Happy Fall! Happy Autumnal Equinox! Sept. 21 or 22, depending on where one is in the world, fall starts on one of these two dates. Autumn comes from Latin for “aequi,” which means equal, and “nox” meaning night; day and night are equal. The equinox represents the passing of summer into fall, as the sun passes over the equator. There are three ways in which autumn is defined: 1) astronomical fall where the seasons are turning; 2) meteorological fall when the seasons are divided into periods of months; and 3) phenological fall in which we measure changes in our environment such as falling leaves or migrating birds. All three of these definitions involve the weather and climate and again revolve around the seasonal changes throughout the year. Our collection includes “A Chronology of Weather” by Michael Allaby (551.5 All), “The Handy Weather Answer Book” by Walter Lyons (551.6 Lyo) and “The Secret World of Weather” by Tristan Gooley (551.63 Goo) if you want to learn more about those changes.
The Autumnal equinox usually is in alignment with the Harvest Moon, the name given to the first full moon of autumn. It was thought that the light of the full moon aided farmers in bringing in the crops from the fields while it was still light. More so, in the Northern hemisphere, the equinox gives rise to increased activity in the Northern Lights (Aurora borealis), causing remarkable ribbon-like color displays that are caused by an increase in geomagnetic disturbances in the atmosphere. Curious about those subjects? Read “The Book of the Moon: A Guide to Our Closest Neighbor” by Maggie Aderin-Pocock (523.3 Ade) and “Northern Lights” by Nick Hunter (j 538.768 Hun).
Historically, the fall equinox was celebrated by earth-centered religions to give thanks for a bountiful harvest and to acknowledge the need to prepare for winter. To study various holidays based on the change of seasons or other natural events, look into “Celebrate the Solstice: Honoring the Earth’s Seasonal Rhythms through Festival and Ceremony” by Richard Heinberg (394.26 Hei). Many of these traditions are still practiced by Indigenous populations from around the world. But for some, we enjoy autumn for lots of other reasons.
If you choose to mark the passing of the autumnal equinox by celebrating, perhaps go on a gratitude hike and express thanks for another beautiful season, or, read “Gratitude” by Oliver Sacks (616.8 Sac). The changing of the leaves in splashes of bright colors, the animals that winterize their dwellings in preparation for the cold, the sweaters and socks we knit, or the delicious fruits and vegetables that fall provides us for canning and preservation — all are reasons to be thankful, especially the pumpkin spice lattes. For books on canning check out “Ball Canning Back to Basics” (641.42 Bal) or “Foolproof Preserving by America’s Test Kitchen” (641.4 Foo).
Finally, autumn may inspire one’s creativity with the intensity of its colors enhancing the beauty of nature. Check out our collection for fall decorating and craft ideas and to bring some of that natural beauty into your home: “Malcolm Hillier’s Wreaths and Garlands” by Malcolm Hillier (745.92 Hil); “Beeswax Alchemy How to Make Your Own Candles, Soap, Balms, Salves and Home Décor from the Hive” (638.17 Ahn); “Knit Yourself Calm, a Creative Path to Managing Stress” by Lynne Rowe (746.63 Row); “Knitting Without Needles, Introduction to Finger and Arm Knitting” by Anne Weil (746.43 Wei).
The library is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 1-5 p.m. Sundays. Come check out our collection and be inspired. Questions? Stop by or reach out by phone at 765-362-2242 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to help you find your next read.
Stephanie Morrissette is a library assistant at the Reference & Local History Department at the Crawfordsville District Public Library.