Enjoy the Dog Days of Summer

With summer waning it really becomes a matter of squeezing as much fun as possible into the remaining days of summer vacation.  Luckily, the Park Authority has some great ideas you can find in our Calendar of Events. And please, keep in mind Hidden Oaks Nature Center, newly reopened after extensive renovations specializes in end of summer activities and information!

During the dog days of summer, staying hydrated is critical. A founding member of the Fairfax County Park Authority’s Four-Footed Furry Fan Club, Jojo, demonstrates a key strategy for maintaining your cool, lapping up plenty of cool, clear water. Whereas dogs do not sweat through their skin, they do perspire through their paw pads. Dogs pant to help evaporate water from their insides and, ideally drink a lot of water.

The term “dog days” has roots in Ancient Greece. The time of year when the Northern Hemisphere’s humidity and temperatures are high traditionally starts in mid-July and can continue into September. This coincides with the rising of Sirius system, also known as the  Dog Star. During this uncomfortable time, thunderstorms and drought occur. Sages believed fever, mad dogs and bad luck followed in its wake.

Even with air conditioning, everyone, especially those who work outside, suffer the Dog Days of summer. Tips to care for avoiding both the lethargy and the discomfort associated with the end of summer include staying hydrated and taking frequent rest breaks. Keep a close eye on the weather and when you hear thunder, get inside. Do not shelter under a tree. Dress in cool fabrics and slow down your outdoor activity.

At a recent Hidden Oaks Nature Center camp, participants cooled off with water and bubble play. Naturalist Alex Doumbia found it cool, in multiple definitions of the word, to be encased in a bubble by the campers.

Credit: Kari Schilling

For more “cool” outdoor programs, check out Parktakes Online.

Hidden Oaks Nature Center is at 7701 Royce St., Annandale, VA.

This entry was posted in nature, Resource Management and tagged , , on by .

About Fairfax County Park Authority

About Fairfax County Park Authority HISTORY: On December 6, 1950, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors created the Fairfax County Park Authority. The Park Authority was authorized to make decisions concerning land acquisition, park development and operations in Fairfax County, Virginia. To date, 13 park bond referenda have been approved between 1959 and 2016. Today, the Park Authority has 427 parks on more than 23,000 acres of land. We offer 325 miles of trails, our most popular amenity. FACILITIES: The Park system is the primary public mechanism in Fairfax County for the preservation of environmentally sensitive land and resources, areas of historic significance and the provision of recreational facilities and services including: • Nine indoor RECenters with swimming pools, fitness rooms, gyms and class spaces. Cub Run features an indoor water park and on-site naturalist • Eight golf courses from par-3 to championship level, four driving ranges including the new state-of-the-art heated, covered range at Burke Lake Golf Center • Five nature and visitor centers. Also nine Off-Leash Dog Activity areas • Three lakefront parks including Lake Fairfax, Lake Accotink and Burke Lake, with campgrounds at Burke Lake and Lake Fairfax. The Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole at Lake Fairfax, Our Special Harbor Sprayground at Lee as well as an indoor water park at Cub Run RECenter • Clemyjontri Park, a fully accessible playground in Great Falls featuring two acres of family friendly fun and a carousel, as well as Chessie’s Big Backyard and a carousel at the Family Recreation Area at Lee District Park • An ice skating rink at Mount Vernon RECenter and the Skate Park in Wakefield Park adjacent to Audrey Moore RECenter • Kidwell Farm, a working farm of the 1930s-era at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon, now with historic carousel • Eight distinctive historic properties available for rent • A working grist mill at Colvin Run in Great Falls and a restored 18th century home at Sully Historic Site in Chantilly • A horticulture center at Green Spring Gardens in Annandale • Natural and cultural resources protected by the Natural Resource Management Plan and Cultural Resource Plans, plus an Invasive Management Area program that targets alien plants and utilizes volunteers in restoring native vegetation throughout our community • Picnic shelters, tennis courts, miniature golf courses, disc golf courses, off-leash dog parks, amphitheaters, a marina, kayaking/canoeing center • Provides 263 athletic fields, including 39 synthetic turf fields, and manages athletic field maintenance services at 417 school athletic fields. PARK AUTHORITY BOARD: A 12-member citizen board, appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, sets policies and priorities for the Fairfax County Park Authority. Visit https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news2/social-hub/ for Fairfax County Government's Comment Policy.

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