Do you ever wonder why autumn is called fall? Just take a look at the ground... Autumn is commonly referred to as fall because this is the time of the year when all the leaves are changing into beautiful colors and falling to the ground.

Do you ever wonder why autumn is called fall? Just take a look at the ground… Autumn is commonly referred to as fall because this is the time of the year when all the leaves are changing into beautiful colors and falling to the ground.

This year the first day of fall is Friday, September 23. Enjoy the new, crisp air with some of these activities.

* Take a look up at the night sky.
The nights are getting longer as the sun sets earlier and rises later each day. The winter constellations that have been absent are starting to reappear in the Northern hemisphere: Orion the Hunter, Taurus the Bull, and Canis Major are visible in the early morning hours. Also, Jupiter rules and remains high in the sky as the brightest object other than the sun and moon.

* Understand the leaves.
Leaves are very important – they take the ingredients of sunlight, water, carbon dioxide and chlorophyll to make food. But since there is less sunlight in the fall and sunlight is a crucial ingredient, the leaf is unable to sustain itself any longer. It grows weak, breaks from the branch and falls to the ground. And did you know that leaves are red, yellow, orange and brown all year long? We just can’t see it because the green pigment of chlorophyll is so intense it blocks the other colors – they come out stronger in the fall when the green chlorophyll weakens before the leaf falls.

* Take a tree tour.
If you live in the Eastern United States, especially the Northeast, take advantage of the wide variety of trees. This area is one of the best places in the world for viewing fall colors. Maples, Oaks, Elms, Birch and Ash trees give the best fall shows. Bring the journals and crayons out. The changing landscape is a great opportunity for kids to tap into their artistic side. They can record their observations, draw the scenery or make leaf rubbings.

* Head over to the local apple orchard.
Orchards usually open the weekend after Labor Day. Pack a picnic basket and spend the day picking apples to use for food, desserts, snacks and even crafts! Add them to your salad or make a delicious pie, homemade applesauce or candy apples.

* Have fun with your chores.
Sure, raking the leaves doesn’t sound like any fun. It takes a while (especially if you have a large yard) and you get tired. But what if you make a game out of it? See who can make the biggest pile of leaves and then have a field day jumping in it! Who said chores always had to be boring?