You can see signs of approaching Fall if you look closely…
The end of summer was September 22 nd which marks the official start of fall. For many in the Northern Hemisphere the arrival of the fall equinox is the beginning of one of the most beautiful times of the year. Combined with shorter days and cooler temperatures, fall harvest season is highlighted with brilliant, bright colors and amazing light shows.
Here are some of the signs of fall that will be all around us in the coming weeks:
1 – Animals Change Behavior
With fall comes the instinctive nudging of hibernation for many of the animals in our regions. Bears, in particular are preparing for a long winter nap. Birds of many kinds also respond to the season in different ways. If you have a backyard feeding station you will note some of your feathered friends are stocking up and hiding seeds for later. Insects also start to disappear as they move into their winter homes to hibernate.
2 – Turning Over A New Leaf
The most obvious visual change to appear with the arrival of fall is the way in which trees and plant life respond. Leaves change color simply because the chilly temperatures and reduced daylight from shorter days force them to stop producing the green pigment we recognize as a healthy leaf. That pigment is chlorophyll. With it, a green leaf can convert sunlight to energy through photosynthesis. With the green pigment no longer being produced, the other colors of a leaf can come out and that is why you see reds, oranges and yellows instead.
3 – Sky Lights
With the longer nights, aurora borealis – the Northern Lights – start to become more visible in places where they are not normally seen during warmer months. The geomagnetic storms that produce the spectacular curtains of rolling lights occur more frequently in fall. The particles that get tossed out from the storms collide with atoms and other molecules as they hit Earth’s magnetic field. This is what produces blue, violet, yellow, pink and green hues in the light shows high in the sky.
4 – Harvest of the Crops
If you live anywhere near farming land you will be able to tell when fall is near or has arrived. That’s because the final crop of the season is harvested and stored for winter. The fall Moon was also named Harvest Moon to mark the annual occasion. The Harvest Moon is the full moon that falls closest to the date of the fall equinox. Farmers have used the extra light from this event for centuries to pull in the end of the field crops. The moonlight was essential long before artificial light had been invented, which has extended harvest time for many farmers.