Autumnal Equinox

Berries by Simon Howden @ FreePhoto.net

Today, at 9:04 in the morning the sun hit autumnal equinox, one of two days where, in a brief moment, the center of the sun crosses the plane of the equator. For those of you south of the equator you are having the vernal equinox and of course, those on the other side of the dateline have already seen the equinox pass for the season.

Equinoxes happen because the earth is tilted on its axis. The tilt is what gives us the seasons that delight so many of us. People who live for statistics of course use the equinoxes and the Solstices as a neat dividing line for defining seasons. So, today is officially the first day of fall.

Being less statistically minded, I see the seasons in a more transitional way. Spring and fall are the transition seasons between summer and winter. Spring and fall can last  for longer or shorter periods of time depending on your location but they are always times of transition.

Spring and fall are times of changes and this makes them more interesting to me. In the fall this is what you can look for:

  • Animals are moving from their summer homes to their winter homes.
  • Animals, that don’t move, are stocking up on their supplies so that they can weather the winter ahead.
  • Plants are slowly shutting down and preparing to go dormant leading to the vibrant change in colors of the leaves.
  • Berries are ripening.
  • The light is changing as the angle of the sun moves lower in the sky for its daily arc.
  • The smell of the air is changing.
  • The feel of the air is changing.

I see these changes at my feeders each day. Recently I have had three Baltimore Orioles, one brilliant male and two females, pass through. I gave them a reason to vacation here by making sure they had access to nectar feeders and grape jelly. They stayed for nearly a week. I have three Hummingbird feeders that I am keeping stocked for hummers that are passing through. (I usually have only one out.) This year I am blessed with a Rufous Hummingbird, a species I have not had as a guest before. For the seed eaters, I am keeping my sunflower feeder full. Finally, of course, I keep my water supply stocked and clean.

I look forward to the fall and spring every year because I love observing what is changing. What’s changing in your neck of the woods? Leave a comment below and share! Thanks.

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