October ended in my area with a slew of changes to help usher in November and prepare the mind, body, and soul for the end of autumn. Here is a quick summary of the changes I observed, along with a few science facts and thoughts to ponder.
October’s Full Moon
The full moon on October 27 was spectacular. Native Americans gave several names to this moon, including Hunter’s Moon, Blood Moon, and Sanguine Moon. Some tribes also referred to it as the Travel Moon or Dying Grass Moon.
Leaves and Colors Everywhere
Though the leaves started falling early in the month, the rate of the leaf drop increased exponentially in the last week of October. Also expedited was the rate of the color changes in the leaves. This change in color is made possible by changes in the number of daylight hours and in temperature. Less daylight and cooler temperatures cause the leaves to stop producing chlorophyll, a chemical that makes the leaves appear green.
The breaking down of chlorophyll allows other substances called carotene, xanthophyll, and anthocyanin to dictate the leaf color. Carotene and xanthophyll cause the leaves to turn yellow and orange. Anthocyanin creates deep red and purple hues in the leaves.
End of Fall Harvest
With the falling leaves came the decline of falling apples, buckeyes, and walnuts on the trees in my yard. A few apples remain, which my dogs enjoy eating on our walks. My oldest dog Luke has learned over the years to smell the apples first before taking a bite. This year, he was extra cautious after having been bitten by a bee and having a foul tasting mouth after consuming an apple with a rotten spot.
My younger dog Sadie seems to enjoy watching the apples fall from the tree. She studies intently until one falls, then runs over to examine or eat it, depending upon the apple’s condition.
Apples can be a healthy addition to a dog’s diet. However, one must be careful not to overfeed or allow dogs to eat too many green or overly ripe apples. Also of concern are the seeds, which can be choking hazards. Luke and Sadie have eaten apples most of their lives and have had few problems. They also go into a bit of withdrawal this time of year since the supply on the trees in the yard dwindles.
End of Daylight Savings Time
October 31 was the last full day of daylight saving time. Before going to bed that night, I turned the clocks back to reflect the shift in time that allows for better use of natural daylight. Though some early research indicated this practice also helped reduce energy, questions remain regarding how effective the practice really is and how much of an impact the switch has upon the human body.
Beginning of November and Reflection Time
The beginning of November is often thought of as a time of remembrance and reflection for some cultures and religions. November 1 is also known as All Saints’ Day, a day set aside to celebrate the lives and work of the group of people collectively called saints.
November 2 is also known as All Souls’ Day. It is a day to remember those who have departed earth but not yet reached heaven. This observation is primarily made by the Catholic Church, but also celebrated by the Eastern Orthodox Church, Anglican Church, and some Protestant denominations.
Transitions and Connections
With the transition of October to November come changes in nature and in life. These events may be caused by science, marked by culture and tradition, or simply nature’s art at work in the world. Whatever the cause may be, contemplating and reflecting upon the transitions and changes may allow the mind, body, and soul to become more connected with one’s environment.
References and Related Links
All Saints’ Day – http://www.catholic.org/saints/allsaints/
Anthocyanin – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1082903/
Breaking Down of Chlorphyll – http://time.com/3418885/why-leaves-change-color/
Chlorophyll – http://www.livescience.com/32496-why-is-grass-green.html
Daylight Saving Time – http://www.timeanddate.com/time/dst/
Daylight Saving Time Questions – http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/10/28/daylight-saving-time-5-things-know/74737608/
Full Moon Names – http://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/moon/full-moon-names.html
Leaf Color Changes – http://www.esf.edu/pubprog/brochure/leaves/leaves.htm
October Full Moon Names – http://www.almanac.com/content/full-hunters-moon-octobers-moon-guide
Thanksgiving Day – http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving
Veterans Day – http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/veterans-day
Xanthophyll – http://www.thefreedictionary.com/xanthophyll