A Swiftly Tilting Planet and the Autumnal Equinox


This swiftly tilting planet (to steal a phrase from Madeleine L’Engle) is approaching equilibrium again today, giving us equal servings of light and darkness. And now those of us in the Northern Hemisphere begin our journey into night and winter and cold. Not exactly time to get out out the woolies yet, but at least identify where we stashed them last spring.

There are still a few of hazy-golden days of September left. If April is the cruelest month,  September must be the kindest–at least in my part of the world. The light is beautiful, soft after the harsher glare of July and August. Blue skies. Green Fields. And the leaves on the trees are just starting to concoct the idea of turning color. If you squint your eyes, you can almost make out the shade they’re planning on becoming.Blue Sky and Clouds

It is soccer season for the kids, so we stash a couple of sweatshirts (and maybe a blanket) in the car…spectating can be frosty work. Some of those games don’t end before the evening chill sets in. It pays to be prepared, a lesson we’ve learned the hard way.

In the garden, we’re starting to think about changes to the perennial beds and borders. Plus its a good time of year to pick up bargains at the garden center, so we might find a few goodies to tuck in here and there. We’re hoping to find a Crepe Myrtle (Lythraceae indica) on the cheap. Fingers crossed!

Our Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicand) needs moved…just not sure to where yet but t’s outgrown the bed its in. I’m debating how much to prune before we move it, especially since it blooms on old wood. This was the first season we’ve gotten tons of flowers on itso it’d be a shame to start from scratch again.

A couple of the large trees in our back yard will have to come down soon. I’m afraid they’ll fall on their own this winter and land someplace inconvenient so I’d better cut them down myself. Hopefully I’ll be able to coax them to fall where they can do the least amount of damage (that’s the plan anyway.) This is one of those tasks that intimidates me; I’ve found a hundred excuses to put it off. Perhaps by writing it here it’ll give me the courage to fire up chainsaw and axe.

So Happy Autumnal Equinox, my friends. We’ll celebrate with a campfire and toasted marshmallows and perhaps some s’mores. And maybe a hard cider or two. Cheers!

Do you have any favorite ways to celebrate the arrival of Autumn? What’s your favorite thing about the season?

About Benjamin

Gardening, Raising a Family, Hobby Photography, Reading & Philoso-phizing...not necessarily in that order.
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29 Responses to A Swiftly Tilting Planet and the Autumnal Equinox

  1. dandyknife says:

    It must be the length of time elapsed from the Christmas holidays, but I’ve noticed at my church, where we begin every service with a celebratory ditty for whoever’s having a milestone, that the number of birthdays, including mine, increases dramatically during September. A birthday is a great way to celebrate Autumn!
    Cool days, bluer skies, crisp sounds, and sharp smells (wood fires!) charm the season. Recommencement of social routines cheer and hallow it. Autumn is the BEST.

    • Benjamin says:

      LOL, I’ve noticed that September seems to be a very popular birth month as well…And I think you’re right, probably a combination of the conviviality of the holidays and the cold weather 😉 Happy Autumn! Raising a mug of mulled apple cider to you!

  2. Amy Bogard says:

    Beautiful post Ben! I can practically taste the cider and s’mores in this post. 🙂

  3. Robbie says:

    Your photos are beautiful:-) You really captured the clouds this season. My son was home visiting from college the other day and I told him, ” look at those clouds” You are right about the beauty outside. The butterflies, golden finches, and bees are just busy every day. This is the best time of year. I need to cut out bushes,too. I always find some way to avoid that project so I can relate:-)
    My favorite thing about September are the butterflies. I am seeing more monarchs than last year so I am thrilled! Bon fire time soon!!!
    My kids are past the soccer stage + I do miss those times. Enjoy them:-) We had such a blast with other parents watching our kids run up and down the fields etc. in those early days before everyone went their different ways. A memory to cherish!

    • Benjamin says:

      Thanks! Glad to hear you’re seeing lots of monarchs. We’re keeping our eyes peeled but have only seen a couple so far. I hope your autumn is lovely and filled with everything that makes fall special. Cheers! Ben

  4. yup, Fall has to be celebrated. Of course its the nice fires, the hikes without breaking out in smelly sweat, tasty foods..a bit fed up with all those light, cool salads. Putting the garden to sleep and indulging in Pumpkins for beauty and foods. Aaand…being a shela, woohoo, getting the swetaers, winter dresses and tweeds of the shelf again!;0)

  5. Saw in my diary that we are officially in autumn now. Was still warm and sunny here so took a lovely walk round the country park with a friend this afternoon. Got a bit chilly on the top of the hills but brilliant views over the city.

    Sounds like it is indeed time to cut those trees down! Then you can really celebrate with some cider…

  6. Oh, the colour of leaves is my favourite thing about autumn.

  7. pbmgarden says:

    Nice title! When she was about 10 years old I took my daughter and her friend to a Madeleine L’Engle book signing. The author was very gracious. Happy Autumn!

  8. bittster says:

    You sure paint a pleasant relaxing picture of fall! I always think of it as death to the garden and time to hunker down indoors, but I do agree the colors and light and blueness of the sky are fantastic. Good luck with the trees, they’ll make great fires for the cool nights!

  9. Benjamin says:

    Thanks! I agree with you about the garden and hunkering down, but the death of the old garden leads to the planning of the new and all those seed catalogues that will start showing up in the post are the perfect thing to hunker down with! 😉 Happy Autumn to you! Cheers, Ben

  10. KerryCan says:

    You capture what’s special about autumn so well! I feel like I’ve been too busy to enjoy it yet but I will! We’re getting well into leaf-peeping season, with apples and donuts and noisy geese everywhere!

  11. Your pictures today are gorgeous! For the first time in about 13 years, my son is not playing soccer! While I miss the camaraderie of the other parents, I do not miss shivering with them! A few years ago, I made a simple patchwork quilt using our school colors just to keep in the car for games, and believe me, it came in handy on several occasions, especially the years they made play-offs and the season extended into November! It also comes in hand for early spring track meets, where the kids are sometimes running in snow flurries or freezing rain! (I also recommend hot chocolate with a generous splash of Bailey’s in it when you get home–thaws you out quite nicely!)

    My favorite part of autumn is near-weekly trips to the cider mil with my best friend. That and the beautiful, clear blue of the sky in September and October.

  12. Cathy says:

    Your description of Sepember as a kind month is true here too – not always that green if we’ve had a dry summer, but softer light and beautiful skies. Enjoy the season!

  13. Love autumn! Never thought of September that way but I will now! Thx for sharing!

  14. Beautiful pictures Benjamin! The sky is so blue, don’t see that often anymore 🙂

  15. bsmercer says:

    If you find yourself driving through Atlanta in the near future, I’ve got free crepe Myrtles for you!

  16. chris says:

    Sometimes the September brings a sense of dread. I find that when a long plane ride with 49 or so of your new “besties” looms ahead, that it can bring a sense of melancholy. Even an Afghan winter can sprout new friendships, ones that will last forever. Here is some STRONGBOW and a aromatic pipe to you, Sir. Hot or cold to your pleasure. I really enjoy your writing especially on long nights at the fire house.

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