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The Growth of Autumn

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It is the beginning of October, meaning that we are officially a few days into a new season: Autumn!

Autumn is the season between summer and winter, right when the hot temperatures slowly become cool and crisp. The reason why this change in season occurs is because of the tilt of the Earth’s axis. During the winter, our side of the Earth reaches a point in its revolution when it is tilted away from the sun, so it becomes cold. Autumn is the transition phase between summer, when our side of the Earth faces the sun and winter.

The change in the position of our planet relative to the sun manifests physically in our day-to-day lives. One of the most apparent differences is the vivid array of colors we see in the trees around us. The chlorophyll 一, the pigment that makes leaves green 一 gets destroyed by the cooler weather conditions. As a result, other pigments, such as carotenoids (which make orange, yellow and brown) and anthocyanin (which make red, purple, and blue), have the opportunity to shine through.

Unfortunately, the energy that the leaves provide at this point is not sustainable enough for trees to flourish. As a result, the trees absorb the nutrients of the leaves back inside. The leaves eventually fall off (hence the name, fall!), leaving the branches empty.

There are many fun activities to do during autumn. This includes stepping on leaves for their satisfying crunch. Additionally, they can provide a large pile to jump inside. Several hot drinks can be made, such as the famous pumpkin spice latte and hot chocolate. Even without beverages to help warm up, there are cute clothes, ranging from beanies to sweaters, that will also do the job in style.

There are also exciting things to do at the Bronx River (with social distancing safety measures applied). Different paddles are being held throughout the month. On Community Fridays, for example, people have a chance to explore the waters of the Bronx River. Beyond those, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer at a park clean up or tree planting event. A simple stroll alongside the river is also an amazing way to enjoy the autumn weather.

It is practically unbelievable how far we have made it into the year given the whirlwind of circumstances we have been through in such a short amount of time. But the change in season can be symbolic of the changes that we experience. It has been a harsh year for everyone, and in some cases, even worse than that. It may hurt a lot and tear us down into pieces. But time still passes on. We will grow more resilient as a society.

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The Bronx River Alliance is a coordinated voice for the river that works in partnership to protect, improve and restore the Bronx River corridor so that it can be a healthy ecological, recreational, resource for the communities through which it flows.

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