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Sunday 18 September 2022

Autumn - some interesting facts


The time of year that Keats called the 'Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness', autumn is a season famous for its harvest times, turning leaves, cooling temperatures and darkening nights.

1. Autumn begins
There are two different dates when autumn could be said to begin. Autumn, as defined by the Earth's orbit around the Sun, begins on the equinox which falls on 22 or 23 September.

However, to record climate data, it is important to have set dates that can be compared, so meteorological autumn always begins on 1 September.

2. Trees prepare for winter
One of the most stunning signs of autumn is the turning of the leaves. The shorter days are a sign to trees to begin to prepare for winter.

During winter there is not enough light for photosynthesis to occur, so as the days shorten throughout autumn, the trees begin to close down their food production systems and reduce the amount of chlorophyll in their leaves.

3. The chemistry of colour
Chlorophyll is the chemical which makes tree leaves green and as it declines other chemicals become more prominent in the leaves.

These are responsible for the vibrant ambers, reds and yellows of autumn. The chemicals responsible are types of flavonoids, carotenoids and anthocyanins.

Did you know some of these chemicals are the same ones that give carrots (beta-carotenes) and egg yolks (luteins) their colours?

4. People born in Autumn live longer
A study in the Journal of Aging Research found that babies born during the autumn months are more likely to live to 100 than those born during the rest of the year.

Their study found that 30 % of US centenarians born during 1880-1895 were born in the autumn months.

5. The days get shorter
The word equinox comes from the Latin equi (meaning equal) and nox (meaning night) accounting for the equinox marking the time when day and night are of equal length.

We often notice the nights begin to draw in from this point as after the autumn equinox, the nights are longer than the days, until this is reversed at the spring equinox.

6. A date for your diary - 24 September 2303
Generally speaking, the autumn equinox always falls on either 22 or 23 September, but not quite always.

Because the Gregorian calendar is not quite in perfect symmetry with the Earth's orbit, the autumn equinox will very occasionally fall on September 24. This last happened in 1931 and will next happen in 2303.

7. Persephone's return
In Greek mythology, autumn began when Persephone was abducted by Hades to be the Queen of the Underworld. In distress Persephone's mother, Demeter (the goddess of the harvest), caused all the crops on Earth to die until her daughter was allowed to return, marking spring.

8. Autumn and Fall
We typically think of 'fall' as the North American version of the word 'autumn', but it was in fact in widespread usage in England until relatively recently.

Originally a shortening of the phrase fall of the leaf, the phrase was common in England in the 17th century.

The word autumn entered English from the French automne and didn't become common usage until the 18th century.
These eight facts taken from here

To readers who live in the northern hemisphere I wish you a happy Autumn. However, for those readers who reside in the southern hemisphere ... happy Spring 😊


All the best Jan

36 comments:

carol l mckenna said...

What a great post about Fall/Autumn ~ so informative and great photo ~ Xo

Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days,

A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

My name is Erika. said...

Autumn is on its way very quickly. There are signs of it everywhere. Thanks for the interesting post. I hope all has been well with you. hugs-Erika

roughterrain crane said...

We have two national holidays of equinox in spring and autumn. Nice autumn days to you.

Martha said...

Happy Autumn! I wish you a really lovely one.

William Kendall said...

It's certainly coming here.

Elderberry-Rob said...

This is a lovely post and really informative thank you! I love Autumn, the colours of the leaves in the woods, crisp, sunny mornings and warmer/homlier food - my bread maker just came out of storage :)

Angie's Recipes said...

Such an entertaining and educational post! Happy Autumn :-)

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Autumn can be such a nice season; somewhat wet and damp though.

God bless

eileeninmd said...

A great post on Autumn. We are seeing little signs now, some leaves are falling.
Take care, have a great new week!

Jo said...

Interesting. Autumn's definitely in the air now, cooler days and the nights are starting to draw in.

Giorgio said...

Nice post about Autumn ... although the Summer hasn't gone to an end yet :-)

Have a nice week, Jan!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

I am very happy to welcome fall with its cool temperatures, although you would never know it here. It was 26.5 degrees here yesterday. I am looking forward to the first frost.

Fun60 said...

Yes the leaves are changing and the temperature dropping. I am glad to live in a country that experiences the seasons.

Tom said...

...autumn is a special season.

R's Rue said...

Beautiful.

Christine said...

Welcome autumn.

NanaDiana said...

Love your fall facts. I love fall but dread the winter that follows here. Warm sunny crisp autumn days are my favorite. xo Diana

happyone said...

Great autumn post. Such a beautiful time of year.

Conniecrafter said...

this year was the first time I had heard from our weather man that there are two different Fall dates. That is weird that people live younger depending on when they were born. I hope we have nice colors of the leaves this year.

Teresa said...

Feliz semana y feliz otoΓ±o tambiΓ©n para ti.

Kinga K. said...

I didn´t know about the 4th point

pam nash said...

I wish the Autumnal Equinox meant cooler weather for us here in south central Texas. Unfortunately, our projected temperature for the 22nd and several days after is projected to be 98 degrees F. Ugh.

Sue said...

Well I didn't know some of these! Neil and I were born in September and October so we'll happily live longer. It's pretty cool here at the moment, more Winter than Autumn but that's the North for you lol. Take care and have a very happy week, Sue xx

Creations By Cindy said...

Love this post and the information. I find this kind of stuff so interesting. We did have a good breeze on Saturday and it wasn't too bad yesterday. One never knows what the temps may be in Florida. LOL! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

NatureFootstep said...

beautiful colors of fall :)

Lisabella Russo said...

Most interesting, thanks most kindly.

It's me said...

I love autumn…..that colors are so beautiful….enjoy the new week …love Ria and Leaf πŸ€πŸ§‘πŸŒ»πŸ‚πŸŒΎπŸ„πŸπŸ€πŸΎ

Jenn Jilks said...

I love this time of year!

Jeanie said...

A very interesting post, Jan. I love hearing things like that -- the photo at the top is especially beautiful.

Anonymous said...

I love the autumn season! I find it quite refreshing!

Hilly Nicolay said...

I love autumn.
Candles on.
Delicious seasonal vegetable dishes.

All the best and greetings from Hilly

Ananka said...

I like autumn and especially Hallowe'en!

Linda said...

Interesting post. I wonder if babies who are born in autumn get tough by surviving winter. Or does this hold true in both hemispheres?

Lowcarb team member said...

Linda said...
Interesting post. I wonder if babies who are born in autumn get tough by surviving winter. Or does this hold true in both hemispheres?

Hello Linda

Many thanks for your comment.

The study mentioned in this post was in the Journal of Aging Research, link here, https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jar/2011/104616/
and was conducted in the US therefore the Northern Hemisphere. There are a number of interesting points to read, so when you have a moment do please use the link and have a read.

All the best Jan

Carla from The River said...

I enjoyed this post. I like to learn new things, and these fun facts make it so interesting.

Crafty Green Poet said...

That's an interesting post. i didn't realise that babies born in autumn were likely to live longer!

I always say that Autumn actually starts when autumn itself wants to start, though I go with it officially beginning on 1 September.