The Best Ways to Spend the Dog Days of Summer in ABQ

What exactly does the expression The Dog Days of Summer really mean, anyway?

Where we are in the Northern Hemisphere, the dog days of summer are experienced in the months of July and August, which typically have the warmest summer temperatures.   

OK, but why Dog Days? The ancient Egyptians, then Greeks and then the Romans referred to the dog days as the hot weather signalled by the nightly appearance of Sirius, known as the Dog Star. 

Sirius, in the constellation of Orion, is the brightest star visible from the earth. The ancient astronomers observed that by the time mid-summer came along, Sirius would rise and fall with the sun  Therefore, they reasoned that since Sirius was so bright and up there with the sun, it must be adding to the heat to produce the hottest time of the year.

Five Places that Have Cockroaches Worse than New Mexico

You'll find them everywhere.  Most of the time, cockroaches are just gross. In some cases, they carry disease.  On the east coast (Boston) where I spent most of my adult life, the cockroaches are a lot smaller and faster than they are in New Mexico. This means these urbanites are a lot harder to catch.  I actually prefer that to these large, slow, more layback cockroaches I've seen here in Albuquerque. 

One of my worst nightmares is accidentally stepping on a highly squashable bug, especially in sandals.   This is definitely possible with the ABQ cockroaches because they are so slow.  They come out at night and just dare you to step on them.  When my daughters were visiting me, they were almost paralyzed walking home to my apartment in Nob Hill because there were so many very squashable cockroaches out.   My daughters, like me, are used to the cockroaches you can't step on because they're too fast.

The type we have in New Mexico are primarily known as the American cockroach.  They're big, brown or black and ugly.  Unlike their cousins on the east coast and elsewhere, they don't need a moist environment to survive. Instead, they live in harsh, dry environments.

But we must be doing something right, because researchers recently discovered 39 new species of cockroaches just in the southwest!  So says Heidi Hopkins, who is a cockroach taxonomic specialist from the University of New Mexico, Museum of Southwestern Biology, Albuquerque.  

For the record, the average cockroach ranges from 0.24 to three inches in length.   And if you think they're bad here, there are many more places where the roaches are worse than you can imagine.  Here are five of them:

5 Reasons to Check Out Summerfest

It's not summer until you've experienced Summerfest (July 18-July20). Held right on Central, Summerfest is a three-day family-friendly event filled with live music, presented by the New Mexico Jazz Festival, food and drinks from local restaurants, along with awesome events throughout the entire festival. Still not convinced, here's five reasons to check out:


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