Here we are in the sizzling, dazzling month of July, one of the hottest months in the year. July 3 begins the start of what is known as the hot and sultry “Dog Days of Summer” and is also a great month for stargazing and seeing bright planets. The summer of planets begins this month when, in July, the planets Venus and Mercury are visible. In August, the planets of Jupiter and Saturn will be able to be seen. Here are some additional fun facts about the month of July as stated in the “The Old Farmer’s Almanac,” courtesy of Patsy Zima:
- July’s full moon is called the Buck Moon and will be visible around 10:37 p.m. on Friday, July 23. The Buck Moon derives its name from the time of year in which antlers start to appear on young male deer, called bucks. July’s full moon is also known as the Thunder Moon and the Hay Moon.
- Look for the planet Mercury in the eastern sky before sunrise on July 4. You will also be able to see Venus, the evening star, in the western sky this month.
- During the summer months, the Summer Triangle is visible in the southern sky, a distinctive three-cornered pattern formed by the stars Vega, Altair, and Deneb.
- July is named after the Roman dictator Julius Caesar, who developed the precursor to the Gregorian calendar we use today
- The flowers significant to July are the water lily and the larkspur. The white larkspur generally indicates lightheartedness; pink, fickleness; and purple, first love. In general, larkspur is the flower most associated with strong bonds of love. The water lily symbolizes purity and majesty, often used in ponds to shade and cool frogs and fish.
- The American flag is fondly known as The Stars and Stripes, but its original origin is part of American folklore. Some believe Betsy Ross designed and sewed the first flag, but there is no true proof of this. She did make ensigns and pennants for the Philadelphia Navy during the war. Many towns throughout our country claim to be the birthplace of the American flag.
- The Continental Congress left no record as to why it chose the colors red, white, and blue for the American flag. However, in 1782, the Congress of the Articles of Confederation chose the colors for the Great Seal of the United States with these meanings:
1. White for purity and innocence
2. Red for valor and hardiness
3. Blue for vigilance, perseverance, and justice
- The American flag is usually taken indoors at night out of respect, but, if illuminated, can be flown in evening hours.
- In the United States, July 4 is Independence Day, a celebration of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. John Adams envisioned this day of celebration to be filled with fun, games, and fireworks – not an occasion for displaying military strength.
- However, you choose to celebrate Independence Day this year, remember to raise high with pride the Red, White, and Blue and give thanks for the freedoms this great country enjoys.
Edited by Diana Blidy