Plus Tips to Prepare for Jack Frost!
Autumn or 'Fall' as it is called in North America, begins September 22. This is the Autumnal Equinox, a term that describes the earth’s position in relation to the sun. The days grow shorter as the sun crosses the celestial equator (an imaginary extension of the earth’s equator) and the earth is tilting away from the sun. According to NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the Northern Hemisphere we lose about 3 hours of daylight between September 22 and December 21.
Fun Facts About Autumn
1. Only in America is Autumn called ‘Fall’
2. Leaves change color as the green pigment ‘chlorophyll’ that captures sunlight, decreases and the other components of the leaves, carotenoids and anthocyanins increase thus resulting in the brilliant foliage.
3. The Aurora Borealis or The Northern Lights, are more spectacular in the Autumn as the sun crosses the earth’s equator line.
4. Monarch butterflies begin their migration south as the days get shorter. Monarchs travel 50-100 miles a day during their 3,000 mile journey to southwestern Mexico.
5. According to Facebook, Fall is the most romantic season as evidenced by the fact that more people change their status to ‘in a relationship’ or ‘engaged’ during the autumn months than any other time of year.
6. There are over 7,500 varieties of apples.
7. Pumpkins are grown on almost every continent (the exception is Antarctica).
Is your home ready for winter freezes?
Now is the time to drain your garden hoses and put them away until next year. Cover any outside faucets that may freeze.
Clean the gutters and downspouts that may be filled with leaves and other debris before fall and winter storms begin.
October is the perfect month to repair weather-stripping around doors and window seals where drafts may reduce heating efficiency.
Bring in your patio furniture and gather up those abandoned toys in the backyard. Inspect your leaf rakes and plan to use fallen leaves as garden mulch rather than sending them to a landfill.
Inspect your fire extinguishers, replace the batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors if they are not electric. Many older homes were not constructed with electric smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed. If your home detectors are battery operated, be sure to keep up with the maintenance. Your family's safety may depend on these items operating correctly.
Is your fireplace and chimney in good working order? The cozy ambience of a fire in winter can be derailed quickly if regular cleaning and upkeep are not performed.
Now that your Autumn chores are completed, enjoy all the Fall Festivals happening in the Lonestar State!
There are plenty of fun festivals around the Lonestar state during autumn, from the pumpkin festival at the Dallas Arboretum to Galveston's’ 40th annual Oktoberfest. Check out the links below for the state’s best fall festivals.
If travel is not in your budget or schedule, plan a family picnic at a local park and enjoy the sunshine. That extra boost of vitamin D may be the prescription you need heading into the winter solstice.
You might enjoy the blog post 'How to Picnic in East Texas' for picnic tips and games
Windridge, M. (2017). Aurora: In Search of the Northern Lights William Collins.