Blog: Signs of Autumn

January 29, 2019
Red-Tailed Hawk

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It’s my favorite time of year again. Autumn is in the air. Anyone who’s sweated their way through a long hot summer might be ready for a change of season. What says autumn to you?

Ever noticed how birds behave in autumn? 


Near the seacoast in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, masses of birds swarm above the ponds. They are tree swallows feeding on mosquitoes. It’s almost eerie to see the black clouds of small birds darkening the sky. 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.


Near The Old Farmer’s Almanac in New Hampshire is a mountain, Pack Monadnock. At the summit, you’ll 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 saw a bear crossing the road in the middle of her walk! 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


Of course, another way we know autumn’s approaching is to observe the plants.  The vegetables in the garden are slowing down. The leaves on many of the trees are starting to change color.  

Interestingly, this isn’t due to cooler temperatures as much as it is due to the lessening daylight. See more about why autumn leaves change colors


It’s not just the tree’s colorful clothing that changes. It’s our own!  Get ready to add a layer of clothes for a walk in the woods!  Add a soft blanket to the sofa.  Get cozy!

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

About This Blog

Your Old Farmer’s Almanac editors occasionally share our reflections, advice, and musings—and welcome your comments!

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