Dog Days of Summer

The month of August is historically known as the Dog Days of Summer which “refers to a period of particularly hot and humid weather occurring during the summer months of July and August in the Northern Hemisphere” ( and dates back to ancient Greek, Roman & Egyptian traditional beliefs.

Sammy, Mel’s dog

Astronomy even plays a role in deciphering when the “dog days” will be each year. Sirius the Dog Star, is a part of the constellation known as Canis Majoris and is associated with nearby Orion the Hunter.

Kali, Kris’s dog

Other than our solar system’s Sun, Sirius is the brightest star that we can see. When Sirius rises at dawn, that signals the beginning of the “dog days,” which were believed to be higher temps and more humidity.

Pangu, Ben’s dog

(If you’ve read/seen Harry Potter, you might learn something about the character Sirius as well!)

As a part of this activity, we ask that you do several things:

  1. Take a picture of your dog in an ORK pet bandana, share with us or tag us on social media. 
  2. See what else you can research and learn about the history of the Dog Days of Summer.
  3. Try to find Sirius the Dog Star in the night sky (If you need help locating it, there are several free apps to learn about stars and constellations).

Throughout month of August only, our pet bandanas will be on sale for $7!

Dexter, Victoria’s dog
Maisie, Meaghan’s dog


Responsible Hunting and Fishing

Everyone can be environmental stewards and lead by example with responsible and ethical outdoor practices, especially when it comes to hunting and fishing. There are 3 main ways you can help:

  1. Take the GA DNR required Hunters Safety Course. After completion, you buy a Hunting/Fishing license to help support conservation and for data analysis of wildlife management (more info below).
  2. Properly dispose of animal remains and fishing tackle – NOT in a waterway. Many boat landings have receptacles specifically for plastic fishing line.
  3. Join the Georgia Hunters for the Hungry program and donate wild game to families in need.

One of the best ways all of us can create a better public understanding of hunting and fishing is to create a better public awareness of the important role that hunters and anglers have played in conservation and improving our natural resources. Together with hunting and fishing license fees, federal aid programs have funded game animals and sport fish conservation, habitat acquisition and outdoor recreation opportunities both in Georgia and throughout the country.


Licenses & Seasons

In the State of Georgia, a license is required to hunt and/or fish. You can buy an individual hunting or fishing license, or the combined Sportsman license. In general, licenses last one year from the date of purchase. View the options to choose the right one for you. 

It is now required to order a saltwater license (free addition) if you buy the Sportsman or fishing license, as well as a harvest record for hunting certain species.

Data collection helps with population control, wildlife management, reducing poaching and illegal activity, amongst many other reasons. If you see suspicious activity, report immediately to your local game warden.

Follow all hunting season guidelines. They are part of the responsible management of the species numbers and health, as well as for the safety of fellow hunters and fishers. 

Deer hunting season dates for the entire Ogeechee River Basin: 

Archery begins on September 9 and ends on Oct. 13; Firearms begins October 24. Both end on January 15. See a full list of season dates

Proper removal of hunted animals

Did you know that dumping animal remains in a waterway does more harm than good? By throwing remains in the waterway, it can create harmful bacteria buildup that hurts humans, animals, and plants. The parts left behind are not sought after by most fish or aquatic animals, or will take too long for them to break down, causing harmful bacteria during decay. It is best to either bury the entrails and bones, or leave them on the land (away from roads) for vultures and other carrion to eat. Let’s thank nature’s garbage disposals for doing their jobs! 

More: Wild Game Processors in Georgia

“Hunters, you can help protect the Georgia deer herd from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a fatal disease affecting deer. This disease has not been detected in our state and you can be instrumental in keeping it out,” says Killmaster. “Do not bring live deer, whole carcasses or heads into Georgia, know what parts you can bring back from an out-of-state hunt, and report deer with any disease symptoms. You can find more info at”


Your dog loves venison more than you, I guarantee. Here’s a super simple and quick recipe for venison jerky for your furry friend. This will save you money on dog treats too!

David Turko, Macaulay Library

Other Important Dates:

Not sure if it’s for you but want to give hunting or fishing a try? September 23 is National Hunting and Fishing Day (no license required)!

Deer hunting season for the entire Ogeechee River Basin:
Archery: Begins September 9.
Firearms: Begins October 24.
Both end on January 15.

Submit your photos and stories of responsible sportsmanship to or tag us on social media.

Flower Power


In our area, late spring and early summer is the perfect time to watch the transition of the seasons and all the blooms that change along with it. The adjustments in temperature and rainfall affects when certain plant species bloom and bear fruit. The seasons prompt gardeners and farmers to plant new crops, and they stimulate new flowers and fruits to bloom. 

Alter your perspective on these changes by taking photos of the same plants each day. Watch how time passes when you review your images.

You can do this in your backyard, a neighborhood greenspace or venture out to new place. A smartphone camera works just as well as a professional camera. Play around with the natural light at different times of the day, different cloud cover, or just after a rain when the petals and leaves are still wet. Use natural lighting, test the macro settings, and capture the smells and sights of different flower blooms!

Earth Month Pledge

The month of April is known for Earth Day. This year, ORK challenges everyone to make a pledge for the month of April and complete a service project that benefits the environment. 

Stick with one type of service or do several things. Get creative! Here are some suggestions:

  • Litter cleanups on public land or in your neighborhood
  • Plant a pollinator garden at home, school, or work
  • Start a Sustainability Club at school or work
  • Only shop with reusable bags
  • Save water in your home to water your plants and keep track of how much water is saved with a pitcher or 2L bottle)
  • Only shop at thrift stores or consignment stores for clothing and household items

Bonus: If you are located within the Ogeechee River watershed, ORK can provide volunteer credit for service. Provide the following: location of service, photos of service, and total volunteer hours for April in order to receive credit. Send it to

Amphibian Activity

Fort Stewart Army Base is home to the only remaining documented colony of frosted flatwoods salamanders in Georgia; The only other two groupings of the black-bodied amphibians with mottled bands of silvery white anywhere else on Earth are in Florida, although they once inhabited thousands of wetlands along the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. (, March 6, 2021)

Listen to the story

Research everything you can find on the frosted flatwoods salamander (Ambystoma cingulatum). What does it look like? Use specific adjectives to describe it so that you can identify it if you’re lucky enough to see it in the wild.

What kind of habitat does it need? Does it live near you? What does it eat? What are its life stages? 

Vocabulary: Define these terms while doing your research:

  • Amphibian
  • Reptile
  • Cutaneous Respiration
  • Ectothermic
  • Endangered Status
  • Threatened Status
  • Deforestation

Once you have enough information, go into your backyard or neighborhood and see if the conditions are right for the frosted flatwoods salamander.

This species is unique in Georgia to the Ogeechee River basin and listed as federally threatened conservation status. Why is it threatened? What can we do to protect it?

Submit your ideas and ORK will share with the biologists at Fort Stewart.

Activity is open to all ages and meets the needs or can be combined with other activities for the following Georgia Standards of Excellence: Science

  • S3L1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the similarities and differences between plants, animals, and habitats found within geographic regions (Blue Ridge Mountains, Piedmont, Coastal Plains, Valley and Ridge, and Appalachian Plateau) of Georgia.
  • S3L2. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the effects of pollution (air, land, and water) and humans on the environment.
  • S4L1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the roles of organisms and the flow of energy within an ecosystem.
  • S4E3. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to demonstrate the water cycle.
  • S5L1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to group organisms using scientific classification procedures.
  • S6E3. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to recognize the significant role of water in Earth processes.
  • S7L4. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to examine the interdependence of organisms with one another and their environments.