts,’ and it’s the largest species of canid in South America. As a canid, it belongs to the same family as the domestic dog, wolf, and coyote, and we think it makes a fun spokescritter for summer’s ‘dog days.’
If you’re wondering how the phrase ‘dog days of summer’ came about, look to the sky. In summertime in the Northern Hemisphere, around the time of the summer solstice, the star called Sirius makes its return to the night sky after having been absent during winter. Better known as the Dog Star, as it’s part of the Canis Major constellation, Sirius becomes visible again above the eastern horizon for a moment just before sunrise, and ancient Egyptians and Greeks associated its return with the seasonally hot weather.
Njegoš’ Mausoleum in Lovćen National Park, Montenegro