August arrived today.

As with everything else, the month can indicate whether you are an optimist or a pessimist; whether your glass is half full or half empty.

August is associated with "dog days," meaning some of the warmest summer temperatures could still arrive. It's something many don't want to hear after the scorching July we've endured, and it's not an absolute.

Wikipedia says dog days were popularly believed to be an evil time "the sea boiled, the wine turned sour, dogs grew mad, and all other creatures became languid; causing to man, among other diseases, burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies." according to Brady's "Clavis Calendaria, 1813."

Many old timers warned that dog days were a time when dogs were most likely to attack or bite. Of course, others tend to brush this off as just plain folk lore.

There's another thing to consider this month. There are two full moons.

Tonight is the "Full Sturgeon Moon."

According to Farmer's Almanac, some Native American tribes knew that the sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were most readily caught during this full moon. Others called it the Green Corn Moon or the Grain Moon.

There is a second full moon on Aug. 31. The second full moon in a month is commonly called a Blue Moon. This occurs about every 2.5 years.

Astronomers and some photographers love full moons. It gives them opportunities with their telescopes and cameras.

Romantics enjoy full moons and August affords them the opportunity to have two of them in just one month.

On the other hand, there are some who feel the full moon brings the worst out of mischievous or neurotic individuals, causing them to act worse than normal.

Some feel that the full moon affects anything from animals to children. Nurses blame a full moon for more chaos and incoming patients. Police have linked full moons to aggressive behavior.

While some dwell on the negative aspects of dog days and full moons of August, most people enjoy the month.

It's an ideal time of the year for vacationing whether to the shore, some state park, theme parks, or virtually anywhere.

Excluding a hurricane occasionally in August, the weather is normally fantastic. It's ideal for outdoor activities.

So be an optimist. Don't worry about the dog days. Enjoy the two full moons with your telescope, your camera, or your honey.

For youngsters, there is one small thing to consider. It means that school days are just around the corner.

By RON GOWER

rgower@tnonline.com