The Dog Days of Summer

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the “Dog Days of Summer” run from July 3 through August 11. With two official heat waves, before the end of June, it feels like they’re already here. Why do they refer to those forty days, as the dog days? It may surprise you to learn that it has nothing to do with it being not fit for a dog, because it’s too hot for your pets. It has nothing to do with it being so hot you lay around like a dog all day. I will confess that’s all I want to do when it is sizzling hot and oppressively humid. The term “Dog Days of Summer” actually came about to name the forty days when Sirius, also known as the dog star, is at its’ brightest. The ancient Romans thought that the brightness of that star was responsible for the rising temperatures, so that is where this began.

Now that your history lesson is over, let’s talk summer fun and ways to stay cool. My favorite place in Gardiner, to beat the heat and enjoy the outdoors, is Gardiner’s Waterfront Park. Do you need to get some walking in this summer, but not in the hot sun? How about a shady stroll down a foot path, with cool granite benches, and which leads to a small section of sandy beach, where you can dip your toes in the water? It exists, right here in Gardiner, at the Waterfront Park. It begins at the far end of the parking lot. You can’t miss the trail. As you approach it, look to your left. Our waterfront not only has a traditional boat launch. At the far end of our boardwalk there is actually a place to launch kayaks, canoes & paddleboards. It’s tucked out of the way, a safe distance from where the larger boats are launched. Just be mindful that this is the time of year the Atlantic sturgeon* are breaching. I’ve had friends on jet skis, and in kayaks, have some close calls. To avoid a very close encounter, but still be able to enjoy the water, I suggest paddling close to the shoreline.

On a hot, but breezy day, you can always find shade at the waterfront. There is a thicket of trees, with several picnic tables. I carry a camp chair in my vehicle, all summer. This way, I can choose sun or shade. There is often a nice breeze coming off the Kennebec. At lunchtime you will find quite a few people eating at the picnic tables, on the benches and in their cars. Some roll the windows down to catch a breeze, others sit there with the vehicles and air conditioning going. Even if you don’t leave the comfort of your car, you can still enjoy the view and possibly see sturgeon breaching.

At home, I feel blessed to have 2 portable air conditioners and one window unit. I’m equally blessed to have a husband who doesn’t grumble too much about moving them around. We’re able to keep comfortable, though I anticipate being very uncomfortable with this month’s CMP bill. If you are also expecting a hefty bill from CMP, just remember Gardiner FCU offers personal loans, secured loans, home equity loans, etc. We are also in the midst of our Summer REFI Special. Bring us loans you have with other lenders. Great low rates and up to $200 cash back for qualified loans! That might just cover those increased energy bills, from all the fans and air conditioners you’ve been running. St

*According to Wikipedia “Atlantic Sturgeon can live up to 60 years, & grow to15 ft & over 800 lb.”

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