Tag Archives: autumn

First Sunday in Autumn

Autumn Landscape
Charles Rondeau (publicdomainpictures.net)

Summer is gone and Autumn has officially begun here in the northern hemisphere.  The hot breath of summer is still blazing in many places though. Once again Death Valley topped out on Saturday at 107?F (41? C) with a low of 20?F (-6? C) at both Bodie, CA and near Mackay, ID.

Bodie is today a ghost town but started in 1859 as a mining camp. The discovery of gold would lead to a boom in 1876 and by 1879 its population was somewhere between 7,000-10,000. The boom lasted until around 1880. Then the discovery of gold elsewhere began drawing people away. The mines kept producing gold and a smaller community thrived in the town for many years. Most who stayed did so because they wanted to settle down. By 1910 the population was 698. The city newspaper folded in 1912. The Standard Consolidation Mine was closed in 1913, was bought up and reopened and for a while made some profit. It was not enough to stop the decline though. In 1917 the Bodie Railway stopped running and the last mine closed in 1942. The 1920 census showed a population of 120. People would still live there until after the end of WW II, but it was mostly a ghost town. In 1961 Bodie was declared a National Historic Landmark and the following year the Bodie State Historic Park was created. Today you can visit the once boom town and see, from the existing and surviving buildings, what it was like back in the late 19th century to live in a Gold Rush boom town.

With October coming up soon, Halloween decorations are appearing along with the usual Halloween themed commercials on television. With the fall harvest comes the change in produce. More apples appear since they are harvested in late summer and early fall. Artichokes, cranberries, pears, and pumpkins are also available during this time. In areas with lots of wineries, grapes are harvested for both wine and table use. No more grapes from Chile!

Photo:David Wagner(publicdomainpictures.net)

Although Covid restrictions have eased, supply issues and higher costs means a lot of Halloween candy and other items are more expensive this year than before. This may lead families doing simpler Halloween activities. There was something to be said about dunking for apples, caramel covered apples, roasting pumpkin seeds and making lots of popcorn. And with a lot of cleverness, you can make easy decorations without having to buy them at the store. Many people are relearning how their great-grandparents got through the Great Depression by keeping costs low and at the same time keeping their families fed.

Happy Sunday Everyone!

Autumn Equinox Today

There are two equinoxes in the year, Autumn (September) and Spring (March). When these equinoxes occur the sun is directly on the equator, and the length of day and night is almost equal. In the Northern hemisphere, the September Equinox heralds autumn but the opposite below the equator where it heralds the beginning of spring.  Go here to see the time it begins in your area.

Solstices and Equinoxes
Image: NASA
Photo:David Wagner(publicdomainpictures.net)

For those of us in the North, it means a transition from summer to winter.  During this period  days start getting shorter and nights longer. Depending on where you live, you will likely have moderate warm days followed by long and cooler nights. Harvests of many crops often take place during the fall and in the old days you would make preparations to store food for the winter. Harvest festivals are very popular and in particular Halloween. Pumpkins begin appearing along with all kinds of Halloween decor culminating, of course, in All Hallows Eve (Halloween) on October 31.

Shop for all things Halloween at the Halloween Store

Welcome To September

Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry, Septembre
Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

September is the ninth month on the Gregorian and Julian calendars. On the old Roman calendar, September was the seventh month since their calendar started in March. When the calendar was revised to add January and February, the name Septem (meaning seven) remained. In the Northern Hemisphere, September is when autumn begins but in the southern half it is the first month of spring.

September is traditionally the start of the academic year for most schools, though some do start in late August. The Eastern Orthodox Church starts its liturgical year in September. The Autumnal Equinox takes place between September 22-24 and marks astronomically the first day of autumn. The first full moon of September is often called a Harvest Moon since many farmers begin harvesting crops that are harvested in the fall.

Morning glory flower (Ipomoea nil)
Photo: Public Domain

While daytime temperatures can remain warm during September, generally the nights start getting cooler and the sun starts setting much earlier. And generally, the sun starts come up later in the morning resulting in people going to work when it is still dark. The birthstone for September is the sapphire (represents clear thinking) The September flowers are the forget-me-not, morning glory, and the aster.

