Monday, 1 July 2019

July Days

 July is named in honour of Julius Caesar, July usually contains some good hot days and these are sometimes referred to as Dog Days. At this time of year Sirius, the dog star, rises at the same time as the sun and was thought by the ancient Romans to give the sun extra heat. The Dog days run from July 3rd until August 11th
As the dog days commence, so they end

Anglo-Saxon names for the month are Heymonath or Meadmonath referring to haymaking and the flowering of the meadows.

 Apparently the word July used to be pronounced with the stress on the first syllable as in duly and truly. It changed to the way we say it now during the 17th century.

 Below are a couple of pages from The Country Diary book and The Nature Notes book - both by Edith Holden

Meadow sweet is one of the plants that has now disappeared from the lane by the ditch due to the two neighbours down the lane clearing and leveling all the soil. Although I still have plenty of nettles for the butterflies! Red Admiral, Tortoiseshell and Peacock Butterfly larvae all need nettles to feed on.
I haven't seen many butterflies yet this year. Just Meadow Brown and then The Painted Lady which have arrived en-masse to this country - (see Si's blog HERE).

July 15th is St Swithin's Day and everyone knows about the weather on that day being the same for the next 40 days......supposedly!

St Swithin's Day, if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain.
St Swithin's Day, if thou be fair
For forty days, twill rain no more.

Writers have looked back to historic records and found that on average only 17 days after St Swithins will have rain and never have 40 days of rain been recorded - Thank goodness!

There was also a belief about the ripening of apples. It was thought that if it rained on the 15th the Saint was christening the apples and there would be a good harvest. In many areas no one would eat an apple before this day but after the 15th windfall apples could be used for jam making.
'Til St Swithins Day be past
Apples be not fit to taste 
Back Tomorrow 


  1. I'd never heard that fact about apples and St Swithin before. I learn so many new things via your blog. :-)

    1. I've got so few apples this year that I'll be waiting for them to be as ripe as possible before I use them

  2. Good to know there won't be 40 days of rain, should it be wet on St Swithin's day!

  3. I love these posts Sue, they are so interesting.

    1. Thank you - I hope I don't repeat myself from one year to another too much

  4. Ah but you can have 40 days of rain in one day - like when our cottage flooded - 5 continuous hours of torrential rain!!
    July is my birthday month so I love it even more - thank goodness my mum didn't call me Swithina or something!

    1. 40 days of rain in 5 hours is - hopefully - a one off event!
      Hope the cottage is gradually getting sorted out

    2. We are moving on it now - after the 3 year fight with the insurance company we were exhausted and I did lose heart to get motivated and the caravan is really cosy which probably doesn't help us to get moving any quicker!

  5. Goodness me, I just found your blog by happenstance this morning, what a find.
    Thank you for the pleasure, how lovely to read unexpectedly all about St Swithin's traditions in Ellenwood, Georgia, USA on the 1st of July. I am originally from Rushmere St Andrew...lovely spot.

    1. Hello and welcome, hope you like reading.
      I've been through Rushmere hundreds of times as we lived over by the coast for many years so went through to Ipswich etc.

  6. So love learning all these fun facts - thank you.

  7. None of my apples will be big enough to do anything with until end of August I should think. I have just been looking up about thinning them and it recommends leaving just ONE fruit per cluster. I'd have no apples at all if I did that - instead of giving away boxfuls to neighbours!

    I love the word "Meadmonath" - the Meadowsweet is in full bloom here - I mentioned it to Keith yesterday as we drove down our lane.