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Sweet, sweet, sweet, Is the wind’s song, Astir in the rippled wheat All day long.
Basil has a famous affinity for tomatoes. All along the Mediterranean coast, from the French Riviera to the toe of Italy, a common lunch of uncommon perfection is a crusty roll split and filled with sliced ripe tomatoes, a dash of salt, a generous splash of olive oil, and a few basil leaves, all gently squashed so that the juices soak into the bread.
The basil plant has accumulated considerable folklore. One of the oddest beliefs about basil is that if it is handled roughly, it will breed scorpions. The medieval Doctrine of Signatures, which asserted that “like cures like,” assigned basil as a cure for insect bites.
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. Go to our Moon page for more full Moon names.
August 17—Cat Nights Commence
The term “Cat Nights” harks back to a rather obscure Irish legend concerning witches and the belief that a witch could turn herself into a cat eight times, but on the ninth time, August 17, she couldn’t regain her human form. This bit of folklore also led to the idea that a cat has nine lives. Since August is a “yowly” time for cats, this may have prompted the speculation about witches on the prowl. Send a special e-card to a cat lover you know.
August 19—National Aviation Day (and Orville Wright’s Birthday)
Celebrate everything related to aviation and airplanes today. On December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright were able to launch their handmade airplane and watch it fly for 12 seconds and a total distance of 120 feet. National Aviation Day was established in 1939 to be celebrated on the anniversary of Orville Wright’s birth date, August 19, 1871.