Talk with the Doc: Our season of Autumn


Autumn, also known as our Fall season in the U.S. and in Canada, is one of our four great seasons, that is followed by our Winter, Spring, and Summer seasons. Of course, Autumn marks our transition from our Summer season and leads us to our Winter season.

Autumn is our season when the duration of daylight becomes noticeably shorter and the temperature cools considerably. The first day of Autumn this year was Thursday, Sept. 22.

The amount of daylight time decreases during our Fall season and night time darkness increases as the season progresses until the first day of Winter date occurs in December. The first day of Winter this year will be on Wednesday, Dec. 21. This date is also known to be the shortest day of the year and the longest night of the year. Here is an interesting Fall fact. On the first day of Fall, on Sept. 22, the hours of day time daylight and of nighttime darkness are just about equal. After Dec. 21, the days will start to get longer by two minutes and seven seconds each day. This will then lead to one extra hour of daylight by mid-January.

One of its main features of our Upper Peninsula Fall seasonis the strikingchange in colorof the leaves ofour many beautiful trees as they prepare to shed these leaves. These shorter days of the Fall season serve as a sign to the trees to begin to prepare for winter. The reason for this is that during winter there is not enough light for photosynthesis to occur, so as the days become shorter throughout autumn, the trees begin to close down their food production systems and reduce the amount of chlorophyll in their leaves.

Chlorophyll is the chemical which makes tree leaves green, and as it declines, other chemicals become more prominent in the leaves. These other chemicals are the cause of the vibrant ambers, reds and yellows seen in the autumn leaves. These tree chemicals that cause these beautiful leaf color changes are known as various types of flavonoids, carotenoids and anthocyanins.

Now it is time for some Fall humor. And always remember that my Surrell joke rule remains in effect. No groaning is allowed due to these silly Surrell jokes!

≤ Humpty Dumpty had a great Fall. And I sincerely hope you also have a great Autumn.

≤ Why do Canadian Geese fly south to Florida in the Fall? Because it’s way too far to walk.

≤ If money really did grow on trees, in Autumn we would all be raking it in.

≤ What did Autumn say to Summer? Make like a tree and leave.

≤ What happens when Winter arrives? Autumn leaves.

≤ What do trees say when their leaves grow back in the Spring? What a “re-leaf.”

≤ A Yooper guy got really tired of looking at all those leaves in his yard, so he took action. He got off the couch at halftime of the football game and closed the curtains.

I wish you all a fun Fall season enjoying the beautiful tree leaf colors in our wonderful U.P.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Jim Surrell is the author of “The ABC’s For Success In All We Do” and the “SOS (Stop Only Sugar) Diet” books.Contact Dr. Surrell by email at sosdietdoc@gmail.com.


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