DOG DAYS…POLAR BEAR DAYS

I have always been fascinated by the words “Dog Days” which refers to that part of summer between July 24 and August 24..according to the ancient Romans. Dog Days originated due to the Dog Star “Sirius”— which must have prominently appeared at that time of summer. It has come to mean the sultry hot days of late summer..when dogs (real ones) seek relief from the heat by doing doggie things like digging holes in dirt–often in their Mistresses’s flower gardens in order to stay cool.
I have thought about how these days could be Polar Bear Days…cold and white….frigid nights and mornings, fields covered by white snow– whiter than even a polar bear’s coat which looks a bit yellow-ish when you see colored photos of polar bears.
These bears are one of the largest land mammals..although they also spend a lot of time swimming in arctic seas even at the coldest times of winter. Polar bears are carnivores exclusively, feeding on seals and walrus carcases and whale carcases as well.
Polar bears have special hollow hairs and an extra layer of fat under their skin which helps them conserve heat, Their skin is also black under that white fur which absorbs sun light better than pink skin.The only part of their black skin that shows is their black noses.
They go into hibernation at the beginning of the arctic winter (October) and stay there til February or March when even the Arctic regions begin to warm up a bit. They usually emerge from their dens (often snow caves) with new born cubs….usually two of them. Actually the cubs are a few months old because they are born as tiny things and do their growing in the snow cave after they are born.. drinking the rich milk from their mothers, so that by the time they emerge with their mothers they are bigger and somewhat independent.
Polar bears have been known to go ashore in northern Canada especially in the town/city of Churchill on the southern end of Hudson’s Bay. The huge bears often terrorize Churchill residents because they are in search of food, often ransacking garbage cans or garbage dumps.
So how can humans spend Polar Bear Days?
Hibernate inside your house(your den); enter a cave on your couch under soft warm blankets. Even though real Polar Bears do not read..human polar bears can pass time reading books…novels or good nonfiction. Polar bears can go a long time with no food…there the similarity to human polar bears ends..most hibernatinbg humans have a need for more food..maybe out of boredom..maybe out of a need to eat more calories in the cold time of polar bear days. (you can lose extra weight during Dog Days in July and August when it is so hot and muggy you do not feel like eating much…but drink lots of water!!)
A word of warning to human polar bears in February….do NOT go rummaging in neighbors’ garbage cans or in landfills near you…..be sensible and eat meat or fish!
Whatever you do..female Polar Bears..do not give birth to twins on your sofa while you are sleeping….it would be a terrible shock to wake up to such an occurence!!

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