NORTHERN HEMISPHERE — The colors of fall in the Sierra are spectacular, without comparison — perhaps especially so in the foothills. This time a year ago we had a wee bit of rain, just enough of a taste to make the mouth water. Now, until the forecast changes, we’ll have to settle for the beautifully changing light, and put those sweaters away until temperatures drop a little more.
We know that cooler weather is coming — birds are busy pounding their acorns into any space that will have them and — even with an abundance of blue sky — we’re losing light earlier each day. Meanwhile, the already-withered buckeye cast a golden glow across the landscape, as oak leaves trickle down like a crisp, end-of-summer paper waterfall.
Happy fall, y’all! Another year has passed.
The autumnal equinox, when days and nights are approximately equal in length, arrives on Saturday, Sept. 22 at precisely 6:54 p.m. PDT. For those south of the equator, it’s about to be spring.
Want to go leaf peeping in Yosemite and the Sierra? Check out Candace Gregory’s blogs here — know before you go.
The equinox occurs twice a year, in spring and fall, when the tilt of the Earth’s axis and our orbit around the sun combine in a way that the axis is tipped neither toward nor away from the sun.
Around the time of the equinox, both hemispheres of the Earth are receiving the sun’s rays about equally, while night and day are approximately the same length. The word equinox is derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night), and many have long considered the time to be a period for gathering the abundance of harvest and also attaining balance in the world.