- Last Updated on 08:06 AM 09/18/13
- BY Doug Ford
Count me among those who rejoice in the coming of cool, fall weather, a time where hot temperatures subside, and days become shorter but more pleasant.
Fall officially arrives at 4:44 p.m. EDT Sunday afternoon, the time of the Autumnal Equinox.
According to “The Old Farmer’s Almanac,” the fall and spring equinoxes are the only days of the year in which the Sun crosses the celestial equator.
Contrary to what some may think, there aren’t exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness on the Fall Equinox.
The center of the sun sets just 12 hours after it rises, but the day itself begins when the upper edge of the sun reaches the horizon, and it doesn’t end until the entire sun sets.
A little known fact, especially among those non-observant types like me, is that the sun is actually visible when it is below the horizon, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Earth’s atmosphere refracts the sun’s rays and bends them in an arc over the horizon.
Everyone remembers weather adages passed down from generation to generation.
Some of the ones listed in the Almanac include:
• Wood that burns in winter pops more before snow
• If the sun or moon outshines the “brugh” or halo, bad weather will not come
• Ant hills high in July mean a hard winter ahead
• When ducks quack profusely, they are said to be calling for rain
• When the mountain moss is soft and limpid, expect rain, if dry and brittle, expect clear weather
• If many whitethorn blossoms or dog-roses are seen, expect a severe winter
• When the sloe-tree is as white as a sheet, sow your barley, whether it be dry or wet
Some of my relatives were fond of saying, “This snow is laying around for some more,” and “The wind is whipping up a cloud.”
A tree in the parking lot of my former employer heralded each season, and I would observe it through the year as it leafed in the spring and changed colors in the fall before eventually shedding its leaves for winter.
I’ve always enjoyed my home county for its variety of weather, and I like something about each season, but fall to me has always been a season of transition and beauty.
Enjoy it while you can.