Blog: Signs of Autumn


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Broad-Winged Hawk

Is autumn is in the air? What signals the change of seasons in your area? Here in New Hampshire, the temperature is falling and the garden plants are slowing down. 

Recently, I’ve also noticed another sign that it's fall: bird migrations.


Two weeks ago, I was invited to a friend’s cottage on the seacoast in Little Compton, Rhode Island. One early evening, we were amazed to witness masses of birds swarming above their pond. She told me that they were tree swallows feeding on mosquitoes. It was almost eerie to see the black clouds of small birds darkening the sky.

Then, last week, I drove to Plum Island, Massachusetts on a school field trip. I saw the tree swallows again—a multitude of small birds taking to the skies! Have you ever seen such a sight? It turns out that tree swallows gather in coastal locations to feed on the fruits of bayberry bushes prior to a mass migration south.


Over the weekend, I hiked up a nearby mountain, Pack Monadnock. At the summit, we were thrilled to view kettles of hawks soaring in the sky. At the high mountain altitudes, they float on “thermals” (pockets of warm air), barely needing to flap their broad wings. The hawk migration means that their food supply of frogs, snakes, and forest creatures is dwindling—a clear sign of summer's end! Read more about hawks and birds of prey.


Birds aren't the only creatures hinting that cold weather's coming. Our Almanac publisher recently saw a bear crossing the road in the middle of her walk! This is the second time in one week I’ve heard of a bear sighting. Folklore says …

It is going to be a tough winter if bears are seen berrying.

Of course, you can also check out the newest edition of The Old Farmer’s Almanac for winter weather predictions.

What says autumn to you? Please share! Just comment in the box below (and include your location!).

~ By  Catherine Boeckmann

About This Blog

Your Old Farmer's Almanac editors occasionally share our reflections, advice, and musings—and welcome your comments. too.


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Fall has arrived in Wisconsin

Fall has arrived in Wisconsin when it is time to grab 2 five gallon buckets and head out to pick up hickory nuts that have fallen to the ground.

Here in New Mexico (Sandia

Here in New Mexico (Sandia Heights just outside the city of Albuquerque, NM) the air is crisper in the evening, night and mornings, the sun is weaker and like another post stated there is a difference in the strength and quality of the light. The light is particularly beautiful here this time of year. Hummingbirds seem to be gone already with the cooler nights, low of 48 degs. here at 6K feet last night Tues. 9/29. Of course, sunrise and sunset have changed already and the days are shorter. Just a hint of color change starting as we have cottonwoods in this area mostly concentrated down around the Rio Grande River. The home just behind and below us has a very large old cottonwood that will have beautiful golden leaves in a few weeks. The big marker of Fall here is the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta starting this week! It runs this weekend through the following weekend and balloonist from all over the USA and world come to fly and enjoy a grand gathering. It is a lovely time of year here. We have had a lot of monsoon moisture so the colors should be fabulous this year. Especially the farther north in NM one goes. Hope to do that soon too! Happy Autumn to all. Chris

Here in northern ontario

Here in northern ontario canada, I notice the return of the chickadees to my backyard and the sighting of flocks of geese starting to head south which signal the end of summer and the start of fall. The trees are just starting to show a hint of color now and should be in their full glory in a couple of weeks. Fall is my favorite season because it's so colorful and full of activity and still pleasant weather enough to be outside for a walk or bike ride.

Here in Northern CA, At least

Here in Northern CA, At least the cooler weather is a welcome break from the summer scorchers!

Here in Northern CA, I had

Here in Northern CA, I had tools and equipment out that were fine during the summer, But woke up to everything wet and covered with morning dew!! UHG!

Here in Rocky Mountain

Here in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado the bugling of the bull elk is a sure sign that fall has arrived. They bugle far into the night to attract female elk, tell other male elk to go away, and to show off their large bodies and giant antlers. It's all part of the fall show we have here called the elk rut. It's the mating season for the elk. The crispness of the air and the touch of snow on the higher peaks lets us know that winter is not far behind.

We were in south eastern Ohio

We were in south eastern Ohio the first week of September visiting relatives. The leaves of the maple, oak and gum trees were just beginning to change their colors. Some oak trees were already dropping their leaves; a strange mix of deep reds and yellows on some branches while most of the leaves were still green. We're from Florida so we were gifted with the early beginnings of the fall season.

Here in North Texas, the

Here in North Texas, the first sign of autumn is my air conditioner doesn't cycle on and off constantly all night. The air is cooler and less humid in the morning when I go to work. And I can't explain it, but the light changes. Not only are the days shorter, but the sunlight is "thinner"... not really "there". We still have some old growth cottonwood trees in my neighborhood, and if we are blessed with cool nights and warm, not sweltering days, the leaves turn as golden as aspen leaves.

I love the autumn, it is my very favorite time of the year. Being born in September may have had something to do with it.

