(This is a somewhat modified version of a post originally from 2013)
Regular Zoners will recall that we have been celebrating the arrival of each new season. We last partied for the summer solstice (“The Four Seasons, Part 2: Summer Hot, Summer Hotter,” June 21, 2013). So once again we drag out the Joe Zone nuclear-powered microscope, and examine the season of autumn, which fell with a thud on the northern hemisphere September 23 at 4:22 AM EDT. Did you hear it?
Ah, autumn! What is so fair as a midsummer night’s dream of autumn, when frost has dusted the pumpkin patch and blanketed the grass, which still needs to be mowed because it won’t stop growing in this cursed damp, dreary, chilly season that reminds us that aging and death – well, maybe I’m getting carried away. Autumn, actually, is often the fairest of times, with mild weather and pleasant temperatures. Of course, occasionally Mother Nature will throw the odd hurricane or blizzard at us, but on the whole this season is usually a mellow time. This year, it’s very dry, so maybe we’ll make up for it by being buried in winter snow.
Autumn is sometimes referred to as “fall.” This is because come September and October, so many things are falling – leaves, temperatures, raindrops, hems, footballs, meteors, the stock market. Even gasoline prices are falling, primarily to confuse us. Also falling is the number of daylight hours, which of course means that the number of nightlight hours is increasing.