July is the month when summer has a firm hold on all of us. The average temperature just about everywhere in the country is above 70ºF, and thunderstorms are nearly as abundant as ants at a picnic.
The farmers grind and whet their scythes,
While hay-stacks in the meadows rise:
Green fields and shady groves appear,
And rip’ning harvest crowns the year.
–The 1973 [Old] Farmer’s Almanac
July received its name in order to honor the Roman dictator Julius Caesar (100 B.C.–44 B.C.). With the help of Sosigenes, Caesar developed the precursor to the Gregorian calendar we use today.
On July 3, the hot and sultry Dog Days begin! Read all about the Dog Days of Summer.
July also brings two other days of independence: Canada Day (July 1), which commemorates the creation of the Dominion of Canada, and Bastille Day (July 14), which commemorates the storming of the Bastille (the start of the French Revolution).
July’s zodiac signs are Cancer (June 21 to July 22) and Leo (July 23 to August 22). Find out your zodiac sign profile.
Recipes for the Season
Visit our Fourth of July recipe page for a list of festive food ideas!
Visit the garden-fresh Summer Recipes collection for great meal ideas using fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Now all hands to haying; begin by mowing the ripest and thinnest first.
Look to your gardens; see that you destroy all kinds of weeds before they go to seed.
In July, summer bugs are at their best (or worst, as the case may be). Get help on our pests and problems page.
Are your crops starting to take over your kitchen? Check out some of our storage tips for fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
Warm weather allows us to get outside and complete some annual household duties.
Do you have some painting to do? Learn how to choose and use the right paintbrush for the job.
Many folks sell their house in the summer. Check out our tips on a speedy house sale.
On July 3, Earth is at aphelion, the point in its orbit at which it is farthest from the Sun. The distance between the two orbs will be 94,505,982 miles.
Look up! Summer is a great time for stargazing. See our Sky Watch highlights to know what’s you’re seeing above.
Folklore for the Season
- Ne’er trust a July sky.
- If ant hills are high in July, the coming winter will be hard.
- As July, so next January.
No tempest, good July,
Lest the corn look ruely.
Whatever July and August do not boil,
September can not fry.
July Birth Flower
July’s birth flowers are the larkspur and water lily.
The larkspur, especially white forms, generally indicates lightheartedness; pink, fickleness; purple, first love.
The water lily symbolizes purity of heart. Find out more about July’s birth flowers.
The July birthstone is the ruby, which is believed to protect its wearer from evil.
- “Ruby” is derived from the Latin rubeus, which means “red.”
- This gem is a red form of corundum; all other colors are sapphires. The ruby’s color is due to the presence of chromium, which also makes the gem subject to cracks. High-quality rubies are a transparent, vibrant, purplish red; cloudier samples, or ones containing brown, orange, or pink tones, are less valuable. Many rubies nowadays are heat-treated to improve color saturation and transparency.
- The ruby, along with the related sapphire, are the second hardest natural gemstones, with only the diamond being harder.
- The gem was once thought to protect warriors if worn on their armor or embedded in their skin.
- Considered the king of gems, the ruby symbolizes love, passion, energy, and success.