Friday, October 3, 2014

Random Facts About.... Autumn

Welcome to a season filled with change. Cold at night, but still warm and sunny during the daytime, that becomes shorter. And, first of all, leaves fall off the trees and hedges. Well, everybody knows the main facts about Autumn, with its strong winds and a lot of rain. But what about the interesting facts we don't know. Nothing better than a good old "Random Facts About" to look up on the secrets behind the color of the falling foliage. So, without further do, let's get started.

1. The word "fall" to describe the season that precedes winter was in use in Elizabethan England, and, logically, relates to falling leaves. Although "fall" is the more common term in North America, "autumn" is preferred in Great Britain. It's also a linguistic fact the word "autumn" is more graceful and poetic, but "fall" is easier to rhyme.
2. Evergreen trees will not lose their leaves like deciduous trees. But have you ever found out why this happens? Their leaves, also called needles, are covered with a thick wax. This wax protects the inner components of the needles, preventing them from freezing.
3. Autumn full moon is called Harvest Moon. Long ago farmers would take advantage of the Harvest Moon’s light to harvest their crops, because in late summer and early autumn many of these would ripen all at once. This made farmers have to stay in the fields long after sundown to gather them and the moonlight became essential to their harvest. Several cultures have ancient traditions that coincide with this Harvest Moon. For example, the Chinese celebrate the Moon Festival to give thanks for a successful summer harvest.
4. Those who live closest to the equator, which is the center of the planet, never experience the season of autumn. Around the equator, in fact, temperature remains consistently warm.
5. The first day of autumn is known as the autumnal equinox. On this day, the number of hours of daylight and darkness are equal (soon we will discover this is a common misconception). This is because the sun is aligned with the center of the Earth between the north and south of the planet. The other equinox occurs in spring, which arrives in the third week of March (in the Northern hemisphere).
6. Due to cooler temperatures you sleep longer and well.
7. In Greek mythology, autumn was a time when Persephone, the daughter of Demeter, was abducted by Hades, the god-king of the underworld. During this time, Demeter, the goddess of the harvest, was distraught and the ground grew sparse and cold. When Persephone returned in the springtime, plants and life bloomed anew because of Demeter’s happiness. Greeks made always fantastic explanations of nature.
8. Fall is a peak migration time for many species of birds. During autumn, birds will fly to other areas as they seek more hospitable climates. The Arctic tern journeys about 11,000 miles each way for its annual migration. That is like going all the way across the United States about three and a half times.
9. Contrary to popular belief, squirrels who have spent the entire autumn collecting acorns and other foods do not hibernate for the winter. Rather, they spend the majority of their time in nests they built to shelter them from harsh weather. When squirrels do come out in winter, they are usually tunneling under the snow to find the food they buried during the fall.
10. Halloween has a large spiritual correlations with Celts. The concept of wearing masks and costumes hails from ancient Celtic tradition. The Celts believed ghosts roamed on Halloween, and people wore disguises to hide from the spirits. The pumpkin, instead, was first named by the Greeks. They called this edible orange item "pepon", which means "large melon".But don't worry, soon I'll post an Halloween special to discover some other ghastly secrets...
11. In addition to the brilliant colors of fall leaves, the autumn equinox signals another colorful spectacle: the aurora borealis, also called the Northern Lights. Besides the lengthening of nights and cool evening weather, which are great for stargazers, autumn truly is "aurora season," according to NASA. That's because geomagnetic storms are about twice as frequent as the annual average during the fall. Particles that get discharged from the sun during such geomagnetic storms zip toward Earth at breakneck speed. As the particles slam into Earth's magnetic field, they bump into atoms and molecules of oxygen, nitrogen and other elements. The result is dazzling light shows, with hues most commonly of pink, green, yellow, blue, violet and occasionally orange and white, depending on what elements the particles collide with. Such a wonder...
12. Leaves change their wardrobes in response to chilly temperatures and less light, as days begin to shorten; they stop producing chlorophyll, the green pigment that helps leaves capture sunlight to power photosynthesis. As green fades, the leave's other pigments, such as the orange and yellow of carotenoids shine through. Vibrant red hues are the result of anthocyanins, pigments that are produced in the fall.
13. The autumn colors could be some of the casualties of global warming, say scientists. Research has shown as the world warms, fall-colored leaves are delayed since their cues to change color come partly from cooling temperatures. Fall's cool nights and sunny days also help to trigger trees like the sugar maple to store their anthocyanins temporarily in their leaves, giving them a show of red. But if global warming leads to warmer nights, paired with autumn's shortening days, trees may not use their sugars to make red pigments, instead sending that fuel to twigs or burning it off, according to Howie Neufeld, a plant physiologist at Appalachian State University in North Carolina. So climate change may also alter suitable habitats for trees like the sugar maple known to be big players in fall's vibrant colors.

14. Now a little fact about Thanksgiving. he mythological origins of the cornucopia have to do with baby Zeus, who had to be hidden from his devouring father, Cronus, so he was put in a cave on Mount Ida to be cared for and protected by Amalthea, the goddess of nourishment. Zeus accidentally broke one of her horns, which then had the divine power to provide unending nourishment, much like the cornucopia of Thanksgiving represents.
15. Climate cooling send a signal to humans to pair up, making fall the best season for falling in love.
16. Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites. Also pumpkin pies are very particular, because its aroma is a natural aphrodisiac.
17. Maybe you could have tried this at home some days ago. It is believed the first day of fall ( the equinox to be clear) is one of the 2 days of the year when you can stand an egg on end. Of couse the other is the equinox of spring.
Well, leaves are falling down, 2014 is running out but we keep moving on.
JUST THE WAY IT SHOULD BE. 
HAVE A GOOD FALL...

4 comments:

  1. You are my favorite snooper. :)
    You're right, people living near equator don't experience the beauty of fall. I should know. I live somewhere near the line. :/ But there's a time of the year, I think January, when some leaves start to change in color.

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    1. That's why I love travelling!!! Everybody have a different perception about everything.... Even daily things that we take for granted can amaze someone from a different country. Oh, and thanks for the compliment. You know it means the world to me :)

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  2. Love these facts, especially the one about the harvest moon! Every year I look forward to the magic of that autumnal moon:
    https://enchantmentlearning.squarespace.com/blog/2014/9/9/on-another-harvest-moon

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    Replies
    1. Your description is very deep and poetic!!! Since I was I child, I've always thought that, during the Harvest Moon, something magical would have happened

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