Fall is my favorite season. I look forward to days in the 70’s and cool open-windowed nights, autumn foliage, s’mores cooked over blazing campfires, and football. The arrival of fall means Halloween is just around the corner and Thanksgiving and the holiday season aren’t far behind.
This year in central Indiana, summer has refused to go away. In the second week of October the high temperature for the first of the week was almost 90 degrees. Finally, by the end of the week it was in the 50's. It was about time! So yes, I look forward to this time of year, but what is autumn and why does it occur?
It’s All About the Sun
“The four seasons are determined by shifting sunlight (not heat!)—which is determined by how our planet orbits the Sun and the tilt of its axis.” -- The Old Farmer’s Almanac
The 2018 fall Equinox occurred 9/22 at 8:54 PM central time. I guess nobody told summer it was time to go. The autumn (and spring) equinox is when the day and night are split evenly – 12 hours of sunlight and 12 hours of darkness.
The word equinox is a Latin derivative. The Latin for equal is aequus and night is nox thus equinox.
An equinox occurs when the sun crosses the equator, but not at ground level, that would be kind of dangerous, wouldn’t it? The sun crosses the celestial equator. Think of a line going up to the heavens from the earth’s equator, and you get the idea.
Fall in the Garden
I have a friend who laments the fall equinox because days will get shorter and shorter. He celebrates the spring equinox. I find beauty in both.
Fall isn’t the end of my flower and vegetable gardening, it’s a phase within it. Mums explode, and many flowers are still in bloom. I plant cleome and cosmos in late July, so they peak later in the season. A few earlier vegetables are still producing and then they’re pumpkins!
Autumn on the Trails
If you follow me on social media, you know a couple of things about me, and one of them is I like to hike Eagle Creek Park. It’s one of the largest city parks in the nation covering 3900 acres of which 1400 are water. And in the fall...It. Is. Spectacular! The trees and other foliage are ablaze in reds, yellows, and orange, while kayakers and canoers paddle the reservoir. You should join me on a hike sometime.
My wife and I are talking about taking a few days in October and driving north. We want to experience Lake Michigan surrounded by fall foliage. I'll share photos if we go.
So, all things being equal (pun intended), fall is my favorite season. What’s yours?
Randy Clark is the Director of Communications at TKO Graphix, where he blogs for TKO Graphix Brandwire. Randy is passionate about social media, leadership development, and flower gardening. He’s the proud father of two educators; he has four amazing grandchildren, and a wife who dedicates her time to helping others. Randy is the author of How to Stay Ahead of Your Business Blog Forever and The New Manager’s Workbook: A Crash Course in Effective Management.