Celebrate the First Day of Fall

Already September 22nd?  Where have the days gone since the end of camp?  Though it seems like just yesterday we were climbing mountains, tubing in the South Platte, and riding through the high valleys full of green Aspen—we know summer has passed, and winter is just around the corner.

September Equinox Image from TimeandDate.com

It is the first day of fall (at least in North America…if you are in Europe or Asia, you have to wait til September 23rd).  At camp, though, fall is a fairly short season…think weeks instead of months.  Many of us measure these fall days by the changing temperatures, the turning Aspen leaves, and the ever-present possibility of snow.  And tonight the autumnal equinox officially takes place at 10:09 p.m. Eastern Time, signifying the sun being in line with the equator.

So at 8:09, about the time the students from Mountain Ridge Middle School are in the middle of the Cowboy Extravaganza at Heisler Hall, the tilt of the earth will have our friends in the southern hemisphere celebrating the Spring Equinox.  Tomorrow morning, the sun will come up over the right flank of Pikes Peak (which, for those Summer Solstice campers in June, the sun was coming up on the far LEFT of Pikes’ summit back on June 21st).

By the time we hit the shortest day of the year in December, the sun seems to rise down by Pueblo, and drops behind Little Blue around 3:30 in the afternoon.  And, yes, it is cold.

Fall Explorations

So, take a walk around your neighborhood today and reflect on how things have changed and are changing in the natural world around you.  Notice the little changes in the colors of the trees and grasses; check out the seed-heads where there were once flowers; feel the different textures of the plants; look at the color of the sky; observe animals or insects—What are they doing? How are they moving?  Where are they going?; listen to the natural sounds and see if you can hear all of the same sounds you remember from your summer days; think about the smells and tastes of each season—how do you define fall with your five senses?

Enjoy your journey around the sun—and we’ll see you again when the sun looms large, bright, and long in the 2011 summertime sky.

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