Shirley A Tully Hubert Knauff John T Shupert Celebrate the sports pages Gould, Woolard, defense lead Hounds to second win George E Lucas Betty A Johnson Hayes sentenced Sue Day Devils headed back to state golf tourney Earl R Fields Alberta L Steward Gregory Terry Linda Taylor Levies slated for November ballot Manchester residents forming neighborhood watch group West Union teachers receive prestigious award Crum arraigned in Brown County Common Pleas Court Seaman: A small town with a big heart and a family spirit Seaman Fall Festival again draws large crowds NAES participates in weekend food program AES Ohio Generation assumes control of DP&L assets West Union, Peebles take home county XC crowns Lady Devils win a soccer buzzer-beater Senior Profile: Brooklyn Wylie Lady Dragons move to districts Green Devils win sectional golf title West Union hosting fourth annual Alumni Volleyball Game Gray breaks Lady Indians’ single season goals record Senior Profile: Chase Cummings Lady Dragons cruise to SHAC title Hupp ties school record with five goals in Lady Devils’ win over Southeastern For 14th time in 15 years, Dragons claim SHAC Boys Golf Championship Getting life in order See those signals of the season Jury returns verdict in former Manchester police officer’s trial Larry Peters Gary L Hughes Sr Deanna L Parker Stephen R Fetters Bonnie Hawkins Clifton J DeMint Steven L Kimberlin When you just know The tradition of the Sunday dinner The emotions of leaving for college A hard habit to break Did it happen or did it not? Southern Ohio Trails Web Portal released Board of Elections announces polling place changes Commissioner Pell to meet with DOE rep Hurricane Relief coming from Adams County People First of Adams County continue their outstanding community work West Union- A town rich in history strives to pave a path to the future Peebles hosts 50th Old Timer’s Days Festival Grant funds build courthouse gazebo Ohio releases school district report cards Locust Grove: A community rich in history provides a haven for simple living A call to action: Find a need and fill it! Senior Profile: Katie Setty ‘Dog Pack Challenge’ returns to Manchester Is the rebuild actually over? Victory Bell stays with the Dragons Defender Bowl four-peat for West Union Senior Profile: Uriah Hall Senior Profile: Gabrielle Lainhart Billy R Deskins William L Tadlock In Winchester, everything coming up vegetables Naomi L Foster Rosemary Staggs Phyllis J Anderson June V Horn Heather L McDaniel George E Copher Cathy Unger West Union goes 3-0 with win over Southern Buckeye Senior Profile: Adam Fulton Lady Indians down Manchester in three sets Lady Dragons roll to 2017 County Cup Gregory L Scott Della M Shoemaker Ohio Outdoors – 2017 After long trek, Greyhounds pick up win number one, 42-6 over Hannan Senior Profile: Noah Lung Rematch goes to North Adams, SHAC winning streak moves to 56 straight Experience rules, Monday Night Football goes to West Union 59-12 Kathy Copas Hughes honors her father’s legacy AEP hosts Family Day Peggy McCarty James A Paul II Joseph F Sarbell Victor L Clifford Joseph F Sarbell Winchester- How an interstate highway changed the face of one small town Facebook – a growing marketplace for local entrepreneurs When kids know best Giving some love to those dog days Junior Fair BBQ again a big success Beulah B James

There really is a fifth season

web1_RickHouser.jpgBy Rick Houser –

As a young boy I always heard the older folks talk about it. As I aged, I  heard of it again but just wasn’t listening closely or just plain not understanding. But these days I’m very certain that what I’ve heard and was very true.  There are five seasons in each year. We have all heard of fall and winter followed by spring and summer, but just as sure as the sun will come up tomorrow, there is one more season. That my friends is The “Dog Days” of summer.
The Dog Days are a season we all experience every year. I looked it up in Webster’s’ Dictionary and it says the following. “Dogs Days”: The sultry part of summer that is supposed to occur during the period that Sirrus, the Dog Star, rises at the same time as the sun: This is from July 3 to August 11 or even into September.  There it is listed in the dictionary and very official for all of us to see.
How can we tell when the dog days are here? To study this I think we need to look back to earlier in the year, back to early spring, when the earth is beginning to thaw out from a long, cold winter. The world begins to come to life as the grass grows greener and the trees begin to bud. Early flowers start their ascent to full bloom in the late spring. Late spring is also when the farmers plant their crops. All of us ,along with the plants and livestock, gather speed trying to take in all that Mother Nature has to offer and is offering all at once.
When late spring exits and early summer enters, the fields come alive with new crops growing and growing fast. When the gardens get their final sowing and plantings, they grow each day with ever more increased optimism. By the Fourth of July most of the flowers have bloomed and have made room for the later varieties and the corn and soy beans are near or above the halfway points of full maturity. With all this, the prime choice hay has been baled and the wheat crops and the straw have been placed in the barn also.
This is what happens leading up to the Dog Days. There is a flurry of activity that passes us by so quickly that we that we don’t see when the world begins to slow down. It comes on so subtle that it is hardly noticeable, but there are definite signs, signs we see or notice but just don’t give them much thought.
A major sign is that the thermometer registers more high numbers than any other time in a year. The world moves into a lull that affects everything and anything that lives.  One rule I always heard was to never go swimming during the Dog Days. Even though I never really understood why it was a rule, I easily followed it because I never learned how to swim.
However, if a person looks at the ponds and watering holes used by country kids, they have become stagnant with algae and become green in cast. That is in no way inviting to me. The pastures have come to a head and lost their seed and now the grass that was so dark green in May is now brown, or the farmer has used the bush hog and removed it. This is important because it allows new growth to begin that gives new grasses to the livestock.
In the evening on a very warm night the yards can be full of fire flies, unlike any other time in a year.  On days when you can’t help sweating a person more than likely will be bothered by big old horse flies.  There are really so many signs we are in the Dog Days that I doubt I can name them all, but one thing is for sure. All of us can see and feel the entire earth slow down to a slower, less urgent pace.
One thing I really liked as a boy to do was explore deep into the woods because it either was cooler or my mind convinced me into feeling cooler.  Then came the one thing I really didn’t like and that was Mom ordering back to school clothes from the Sears Roebuck Catalog. They would arrive and Mom would make us try them on and then put them on hangers for me to look at until that first day of school, such cruel torture. So as the signs arrived in July and we observed and dealt with them into September, the Dog Days arrived  left at usually the exact same time every year. We lived through them and I dare say we enjoyed them way more than the name of the season suggests. Only as I got older did I realize that they were real and I’m gonna guess that in my  younger years I was too busy having fun and playing to fret about what season the calendar was on.
You can see now that there really are five seasons on our calendar  and I guess there always will be. To be honest I can handle horse flies and green water, but I didn’t like that catalog one bit.
Rick Houser grew up on a farm near Moscow in Clermont County and loves to share stories about his youth and other topics. He may be reached at houser734@yahoo.com.

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