"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Humidity, heat and haze--August

Today's clouds...humid, hot and hazy...August is almost here
August is almost here, and you don't need a calendar to know it. The day's humidity and heat is rising, especially after last night's rain. The sun covers everything with a haze that blurs sharp outlines. It's my least favorite month, even if the days are getting longer. there's supposed to be promise with the coming of the school year, but the heat just drains enthusiasm and spirits, soaking the world in sweat.
For the record, on common years, no other month starts on the same day of the week as August. On leap years, February does. August ends on the same day of the week as November.
It was first called Sextilis in Latin, as the sixth month of the Roman 10-month year in 773 BC, with March the first month. January and February were added about 700  BC, and it was given 29 days. Julius Caesar added two days in 45 BC. It was renamed August in honor of Caesar Augustus in 8 BC, the eighth month  marking the month of many of his triumphs, including the conquest of Egypt. That's more than you kneed to know. It's still one day off, but sine calendars are men's creations, the weather knows, it's just time to be hot.


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