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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Blue Moon Magic of Dog Days

~ antlered male white tail deer ~
The above photo hasn't anything to do with dogs or blue or moon but it could be argued it is a magical. Let's face it: have you ever seen an antlered male (or any gender) deer urinating? It's rare and this is the first time I've ever seen, or captured in a photograph, such a sight. Dear God, thank YOU for nature...I LOVE IT!

As an aside, I don't doctor my photos as (1) I'm too lazy, (2) because pretty is as pretty does, (3) it's fake, false, faux, (4) time is sorely limited. On rare occasions I will crop a photo with key word being rare. Heck, I barely have time to post two or three times a week and have to choose wisely where my time is invested.

~ TCF ~

At Thistle Cove Farm, we're firmly in the grips of Dog Days leading to a Blue Moon on July 31st. If you're wondering, dog days are between early July and early September, but usually ending by late August when the heat of summer is stultifying and the humidity threatens to suppress deep breathing. (Thank God, yet another reason to put off yoga or any other form of exercise save walking in the cool (being a relative term) of the evening.) 

~ days old fawn ~

Anyway, back to dog days. In the millennium of yesteryear, the ancients would connect the dots of the heavenly stars and come up with bears, dippers, bulls, twins and any manner of beings. Mind, this was before light pollution but at Thistle Cove Farm, during each months darkened nights, such sights are still readily seen. Many nights, much to the dog's dismay, I go for a walk at 0:dark thirty simply to hear the nightingale sing and to see the diamonds of the Milky Way cast across the night sky. I can imagine God, shaking a handful of stars in preparation to slinging them away from Him. Much like those ejits do when playing roulette or dice or some other form of "entertainment" designed to separate fools and their money.

Canis Major, the big dog, is Sirius (yes, that is where XM radio got their name) and it is the brightest star in the southern night sky. In summer, Sirius rises and sets with the sun and in late July, is in conjunction with the sun thus leading the old timers to believe its heat (brightest star = heat) made sultry and hot weather. The period 20 days before and 20 days after this conjunction are the "Dog Days of Summer" and are generally between 3 July and 11 August.

On the 31st of this month, hopefully we'll see (as in no cloud cover) a Blue Moon, meaning the second full moon of the same month. A full moon is when, in this order, the sun, earth and moon line up and the light of the sun shines directly onto the moon. I've read it's also when lunar energy is most intense, whatever that means. There are all kinds of sayings regarding both moons..."take back control of your life", "it's a magical, mystical time" and so forth but I say if you're waiting for a full or blue moon to take back control of your life, well, it's no wonder your life is in a mess. In the first place, never give up control of your life (unless it's to Jesus) and secondly, if you do give up control (unless it's to Jesus), take back control ASAP and don't wait for the moon to do her thing. I mean...seriously folks, we get one shot at this thing called life so make it count.

This button buck, meaning it's a young male with antlers beginning to grow, was being dive bombed by a red wing blackbird; their antics were amusing to watch.

In the morning, some of the barn cats sit in the window, waiting on breakfast. I try to finish outside chores by late morning then do inside chores until late afternoon. Sometimes the plan comes together but on days like today, when the temps are in the 90's and the heat index is nasty, even working inside produces rivulets of water dripping down my body.

It's dog days with a vengeance and 11 August looks a long ways off.

Blessings ~ healthy animals ~ white tailed deer ~ buck deer ~ Sirius XM Radio ~ Luna Moths ~ Dogs Days ~ Blue Moon ~


  1. Interesting knowledge about "dog-days" - beautiful rare photos of secret moments with lovely animals in the wilderness and in your barn!

  2. Beautiful pics. Love the Luna. We don't have them where I live.

  3. Hi Sandra, Enjoyed learning some new info in your great post. Wonderful pics and rare with the deer. The cats in the window look so cute waiting patiently for breakfast.
    Lovely Luna moth. Thanks for sharing.
    Stay cool~~
    Blessings, cm

  4. I am having a hard time painting a deers face. may copy yours. Be cool darling lady. It is gonna be hot. yvonne

  5. If I had a nickel for every bit of info I've learned and forgotten . . . thanks for reminding me what a blue moon is. When I was little I thought dog days were when it was so hot even the dogs couldn't get moving. I now know it's something about the dog star, but you've set me straight again about the dates . . .
    Sounds lovely to go for a walk and see all the stars. Too much light pollution here unfortunately.

