Cape foxes in the Kalahari Desert in South Africa
Dog days of summer
These playful Cape foxes in the Kalahari Desert are here to celebrate the arrival of the dog days of summer. They might not be the dogs you first think of, but Cape foxes are from the same family (Canidae) as the pups you know and love. Partly to escape the heat of the desert scrubland, the Cape fox is most active just before dawn or after dusk so is usually spotted during the early mornings and early evenings.
If you’re wondering how the phrase ‘dog days of summer’ came about, just look up. In summer in the Northern Hemisphere, around the time of the summer solstice, the star called Sirius makes its return to the night sky after its winter absence. Better known as the Dog Star (because it’s part of the Canis Major constellation) Sirius is by far the brightest star in the night sky. At this time of year it becomes visible again above the horizon for a moment just before sunrise.