Dog Days

It’s hot.

Hot haze

Who is the villain? Sirius, said the ancients: the Dog Star, guiding light of Canis Major. In high summer, it is behind the Sun, just visible in the east at dawn. Sticky, sultry days like the ones currently leaning on southern England were the fault of Sirius shoring up the Sun’s power.

Of course, we know now that Sirius is far too distant to affect our weather, but I look forward to seeing the brilliant blue fireball when it finds its way back to wintry skies. It is by far the brightest star in the night sky and follows Orion as the Earth turns.

Canis Major mar 2011

In the meantime, Luna steals the morning light.

Luna 8 Aug 20

And down on overheated terra firma, fleabane is not entirely living up to its reputation as an insect repellent.

Fleabane and friend 5 Aug 20

I gather its visitor is a species of solitary wasp, travelling slowly, seeing what there is to find in the meadows.

Chalk trails

Slow and steady, head out early and watch the sullen skies. Dog days do pass. Soon there will be ‘dog nights’: crisp and wintry, and full of brilliant stars.

Orion and Canis Major march 2011

18 thoughts on “Dog Days

    1. It feels a bit like the mood after a big meal. Everything’s dozing and droopy. And then autumn arrives and nature has to get itself looking professional again!

      I have been trying to photograph the planets as well but am still learning how to avoid camera shake at 600mm on a long exposure. Even a tripod isn’t enough. I’ve found some tips online but now need a cloudless night…

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      1. Usually, when I need to photograph something with camera on tripod, I make a 10 sec delay. That’s enough for camera to stop shaking after I press shutter button. I’ve found that 2 sec delay is usually not enough if I am shooting with 400mm lens.
        If you find some other tip, please share 🙂

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    2. I have found the 10 second delay trick works well but not with a very heavy lens at 600mm sadly. I did some research and apparently the image stabiliser technology can actually work against the lens in these situations. So, I shall switch that off temporarily and see what happens. I also think that the weather was slightly against me last time (a bit breezy) so will hope for quieter conditions.

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      1. I forgot to mention that. When I photograph night sky or Moon, or some scenery but from a tripod, I always turn off image stabilizer; also, for night sky, I pre-zoom lens to very far object during the day, then turn of auto zoom and image stabilizer. When it comes to shooting the only thing that needs to be set are ISO, f number and shutter speed.
        Maybe Words will have some good advice!

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  1. Adele, great post! Our dogs days seem to be flying by! We had some rain recently which was much needed. Long term it looks like we will move into Autumn without anymore excessive heat! I don’t mind!

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    1. I hope you’re having a cool end to the summer! We had quite heavy rain today which I’m sure the wildlife will appreciate. The farmers probably less so because not all the meadows have yet been cut, and now they’ll be too damp for a while!

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