Ode to Autumn. John Keats

Seasons of Mists…

This is one of my favourite poems. It knows autumn so well and describes it perfectly. I find myself stopping and thinking about this poem often in the autumn (it is hard to find enough time to be able to stop and think about autumn and the changing of the seasons let alone appreciate the poetry). However, I’ve been thinking about this poem since late August when I was camping and looking at apple trees full of fruit. Something about it keeps coming back to me.

We had to learn it by rote in school when I was 11 or 12. I wasn’t very good at that! But I remember the whole of the first verse. Many, many years on. Something about it stuck with me.

Soooo, it’s the Autumn Equinox Today

That’s when the day and night are the same length. The autumn equinox signifies the astronomical start of autumn. So autumn officially starts today!!! What better time to share the beauty of Keats’ poem.

That is unless you go by the meteorological season when autumn begins on 01 September 2017 and ends on 30 November 2017.

Astronomical Seasons

The astronomical autumn begins on 22 September 2017 and ends on 21 December 2017. The 21 December is the Winter Solstice which has the longest night (and shortest day) and signifies the starts of astronomical winter…

The astronomical calendar determines the seasons due to the 23.5 degree tilt of the Earth’s rotational axis in relation to its orbit around the sun. Both equinoxes and solstices are related to the Earth’s orbit around the sun.

But you Thought it was Autumn Already? The Meteorological Seasons

The meteorological seasons are split in to four periods made up of three months each. The seasons are split according to our Gregorian calendar. This makes it easier for the statistical comparison of monthly and seasonal meteorological observing and forecasting.

The meteorological seasons are

  • Spring (March, April, May)
  • Summer (June, July, August)
  • Autumn (September, October, November)
  • Winter (December, January, February).

A Word on Solstices and Equinoxes

Solstices and equinoxes are astronomical transition points between the seasons and mark key stages in the astronomical cycle of the earth.

Each year there are two equinoxes (spring and autumn) and two solstices (summer and winter). The Equinox and SolsticeĀ dates aren’t fixed due to the Earth’s elliptical orbit of the sun. In early January, the sun is closest (known as perihelion) to the earth and in early July it is most distant (aphelion) from the earth.

On the autumn equinox, day and night are of roughly equal length and the nights will become increasingly longer than the days; until the spring equinox when the pattern is reversed.

Autumn equinox also marks the time of year when the northern hemisphere begins to tilt away from the sun resulting in less direct sunlight and consequently the cooling temperatures.

My Favourite Autumn Recipes

I can’t write a post about autumn without pulling together my favourite Gluten-Free | Vegan | Allergy-Friendly | Seasonal autumn recipes.

Apples!!! Apples are big in the poem and big in autumn. You can’t go wrong with Bramley Apple and Quince Crumble!

Autumn is the season of preserving and you cannot go wrong with Sauerkraut. It is so easy and so versatile. I love to use it in place of onions is stir fries or casseroles.

If you want a warming, delicious soup how about Parsnip and Walnut Soup with Walnut Pesto. Amazing!

You can’t think about autumn without thinking of pumpkin and squash. Go sweet with Gluten Free, Vegan Sweet Squash/ Pumpkin Tart.

Go sweet again with one of my all-time favourites… Blackberry and Almond Chocolate Mousse. Decadent, delightful and delicious.

Enjoy autumn! I know I will. šŸ™‚

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