Michael W Milby James R Grooms Sr. Fall Festival crowns Little Miss and Mister UPDATE: Pike County multiple murder Investigation; redacted autopsy reports released West Union Elementary names August Students of the Month SHAC streak continues for North Adams volleyball West Union volleyball picks up a pair of W’s Animal Shelter booth sees record crowds at Old Timer’s Day Festival Dragons top Manchester in Defender Bowl battle, 28-22 Senior Profile: Kendall Gallowitz Lady Dragons grab early lead in SHAC Tourney, final round is coming Friday Another Old Timer’s Days in the books and successful Run Gio Foundation to hold Oct. 1 benefit in Adams County Betty L Kelley Tom Cross, ACTVB Director, to receive ODNR Cardinal Award Seaman Fall Festival begins Wednesday, runs through Saturday Dragons still lead after two rounds of SHAC Golf, McCarty tops individual leader board Lady Dragons get SHAC win, downing Fayetteville 3-1 Overcoming obstacles, Pennywitt etches his name in MHS record books Dragons take first day lead in SHAC Golf Tourney New drug treatment offers more hope for recovering addicts Ronnie G Nace Lucille Wright Lois M Bixler Time to change those soccer rules Senior Profile: Hannah Grimes ‘Cruising up and down the main drag all night long’ Community effort erects town clock S Bridge to be replaced on Graces Run Road Senior Profile: Brittany Caldwell Lady Dragons break ACCC course record Dragons roll in county gridiron battle Down to last play, Hounds fall in heartbreaker I never won, but those lawn games were special times Donnie Austin Shari R Hiltibran Bentonville hosts 40th Annual Harvest Festival West Union soccer teams sweep Williamsburg, St. Patrick “Rockin” the mats again Senior Profile: Brittany Caldwell Sylvester Mefford Local teens selected to State 4-H Teen Leadership Council Connect with Serpent Mound over Old Timer’s Days Guthrie to speak about pests and diseases in beekeeping Old Timers Days Festival Cornhole Tournament is this week Defender Bowl coming Thursday Bentonville Harvest Festival holds Toddler Pageants 40th Anniversary Bentonville Harvest Festival hosts Baby Show 9/11 Reminds Us That We Are All Americans Lady Dragons are 2016 County Cup winners Bob Birchfield Senior Profile: Ryan Henderson Dragons take JV golf match Another rough night for Greyhounds, Notre Dame rolls to big win Remembering 9/11-15 years later Hughes honored at GABP Concussions and Youth Sports Roberta Newman to retire after more than 46 years at First State Bank Reaching out to the Baton Rouge flood victims Bentonville Harvest Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary Fire it up! Annual Jr. Fair BBQ cooks up another savory fare Lady Indians take down Whiteoak in four sets Senior Profile: Zack Best Greyhounds produce three winners at the 2016 Dragon Run Lady Hounds win in five sets at West Union Teresa Houdeshell Rosa Grooms Roy C Shiveley Mathew R Potts Staggs and Louiso to visit nation’s capital MLSD board members disagree on the merits of drug-testing students Law enforcement will target impaired drivers Labor Day weekend Figgins goal gives Devils a 1-0 win over West Union Lady Devils soccer rolls past West Union 9-1 Senior Profile: Madison Jenkins Boys golf season in full swing in county Winchester Homecoming Festival beats the heat and the storm I learned a lot from Rusty Verona McRoberts Lester Boldman Elsworth Cook Jr Harold L Applegate Governor Kasich honors Defender’s 150th anniversary ACRMC offers Language Interpretation Greyhounds stumble in opener, Green rushing attack leads to big win Notre Dame drops North Adams in straight sets SENIOR PROFILE: Gavin Baldwin Lady Dragons win Friday match at ACCC Juanita Lee Annual Junior Fair Beef BBQ is Thursday night Earl Jackson It was really worth the wait Barnes retires from Water District Board of Trustees Blanton rape, kidnapping trial continues at courthouse Serpent Mound hosts Archaeology Day Local woman receives Red Cross Hero award Republican committee appoints new Commissioner Officer Hayes reinstated in Manchester The Edge: Previewing the 2016 Ohio State Buckeyes West Union golfers have the experience of a lifetime

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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