 

Happy Sunday/Happy November

Le Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry-November
Jean Colombe (1430–1493)
Public Domain (Wikimedia)

November is the eleventh month on the Gregorian calendar, but its name comes from the Latin word for nine. The reason is that on the old Roman calendar it started in March, so November was the ninth month. The name stuck even when the Roman senate in 153 BC decided to make January the start of the new year. November is the last month of autumn or fall in the northern nemisphere, and the last month of spring in the south.

By this time most countries have returned to standard time and will stay on it until next spring. In some countries, like the U.S., there is a desire to stay on time for the entire year. Some prefer daylight saving as that gives you more sunlight (only because we change the clock) in the summer but your autumn and winter mornings are often darker. Others prefer standard time. Why change the clocks at all is what they argue? Our desire to remake the world to suit how we want it to be is the real problem here. You get the illusion, created by daylight saving time, of more sun but it is just that. In more simpler times, we knew the sun rose and fell at definite times and were content with that. And now with everyone staring at cellphones these days, whether it is day or night hardly seems to matter.

November flower:Chrysanthemums
Photo:Fir0002/Flagstaffotos (via Wikimedia Commons)

November is the time of real change in the north. The Great Lakes sees its worst storms during this time. Snow begins to fall. In other places it is more subtle where the climate is milder during winter. Trees that shed leaves begin doing so, meaning lots of raking up to do on weekends if you have a lot of them on your property. The variables in climate every year might bring more rain one year and less the next. Out in California, the rain is heading to the Pacific Northwest leaving California very dry. Drought has been declared there and very severe in places. When the groundwater begins to go though, you notice structures in those areas start to subtly sink just a bit. And with lakes really dry, you see things long forgotten becoming visible (like in lakes that were created for dams and a small town had to be abandoned).

 

Have a nice Sunday. Here is some Autumn music to get you in the mood.

 

 

 

 

Happy Sunday/Welcome to October

Photo:David Wagner(publicdomainpictures.net)

October is the 10th month on both the old Julian and newer Gregorian calendar. It is the first full month of Autumn where harvests are being done and in the old days, people began to make ready for the coming of winter. The southern hemisphere though October is the first full month of spring.  Harvest festivals are common at this time of year along with popular ones such as the German Oktoberfest.

Also for sports fans in the US you see the popular sports of basketball, American football, and baseball converge on the calendar. Football is kicking into gear, basketball is starting up and baseball enters its championship phase culminating with the World Series.

Of course the big day is Halloween on October 31st. As it set by date, the exact day it will fall on will vary each year.  When it falls on a weekday, it means kids have to be home early as they go to school the next day. Friday and Saturday are optimum as you can have longer Halloween events and stay up late watching scary movies. Halloween is not an official holiday but comes close to it. October has as its flower the Calendula and the birthstone is the opal.

Autumn Equinox Today

There are two equinoxes in the year, Autumn (September) and Spring (March). When these equinoxes occur the sun is directly on the equator, and the length of day and night is almost equal. In the Northern hemisphere, the September Equinox heralds autumn but the opposite below the equator where it heralds the beginning of spring. The Autumn Equinox begins today at 19:21 UTC (go here to see the time it begins in your area).

Solstices and Equinoxes
Image: NASA
Photo:David Wagner(publicdomainpictures.net)

For those of us in the North, it means a transition from summer to winter.  During this period  days start getting shorter and nights longer. Depending on where you live, you will likely have moderate warm days followed by long and cooler nights. Harvests of many crops often take place during the fall and in the old days you would make preparations to store food for the winter. Harvest festivals are very popular and in particular Halloween. Pumpkins begin appearing along with all kinds of Halloween decor culminating, of course, in All Hallows Eve (Halloween) on October 31.

Shop for all things Halloween at the Halloween Store

Happy Sunday, Welcome to Autumn

You really notice by now that summer hours are fading fast. It is getting darker early and the official start of autumn is just a few days away. We now say goodbye to summer and begin the melancholy season as nights get cooler, leaves fall off trees, and there is a smokiness in the air. And of course Halloween. Stores are already stocked up and some I have seem even have a few Christmas items already in stock. And it is time for my favorite character, the Headless Horseman to make his famous ride.