Exploring The Last Green Valley – Fall into Autumn and Get Outdoors!
Fall into Autumn and Get Outdoors!
Two days ago, at approximately 10:20 EDT on September 22, 2016, was the autumnal equinox. Fall is here, that special time of year to get out and enjoy the outdoors.
For many of us autumn begins after Labor Day. Kids are back to school and the summer agricultural fair season is over. I live in the northeast corner of the state and for many residents the Brooklyn and Woodstock Fairs mark the end of summer and the beginning of autumn.
The spring, summer and fall calendar at my house is also ruled by my vegetable garden. From tilling and planting between April and May, to watering, weeding and harvesting in June, July and August, and then final harvesting in September and hopefully into October, the garden is the guiding force to seasonal work. By November I’ll do my fall till, mulch perennials, make notes on how the garden season went, and turn my thoughts to preparing the property for the winter season to come.
So what exactly is the autumnal equinox anyway?
Twice a year, around March 20 or 21 and Sept. 22 or 23, the sun’s rays shine directly over the Earth’s equator. These two days are known as the March (vernal or spring in the Northern Hemisphere) equinox and the September (autumnal) equinox.
During both the vernal and autumnal equinox, day and night are balanced to nearly 12 hours each all over the world. Instead of a tilt away from or toward the sun, the Earth’s axis of rotation is perpendicular to a line connecting the centers of the Earth and the sun during an equinox. From this point on, daylight in the Northern Hemisphere will gradually grow shorter until the winter solstice, which occurs on December 21st.
The months between the autumnal equinox and winter solstice provide excellent opportunities to get outdoors for a walk or hike. I enjoy a hike any time of year, but October and November are my favorite months. The weather is cooler, there are fewer bothersome insects, and the changing landscape of colors and fall foliage makes for breathtaking views.
Here at The Last Green Valley, Inc. (TLGV) the month of October is our busiest time of year as our annual program Walktober kicks off. This year we have an amazing 270 opportunities for you to get out and enjoy the beautiful place we call home – The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor. This year we’ve stretched Walktober to start today, September 24th and go into November with the last experience on November 4th.
You can find Walktober brochures at libraries and town halls and at several locations around the 35-town National Heritage Corridor. Feel free to call TLGV, Inc. at 860-774-3300 and we’ll mail one to you, or better yet, you can download the brochure from our website. Go to www.thelastgreenvalley.org and click on the Explore tab and then the Walktober tab to download the brochure. I am sure you’ll discover your next adventure in The Last Green Valley as well as places to explore on your own throughout the year.
This week there are Walktober walks and experiences in twelve towns in The Last Green Valley including Charlton, Woodstock, Southbridge, Lebanon, Norwich, Mansfield, Brooklyn, Sturbridge, Pomfret, Thompson, Scotland and Willimantic. These walks are led by volunteers from organizations that make our region such a wonderful place to live and work.
Over the next couple of weeks I’ll bring you more tidbits about Walktober and hope to see you out and about here in The Last Green Valley during the most visually-intoxicating month of the year.
We live in a region rich in history and nature with exceptional opportunities to experience natural and cultural resources. I hope you’ll join us and the many people actively celebrating The Last Green Valley during Walktober. Together we can enjoy it, share it with family and friends, and pass it on to the next generation.
Bill Reid is the Chief Ranger of The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor and has lived in the region for more than 30 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Norwich Bulletin is granted first serial rights and associated electronic rights to publish the preceding article. The Last Green Valley, Inc. retains all other rights to the work.
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