Fall is here (and Winter is coming)

Forest in the fall

By U.S. Department of Agriculture (Hapgood Pond) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

When giving me this challenge to write a post for each day in November, I hadn’t realised how much nicer a post with pictures looks and how helpful an illustrative picture can be, but now it is getting dark so early that getting those pictures is not so easy.

Of course, it is not only getting dark sooner because we turned the clock last week, but also because the northern hemisphere is directed away from the sun due to the axial tilt. This leads to the days getting shorter and the light is less intense. This is commonly known as “fall” (or autumn).

Diagram of the Earths seasons

The seasons depend on the axis tilt of the earth with respect to the sun. Beginning with the front left, depicted are (with respect to the northern hemisphere) anti-clockwise: autumn equinox, winter solstice, spring equinox, summer solstice.
By Tau Ľolunga (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

From summer solstice (June, 21) to winter solstice (December, 21), the northern hemisphere gets progressively less sunlight every day. At the autumn equinox (September, 23), the periods of daylight and night are equal. This marks the beginning of autumn.

While this means the leaves are turning lovely shades of yellow, orange and brown, it also means Christmas is nearer than I want to acknowledge. Each year, at the end of summer I am proud to think about gifts early, and then I forget about them until it is November. Now, I do not tend to knit for Christmas, but thinking of gifts the recipient will love is hard for me. I like the build up to Christmas while I dread it at the same time; there are so many things to do and the time seems to fly. The short time of daylight seems to emphasise this, while it also encourages you to light a candle and knit with a cup of tea next to you.