Autumn,season of the year between summer and winter during which temperatures gradually decrease. It is often called fall in the United States because leaves fall from the trees at that time. Autumn is usually defined in the Northern Hemisphere as the period between the autumnal equinox (day and night equal in length), September 22 or 23, and the winter solstice (year’s shortest day), December 21 or 22; and in the Southern Hemisphere as the period between March 20 or 21 and June 21 or 22. The autumn temperature transition between summer heat and winter cold occurs only in middle and high latitudes; in equatorial regions, temperatures generally vary little during the year. In the polar regions autumn is very short. For physical causes of the seasons, see season.
The concept of autumn in European languages is connected with the harvesting of crops; in many cultures autumn, like the other seasons, has been marked by rites and festivals revolving around the season’s importance in food production. Animals gather food in autumn in preparation for the coming winter, and those with fur often grow thicker coats. Many birds migrate toward the Equator to escape the falling temperatures. A common autumn phenomenon in the central and eastern United States and in Europe is Indian summer, a period of unseasonably warm weather that sometimes occurs in late October or November.
A Vee of geese honking their goodbyes to the land. Birds flocking, numbering in the hundreds...then no longer seen. Wasps and bees drunkenly flitting from fallen fruit to fermented fallen fruit. Squirrels gathering their cache, scurrying from here to there to here. Crows, cardinals, jays and assorted little brown birds, lonely calls wondering where everyone went.
Snakes and frogs looking for a hole for slumber. Bears and foxes seeking dens. The groundhog burrowing a little deeper and not leaving a wake-up call for February 2nd. Rabbits and owls and weasels changing colour, adding white to their wardrobe. And after Labour Day!
Salmon running, struggling every precious inch upstream to breed. Lake fish diving deeper to the stable bottom waters. Caterpillars feasting on the last of the summer bounty before drifting into a transforming beauty sleep. Flies clustering in barns and attics, seeking the last warm spot away from the winds of winter.
Jack Frost. Hallowe'en. The Great Pumpkin. Thanksgiving. Pilgrim fathers and Native rescuers. Homecoming and reunion. Indian Summer. Two, maybe three Indian Corn. Blackberry canes. Fall Back. The State Fair. The Ex. Oktoberfest. Cornucopia overflowing. Pickling, canning, drying...and nibbling as you work.
First days of school. New long crayons by the box. Unsharpened pencils. Book bags and new binders, packages of paper and pens. New friends and old ones back again. New books, new horizons. Remembering your seat and schedule. Finding that classroom.
Autumn brings lots of changes. The trees begin to change colors, bringing a beautiful array of different colored foliage, which eventually drops off into our yards. It also brings cooler temperatures, and, as it progresses, we begin to put up our summer clothes, short sleeves, etc., and bring out our warm sweaters. I am one to wear sweats during the winter in the house because they are so warm and cozy! And, it's time to bring in the wood and start the fire in the fireplace. Now, that is cozy!
When the leaves begin to change on the trees, the people begin to want to go for drives, or trips to the mountains, especially to Gatlinburg, TN. The highways are covered with a beautiful array of gorgeous colored trees. There are many places like this in the South during the fall months. The forests look like they are ablaze - a gorgeous site to behold!
The end of Autumn and colder temperatures in North America cause the birds to migrate South. It also brings about the freezing of the ponds and lakes and streams in much of the country.
From the World Book Millenium 2000:
Rookie call-ups. Playing out the string. Roger and Mickey, Mark and Sammy. The World Series, the Fall Classic. Why not the Cubs? Larsen's Perfect Game. Home runs: Mazeroski and Carter. Don't forget Fisk and Dent, Mr October and Yogi.
The kick-off. First and ten. The Big Game. Let's Go Blue. Touchdown! The Victors. A marching band echoing the school fight song from a jammed stadium. The Quarterback Club. The last round of 18. The Turkey Trot. Running through crispy fallen leaves.
But most of all, Autumn means colored leaves: a spectrum of shades between the green shades of summer and the dull browns of winter. Crimson, fiery red, maroon, ruddy orange, pure orange, yellow orange, soft yellows and bright yellows. Red maples, yellow birch, scarlet sycamores, aspen golds. Mottled leaves of several colours in transition. Each deciduous tree, each bush, strutting its own autumn wardrobe. Naked willows dancing in the wind. In their midst, the smug conifers stand. "Evergreen," they say to us, "ever green."
Ahhh, those bright autumn spells that bring out the most vivid of hues. Days so delightful you can almost taste the colour. And those cold, crisp nights when the air has its own special vintage to entice us back outdoors one last time. A bouquet matched in no other season — aged in Northern realms and blended just right.
This is how I see and have seen Autumn over my half century of life. I hope such joy and beauty, such stability and changeability, surprises and rouutines, continue through my next fifty. I love a good season, watching it turn, engendering days of joy and days of melancholy. Sorry, must go. Adventure lurks outside my door.