  6. All of your photos are wonderful but the cats in the barn window is adorable! I do hope we'll be able to view the moon without clouds blocking it. We're having much needed rain all evening here now. Sandra, I am going to click on the farm sale section and send a link to it to our son, just in case they'll be filming more. Wouldn't that be exciting! And he'd get to meet you then!


  7. I always wondered what the term "dog days" meant.

  8. Sorry you're experiencing such heat at the moment Sandra. We're nice and cool over here in England at the moment but August is yet to come. I dare say that the night sky is spectacular where you are. Here we have the orange glow of the city nearby but there are some places we can go to watch. Saturn is too low on the horizon here to be seen very often and the Pole Star is the brightest in our northern skies.
    Your animal pictures are lovely.

  9. gosh that moth is something else and nope I've never seen any wild animal come to think of it urinating too funny. Super post and hopefully we do get a Blue Moon :-).

  10. Great photos Sandra. I think my favorite is the barn cats in the window.

    It is very warm and humid down here, feels like a sauna even early in the mornings. Cooler weather won't start for us until Oct/Nov.

    Hope your day is a good one.

    Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

  11. WOW! You have captured some pretty rare (for me!) photos of nature that I'd love to here in Minneapolis, even here in the city I've been able to see fox, wild turkeys, hawks of course, eagles and even deer! But an antlered male? Never! What a joy it is to be a witness to all of these things! Thank you so much for coming to visit my post; I don't swim either thanks to my dear father who was deathly afraid of the water, but I have a deep love (and respect) for it, and our vacation in June to Carmel was a dream. A total dream. Like you, ankle depth is about all I'll engage in, but oh, the sound and feel and pull of the moon's gravity as the waves obey its commands.....

  12. Thanks for the education, sweet Sandra. I didn't know why they were called the "dog days" of summer, but now I do! And I also didn't know what a blue moon was. Pretty sad, huh? Your pics are wonderful!

  13. That last photo of the cats is a "to die for" image. I love it!

    My birthday is August 11 -- I didn't realize it was the end of dog days! A double celebration, although I have to say I love the heat so long as it isn't accompanied by terrible humidity and so far, so good here in Michigan. We'll see how it goes, though!

  14. Dog Days vengeance here for sure . . . yikes . . . to say it mildly.
    I enjoyed your info and I am still giggling at your photo catch of the "peeing deer!"
    It would probably never be a photo one would catch if they were "sitting in a deer blind" with high hopes.
    I would say, evidence of "marking my territory" for sure!

  15. Such great photos! My DH looked into our back yard while I was away in Italy and saw 4 velvety bucks grazing and looking around. If I hadn't been seeing sights of my own I would have been jealous!

    Oh! These dog days of summer! I didn't know the celestial reason. Thanks for explaining it. I;m looking for the cool days of October now.

  16. I too love to step outside and gaze at the stars. It's hard for me to imagine that there are people who live in large cities that have never had that privilege. Imagine living your whole life and never experiencing the awesomeness of a starry nighttime sky. The lunar moth is gorgeous and so are those sweet kitties in the window. Stay cool my friend. Fall is closer today than it was yesterday!!!

  17. What lovely pictures. Thank you for sharing the beautify of God's amazing creation.

  18. Beautiful photos. We see a lot of deer here in the mountains. They are fascinating creatures.

  19. Whenever I read your blog I receive a great sense of peace. It is almost as though quiet serenity exudes from the computer screen right into my very being. Thank you for the beautiful photos, your words and your information. Like everyone I always learn something here, but even more I am touched.

  20. Aw! All kinds of good creatures!
    I love the cats.

  21. I would love to see a Luna Moth...I have always loved the moon, a blue moon makes it even more special. Love the song "Once in a Very Blue Moon" by Nanci Griffith.

  22. I do hope and pray that these dog days in the South will be gone by August 11, but I doubt it around here :) We seem to go on into Sept., I'm afraid. You do get cooler there in your Appalachian valley, thankfully. Lovely photos. Stay cool!

  23. Your common sense made me chuckle more then a few times while reading.

    I saw the Blue Moon last night. Being a night owl, I stayed up as long as i could in hopes of making it to 5:42 to see its fullest. Had a better chance of that happening than getting up at that time. Didn't make either. But got a photo pretty close.

    Hope the sweat slows down soon. Won't for me in Texas but hope you get some relief. Enjoyed the visit.


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