I can always tell fall is

I can always tell fall is coming in Texas when the acorns start falling from the trees. Mine started falling last week.

Thank you amazing blog, do

Thank you amazing blog, do you have twitter, facebook or something similar where i can follow your blog

Sandro Heckler

In Southern Mississippi, the

In Southern Mississippi, the first thing that says Fall here is a hurricane or tropical storm, after that we have an influx of spider lilies that seriously announce the start of Autumn. After you start noticing the Spider lilies, you note the Pecan Trees full of Pecans. The squirrels in my area haven't let one pecan fall to the ground without busting it open first. Oh and the Pecan trees start dumping old leaves around this time too. It won't be until December that we even experience a Frost, so you have to watch for the subtle changes taking place because before you know it, it's warm again.

Here in Tacoma, my Maples are

Here in Tacoma, my Maples are turning red. My summer garden is ending and the fall is starting. The air is crisp and the rain is back. I have seen more deer on the backroads. The big orange pumpkins are also ready for picking. This happened rather quickly, this year. Fall my favorite time of year, is right around the corner. Oh, I miss those New England Autumns with the changing leaves;what wonderful color. Enjoy the changing seasons!:)

The change becomes apparent

The change becomes apparent to me because of daylight mainly. Later light in the mornings and less hours of light in the evenings.

My other senses also remind me: my body aches differently, I tend to smell different things in the air, I start seeing more migrational movements with birds, and the blasted retailers start barraging us with Christmas decor before Halloween arrives and way before Summer officially ends.

I can't explain the physical sense of Fall being around the corner, but my body just feels differently and there is definitely excitement in my bones. I think that comes from the temperature beginning to be less of a beating and the direction of the wind starting to change more often. I truly love Summer and the heat, but it begins to get real old after so many over-100-degree-days in Texas...and this year was a record breaker in the DFW area.

I'm ready to rake leaves, smell cinnamon and spices from candles, have a fire in the fireplace, and enjoy the many other awesome smells of Fall!

Way out here in Medicine

Way out here in Medicine Lodge, Kansas, when we see tarantulas crossing the road, the old-timers say autumn is approaching. Another sure sign of autumn is the upsurge of deer...everywhere! Driving is more like playing bumper-cars at the carnival than a quick method for arriving at destination "B" from starting location "A". Our weekly paper shows a spike for "Struck Deer" in the Sheriff's News column each fall.

Here in Dublin, NH, the swamp

Here in Dublin, NH, the swamp Maples in the watery lowlands are just starting to turn red. I can see some dried leaves floating across my driveway. I can smell my firewood that we split over the weekend, drying in the warm and sunny afternoon. There is a change of color in the sky in the evenings, a true sign that Autumn is here. This Friday is the Autumnal Equinox. I love fall in New England!

A sure sign is darkness

A sure sign is darkness before 7 at night. Temperatures are such that the air conditioner need not be turned on again. We haven't seen leaves change color yet in Connecticut, but that's probably just two weeks away. And I'm noticing the squirrels are starting to store nuts and things for the season to come.

Here in Maryland, I am seeing

Here in Maryland, I am seeing a few geese starting to fly by, and big flocks of smaller birds. There are many big fat crickets crawling around and chirping. The shorter days have started and that is one thing I didn't miss while summer was here...

Here in West Hamlin, WV, the

Here in West Hamlin, WV, the leaves are turning, the hummingbirds are gone, the squirrels are carring off my walnuts and chestnuts fast as they fall. Days are cooler. It's getting dark earlier. The grass is not growing as fast. My dog and cat are already getting their thick fur.

Autumn is here in the Kern

Autumn is here in the Kern Valley in California, the bears have been coming around eating the fruit off the apple, peach and fig trees. Some of the winter birds I get at my feeders are showing up, spotted towhees, lark sparrows. The Rufus Hummingbirds that stop here on their migration have come and gone. This years crop of baby quail are all grown and all the individual families have joined into large coveys. The acorns and cedar cones are about halfway through falling. The Acorn woodpeckers are very busy gathering acorns and storing them in holes in the telephone pole in our front yard. And the quality of sunlight has changed, its somehow softer, more suble this time of year. Its especially noticable in the early morning and in the evening. Another sign of autumn is the local vulture festival that begins this weekend, Sept. 26th. It is a week long event where we celebrate and count the kettles of vultures that migrate through our valley every autumn. Kettles are large groups of vultures flying together in a rotating circle/vortex, sometimes more than a 100 birds in one. I love sitting on my front porch and watching as kettle after kettle crosses from one side of our valley to the other, right over my house.

Here in Montreal, Quebec,

Here in Montreal, Quebec, even though the trees are turning brilliant colours we're enjoying Indian Summer. The last couple of days have been very warm and humid.

