Autumn in the Air, Confusion in the House

squirrel on trellis

Fall? How much time do I have to scavenge nuts and seeds?

According to my Old Farmer’s Almanac calendar, today is the first day of fall in the northern hemisphere. It’s officially known as the autumnal (fall) equinox.  It’s my favorite time of year.  Of course I say that on the first day of spring too.  I can never decide.

What’s fun when you blog, is you find yourself keeping up with people from around the world. Today I thought I was celebrating the first day of spring as well with Sarah the Gardener, The Contented Crafter, Teddy and Tottie, and the Road the Serendipity but further reading tells me that September 23rd is their official spring (vernal) equinox.

Our wedding day 19 years ago landed on the first day of fall, however it was September 23rd, not the 22nd. Now my head hurts. I checked out a couple of sites today and got differing answers:

An excerpt from Timeanddate.com says:

Fall is called autumn in many countries

Fall equinox, Northern Hemisphere:
September equinox 2014:
September 23, at 02:29 UTC

(USA & Central America, Asia, Canada, Europe, Northern Africa)

Fall equinox, Southern Hemisphere
March equinox 2015:
March 20, at 22:45 UTC

(Australia, New Zealand, South America, Southern Africa)

The Old Farmer’s Almanac website says:

In 2014, the autumnal equinox brings the fall season to the Northern Hemisphere on: September 22 at 10:29 P.M. EDT.

Math isn’t my strong point, so while trying to work this out in my head I discovered The World Clock – Time Zone Converter and now it all makes sense. Using UTC or Coordinated Universal Time, the first day of fall in California is technically September 23rd.

Happy Equinox, wherever you presently call home.

I’m going to rake a few leaves and then sit down with a hot cuppa.  All these math calculations hurt my brain.

 

19 thoughts on “Autumn in the Air, Confusion in the House

  1. You did a good job of explaining that Alys 🙂 The confusion arises because the time/date can change. Here we always say September 1st is the first day of Spring. December 1st Summer, March 1st Autumn and June 1st Winter. The weather doesn’t always agree just as the almanacs don’t. 🙂 I have enough trouble trying to work out what the time difference is between you and me and when the clocks change I have no idea which way to go! Severely challenged by anything abstract – that’s me 🙂 Love your squirrel!!

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    • How interesting that you call out the first day of those months as the start of your seasons. It’s certainly easier to remember and plan for.

      I still count on my fingers when calculating different time zones. I just don’t find any of that intuitive.

      Isn’t that a fun shot of the squirrel. They are almost always in motion. He stopped in place to listen to something, allowing me to snap this photo. They make me smile.

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    • The seasons and dates are such a mind meld for me. I know why your seasons are opposite of ours, but I still get a thrill thinking about Winter in July and Summer in December. If I ever did move, I’d be so mixed up.

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      • Lots of people find it really hard at Christmas! We’re all about outside and beaches and summer holidays and barbies and jandals and sitting around outside at night batting off the mossies. They are drawing their curtains, trying to make it dark and enclosed and cooking great roasted meals while sweating buckets …….

        I found it interesting when I swapped hemispheres and was teaching and dealing with it all at the same time. The thing that gave me the most grief is the phases of the moon are reversed – that was really challenging and the sun moves in a different arc across the sky…… south is our cold side and north facing is really good in real estate. I didn’t realise how unconsciously I worked out my directions from the position of the sun and got hopelessly lost on several occasions in the early days. 🙂

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        • Oh, how interesting. I had never considered this at all but yes, I bet that was rather discombobulating. North back yards are a favourite here because you get nice shade most of the day. Canadians are generally happier on the cooler side rather than having a deck in the scorching sun. Our back yard faces east which is still ok. Warm till 2pm then shaded (in the summer). The sun is farther to the south now so even mornings are as intense. 😀

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  2. I really need to get to the nature store and get myself set up for squirrels over winter. I just love seeing them and hearing their wee little chirps. With the exception of those few cold snowy days three weeks ago, Fall has been very balmy. 29 C today. I bought a leaf blower and cleared out the front and side yards of leaves. Then swept them into piles on the road and filled bags, lot’s of bags. The leaves are really gold now, seemed like overnight. I’m hoping the wind doesn’t kick up and blow all the neighbours leaves my way, LOL. Happy Equinox Alys!!! I guess we’re in for a few more nice days then down into the teens…..16 C and 15 C are forecasted 58 – 61 F I’ll take it! Every day above 0 is one less day of winter 😀 xoxok

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    • Well hurray, hurray for a balmy fall. You deserve it. I love those little nature stores. Ours is changing hands at the end of this year so the couple can retire. They’re passing it on to Lisa Myer, the woman who runs the birdwatching classes. It’s a perfect fit.

      We’ll have to visit yours together when I’m there.

      Every day above zero. Sounds like a good quote for a t-shirt, or the title to a blog post. 😉

      Happy Equinox!!!

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  3. Hi Alys. I am a bit free and easy when it comes to the seasons. I don’t prescribe to one set of rules. Spring for me always starts on the 1st of September because I couldn’t bear to drag winter out any longer. I may be wrapped in a scarf shivering and freezing – but it is spring! Then in the late summer I lean towards using the equinox system so I can kid myself summer is longer than it actually is and I cling to the fading warmth and ignore the shortening days and cooler starts! At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter, the weather will do what the weather does.
    Cheers Sarah : o )

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  4. That sounds like the same issue of the shortest day or longest night, which are celebrated on diffent days in Italy, I wrote about it last December and still don’t really understand how it works! A cup of coffee sounds good to me, I’ll join you!

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