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.
In the meantime, Luna steals the morning light.
And down on overheated terra firma, fleabane is not entirely living up to its reputation as an insect repellent.
I gather its visitor is a species of solitary wasp, travelling slowly, seeing what there is to find in the meadows.
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.