Happy fall, y’all! It’s officially autumn now, which means nobody can roll their eyes at all the fall leaf pictures popping up on the internet these days. If you’re a pumpkin spice fan, you’re no doubt in heaven, and those of you in colder climates can look forward to cool, crisp temperatures and changing leaves.
To celebrate the season (my favorite of the four), I decided to share five things you might not know about Autumn. Here they are in no particular order:
Fact #1: We all know that after the first day of autumn, the days grow shorter, but did you know that the autumnal equinox is one of two days in the year during which the earth sees exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night? That’s because on those two days, the sun is aligned with the earth’s celestial equator. The other day during which day and night are perfectly equal occurs in the spring. The word “equinox” comes from the Latin, meaning “equal night.”
Fact #2: According to an article in Reader’s Digest, citing a study by the UK Department of Education, children born in the autumn months (September-December) are more likely to excel in school than children born at other times of the year. I’m all over this fact since I’m a September baby, and so are my two daughters. I also have a September-born granddaughter, who seems to prove the rule. On the other hand, my sister with a May birthday was a much better student than I was, but I suspect my failure to make grades like hers was more about my lack of motivation than my lack of ability. My other granddaughter, (April) is every bit as smart as her sister, but more like me in the motivation department. Fact or fiction? Let’s call it fact, just for fun. That way I can always say that I could have been a better student than my sister if I’d cared enough to try.
Fact #3: All those gorgeous yellow, orange, and red colors (and variations of them) are always present in the leaves of trees, but during spring and summer, the green pigment overpowers them thanks to an overabundance of chlorophyll. In autumn, when the sunlight weakens and the chlorophyll levels break down, the other colors become visible. Red and purple, are also apparently caused by sugar from sap that’s trapped in the leaves.
Fact #4: Those who live in the far north may know that the aurora borealis is more likely to appear in the autumn, but those of us who haven’t seen it might not be aware of that. The Northern lights are caused by geomagnetic storms that occur when solar-charged particles get through the atmosphere’s defenses and collide with gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere. Because autumn has longer, clearer nights, mean the Northern Lights occur about twice as often during the fall and winter than in warmer times of the year.
Fact #5:Did you know that sex drives spike in the fall–in both humans and animal s. It’s all about testosterone, which spikes during the autumn. Men are a bit feistier and find women more attractive in the autumn months than they do during the summer. This, apparently, in spite of the fact that summer is bikini weather and autumn brings on the long pants and sweaters. Apparently, an analysis of Facebook revealed that more people change their status from “single” to “In a relationship” or “engaged” in autumn than other times of the year, and more people change to “single” during the summer months. You can’t argue with Facebook. Fall is definitely the season for love.
And there you have them: five things about autumn you might not have known before today.