Weather • The autumnal equinox is the first day of fall! It’s also one of the two days of year when the north and south halves of the world face the Sun in equal amounts! • During fall, the days start to get shorter. That’s because our planet is actually tilted in space! When it’s fall where you live, that means you point more away from the sun, causing longer nights and shorter days.
Nature • When fall approaches, the green-colored food-making chlorophyll of plants is no longer needed, which is what leaves us with the other colors that had been overpowered all summer long: Beautiful reds, oranges, yellows, and even purples!! • Evergreen trees like pines, cedars, spruces, and firs, stay green all winter because their leaves are covered with a thick wax, and their insides hold materials that help them not to freeze! • The pumpkin was first named by people in Greece, who called this orange edible a “pepon,” which means “large melon”!
Birds • The distance some birds travel every year when they migrate is really unbelievable. The Arctic Tern journeys about 11,000 miles each way for its annual migration; that’s like going all the way across the United States about three and a half times! • In order to know which way to go when they fly south, birds use a variety of techniques such as the position of the sun or the stars, and big landmarks like lakes, rivers, or mountains! • When flying south for winter, the Bar-Headed Goose flies as high as 28,000 feet to go over the Himalayas, which is the height of almost 80 American football fields stacked up along their tallest length!
Animals • Zzzzz! Did you know that animals like bats, hedgehogs, and many kinds of fish all hibernate during winter? • Squirrels rely on a storage of nuts to eat during winter, so they collect and bury nuts all fall. Plus, the nuts they bury but don’t retrieve sprout into new trees! • Many people refer to a bear’s winter sleep as “hibernation,” although according to the true definition of hibernation, bears are just considered sleepy!