Oklahoma summer has been kind to us this year. To date we have seen only 6 days that topped out at 100+F (38C) degrees.
Rain fall has been near normal average, but has fallen before trees became dry stressed. Tree watering has not been necessary during 2020’s summer months.
Hummingbird migration has begun. On the morning of August 30 the hummingbirds arrived earlier than usual at my feeders. After feeding they winged their way high in the sky ridding a stiff north wind that will carry them far south on their first leg of their Fall migration to South Texas, some will travel deep into central Mexico where they will feed and wait to return to North America to spend the summer feeding and raising the next generation of hummingbirds.
The shorting daylight length has triggered Cottonwood trees in my area to begin leaf color changes from dark green to light yellow and a few leafs are falling.
Autumnal equinox also called the September equinox or Fall equinox arrives September 22. Fall/Autumn begins in the Northern Hemisphere and spring begins in the Southern Hemisphere.
The word “equinox” comes from Latin aequus, meaning “equal,” and nox, “night.” On the equinox, day and night are roughly equal in length.
After the autumnal equinox, the Sun begins to rise later and nightfall comes sooner. This will end with the December 21, solstice, when days start to grow longer and nights are shorter.
Autumn/Fall foliage color change isn’t due to weather conditions. Leaves change color because of the amount of daylight and photosynthesis.
Q: Is the September Equinox Really the First Day of Fall/Autumn?
A: Based on the astronomical definition of seasons, yes, the autumnal equinox does mark the first day of Fall/Autumn (in the Northern Hemisphere). However, according to the meteorological definition of seasons, which is based on temperature cycles and the Gregorian calendar, the first day of fall is September 1.
Plants and trees are slowing down, as sunlight decreases, getting ready for the colder season ahead. In the garden, asters and chrysanthemums are blooming. Fall harvesting of winter squash and pumpkins is fast approaching. Keep a close eye on Fall and winter crops and harvest them at their peak quality.