Here in the Black Hills of

Here in the Black Hills of South Dakota the squirrels have been very busy with their back and forth to get the pine cones they've knocked out of the trees. The pine trees are dropping their needles from this year. The aspens are beginning to turn golden and very shortly they will be bare.
The bucks are rubbing to remove the velvet from their antlers. The streets are emptying as the tourists all head home. Our little town is ours again...

Here in Troy, NC we are

Here in Troy, NC we are seeing alot of color. With cooler temps in the daytime and nightime. The trees that don't turn until mid October are already turning and loosing their leaves. This year has been very odd in temperatures and everything seems to be doing their thing early this year. Fruit trees are loaded and the Oak trees are loaded with acorns and they are really big this year and they're falling. Fall and winter are really my favorite time of year. It looks like GOD is painting a beautiful picture.

Thanks for sharing

Thanks for sharing

Here in Northeast Louisiana

Here in Northeast Louisiana the mornings are beginning to be cool and a few of the leaves are turning, some falling from the trees. It is a rare thing that we get real Autum weather and color here, but when we do, believe me we all enjoy and appreciate it. I think Fall is my favorite time of the year although I do wax nostalgic because of the winter death of everything just ahead. I tire very quickly of Winter so I truly am enjoying the beautiful signs of Autum we are experiencing.

Here in the Ozark Mountains

Here in the Ozark Mountains it's cooler and we are starting to see some color from the dogwoods, sumac, and sassafras. The acorns are falling, the aster and goldenrod are blooming..... visit my blog at for more about Autumn in the Ozarks and some great wallpaper.

My sign of Fall in Indiana

My sign of Fall in Indiana are the woolly worms. They are every where now and vary in color from blonde to dark auburn.

By late August the tender

By late August the tender green lobes of the Morining Glory's leaves begin to appear in my back yard. Every year, I know by this welcome sign that Autumn is on its way.
By the time the vines are wrapped around the stalks of the Peace Rose and the blue trumpets of the Morning Glories bloom together with the last pink buds of the roses, an herbal fragrance pleasantly stings the nostrils and Autumn is here.

East Mountains, New Mexico -

East Mountains, New Mexico - In late August the Hummingbird Mints start blooming profusely. They are one of my favorite plants, but seeing them bloom is bittersweet because it means that the hummers will be gone in a few weeks. As it is now, September 22, their population is substantially less - maybe 10-20 swarming birds as opposed to 50 just a couple of weeks ago. It's as if a switch has been flipped, one day warm, the next crisp and cool. The State Fair is underway and next month, the Balloon Fiesta. I'm trying to enjoy the last colorful flowers in my garden before snowfall takes them away until next Spring.

today, rain started after a

today, rain started after a dry summer and the coolest breeze since early spring. that's down south central texas.

In late August the tender

In late August the tender green lobes of the Morning Glory's leaves begin to appear in my back yard. Every year I know Autumn is on its way by this welcome sign. By the time the vines are wrapped around the Peace Rose and the blue trumpets of the Morning Glories bloom together with the last pink buds of the roses, an herbal fragrance pleasantly stings the nostrils and Autumn is here.

Well we are still a few weeks

Well we are still a few weeks away from most signs of fall, but we are having crisper mornings and some of the leaves are starting to change. I love the fact that there is less humidity and the air just feels a bit quieter and sadder. PLus one big sign of fall is football season! College football is in full swing.

Here in the Bay Area(San

Here in the Bay Area(San Francisco). The fire season starts up and in October the rain returns and it starts getting colder.

Yes, in the San Francisco bay

Yes, in the San Francisco bay area we usually have one or two hot spells in Ocotber then settle into some nice seasonal weather. I've noticed leaves beginning to change early this year which might be because we had a relatively cool September.

My signs of autumn in New

My signs of autumn in New England: a refreshing crisp air, a lovely breeze, NO BUGS!, cold mornings and warm days, something special about the autumn sunlight, red-leaved sugar maples, clouds rising higher in the sky. I see that Ann H mentions that it's raining acorns in the Midwest. I hear that lots of berries or acorns means a severe winter ahead. Ugh. Not looking forward to freezing cold temps though I love the snow.

Gosh I enjoy reading the post

Gosh I enjoy reading the post from the northern areas. Fall is my favorite time of year but I live in Houston, TX. and do not see the beauty of the changing of the leaves or crisp days much. But there does seem to be a feeling I can't describe that lets me know that Fall is nearing. Such a peaceful and heart warming time for me.

Signs of Fall in the Midwest:

Signs of Fall in the Midwest: The squirrels are going crazy, stocking up on nuts for the winter. We have a large oak in our backyard that is literally "raining" acorns. But the nuts of choice are the walnuts from our tree in front of our house. My husband discovered that the squirrels were "squirreling away" these nuts in our storage shed. The squirrels lined up the walnuts in precise rows and they had even brought in pieces of grass in order to make a nice, cozy home for the winter. We can also hear the squirrels scampering across our roof, as they jump from tree to tree. We must be in for a long, cold winter by the amount of nuts being hidden in our shed!

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