The seasons: Autumn

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
(Sonnet 73, William Shakespeare)

Sigh, I always get a little melancholic when autumn starts.But what is autumn and what happens to nature?
Autumn is the third season in the year. In the Northern Hemisphere autumn starts on September 21st and ends on December 21st. in the Southern Hemisphere autumn starts on the 20th of March and ends on June 21st.

Actually autumn never begins on the 21st. because the seasons are determined by the stars and the sun. When the day is as long as the night autumn begins. But why do the leaves of the trees change their colours and why do they fall? Trees live from the sun, water and carbon. Carbon is what you exhale. Trees convert carbon into oxygen so that animals and man can breath. They also produce sugars, which help the trees to grow, and plants, and mushrooms that grow around the tree. Mushrooms also like the sugars a lot. The fly agaric is very fond of the sugars from the oak, chestnut, pine, beech, fir and birch trees. When you see a fly agaric it will be close to one of these trees. When autumn begins the sun shines less fierce and long. The tree trunks suck up all the nutrients that are stored in the leaves. Each leave has a stem. A cork on the end of the stem functions as a stop. The leave stops getting food and dries out. The green colour of the leave changes to yellow, orange, dark red or brown. When the winds start blowing the leaves fall from the trees. The trees hibernate in the winter and stop feeding to protect themselves against the cold winter.

Fun Facts

Do you know how Americans also call autumn? They also call it fall, because the leaves are falling.
Do you know which trees don’t change colours during autumn? The Evergreens!

Seeds such as acorns, chestnuts and pinecones also fall from the tree. They fall onto the ground and from these seeds new trees are born. The red squirrel loves the seeds and collects them for the upcoming winter. They don’t hibernate during winter and store all their food in a safe place. Dormice, bats and hedgehogs do hibernate and find a safe place to sleep at the end of autumn.