Thursday, September 23, 2010

The First Day of Fall - Autumnal Equinox

According to wikipedia, the name "equinox" is derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night), because around the equinox, the night and day are approximately equally long.  This statement is an oversimplification of the facts, but if you would like to learn more about the seasonal celestial happenings of the universe, I'll "let you be in charge of that research," (as our local organic gardening guru Howard Garrett would say.)

When I think of fall or autumn, I think of cool, crisp days with brightly colored leaves set against the backdrop of a bright blue sky.     When I look at this picture, I can almost smell the fragrance of autumn and feel the chill in the air.   It reminds me of September in central Wisconsin where I grew up.

Even though my calendar tells me it is the first day of autumn, here in north central Texas it is still HOT and humid, and the leaves on the trees are still as green as can be.   It feels more like summer than fall, but those cooler days are coming and the leaves of the trees will change color.  It will just happen a little closer to the winter solstice than the autumnal equinox.  

Instead of lamenting the fact that the temps are approaching 90 degrees on the first day of fall, I am grateful for the extra-long growing season we have!   Up north where everyone is putting their gardens to rest for a long winter's nap, we get to experience a "second spring," and gardening kicks into high gear again after a hot, dry Texas summer.   Fall is the time to plant and fertilize and dig and divide perennials.  It's a time to enjoy working in our gardens without threat of heat exhuastion! 

Dare we complain about the heat?

Lest we forget about the seemingly endless cold and snowy winter of 2010, here are a couple of pictures to remind us. 

These pictures were taken in my yard in February 2010 after the
Dallas/Fort Worth area received over a foot of snow.  

Enjoy working in your gardens in the cooler days sure to come.  In subsequent posts, I will share pictures of what's blooming in my garden this fall.  

Happy gardening....

Toni :-)

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