The Heat Is On!

The Heat Is On!

Around the Bluhmin’ Town


Judy Bluhm

The heat is on. Welcome to the “dog days of summer.” This phrase was originated in ancient Roman times, used to describe the intense heat of summer. The term has been widely used ever since. The ancient astronomers noted that Sirius, the Dog Star, rose and set with the sun during July and August. It was then concluded that Dog Star and the sun’s heat combined, caused the hottest weeks of the year. Hence, we are in those “dog days.”

Doggone it, I thought this saying had something to do with feeling like sitting around and panting like a dog when it is an inferno outside. My neighbor has a poodle named Chloe who refuses to go outside when it is too hot, which could be any time between now and September. A slight problem. Many of us can relate to Chloe.

My girlfriend asked if I wanted to go hiking. No, I prefer not to go walking around in a pizza oven so that I might spontaneously combust! A local firefighter says human spontaneous combustion is “not a real thing.” Perhaps. But trail walking in this heat seems like a recipe for me to go up in smoke.

A woman in Phoenix emailed me to say that while walking in a grocery store parking lot, her rubber flip flop sandals started to disintegrate on the pavement. Yikes, this is how people end up in the burn unit at the hospital! Walk carefully, friends, with sturdy footwear.

I hate to complain, after all, at least we aren’t living in Death Valley. A woman who just moved to Arizona, emailed me to say that she is trying to “learn to appreciate the oppressive heat.” She is keeping a watchful eye for all things “special” about blazing, hot days and has encouraged all her friends and neighbors to do the same. Hmm, I did see a massive yellow wall of dust moving my way last week, as I was driving in Phoenix. Does a haboob qualify as “special?”

Is there anything good about the “dog days” of summer? Actually, it’s a time of great hope. Everyone I talk to is looking forward to something different or “hoping” to go someplace else. We dream of cooler days. Folks are traveling to exotic places. The beaches are beckoning. Family road-trips await. Camping in the pines sounds pretty thrilling. And the monsoons might be arriving soon. The Hopi claim that the monsoons are “magic.”

Arizona seems to be getting hotter. Triple digits in Phoenix are always routine, but Prescott has been seeing 100 degrees! Ouch! It’s as though we make it through a hot spell in some sort of collective trance, just waiting for a break in the weather or a change of scenery. Survive the summer any way you can. Sit in a pool. Head to the beach. Think like Chloe and stay inside. Hurry and do something to cool off, before the smoke you smell is your own!

Look up. Clouds are forming. We could use a little magic, or monsoons right now.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a story or a comment? Contact Judy at

[email protected] or at

Send a Message

Whether you have a question about one of my articles, a story you'd like to share, or just want to say hello, you can reach out through this contact form. I'll be happy to hear from you and will do my best to get back to you as soon as possible. Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.