Reprise of Autumn

The familiar query “What is your favorite season?” rings out once more over our land. Perhaps the question is more often asked during autumn than in any other season. Autumn is a personal favorite season for this blogger, but spring wins the day for 36% of the populace. Autumn was second with 27% when the question was last posed by Gallup in 2005. Scripture has many references to all four seasons. The wonders of seasonal variation described in Scripture provide many lessons — devotional, descriptive, and explanatory.

The Eastern Iowa countryside where we recently took residence is currently alive with features of the autumn harvest. The corn and soybeans have dried down and will be harvested before long. It is easy to exult in a passage such as Acts 14:17: “Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; He provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” (NIV)

Alert, perceptive residents notice many fascinating outcomes of the approach of autumn. When the baseball playoffs and World Series arrive shadows are cast on the playing field in unfamiliar configurations. The angle of the sun at noon from the horizon is always highest as the sun traces a great circle on the ecliptic each day. This is termed solar noon. It diminishes from June 22 to December 22—from about 72degrees in June to 49 degrees in September to 26 degrees in December. (These figures relate to conditions at about 41 degrees N. latitude, a latitude where I resided in my last six residences.) These facts could provoke curiosity from our young baseball fans. It is visually difficult for players to pass from sunlight to shadow.

Diminished sun angles link with shortened day lengths, lengthened nighttime, later sunrises, earlier sunsets, and gradually falling temperatures during autumn harvest season. Linked below is a past blog post where we discussed these phenomena in more detail:

An early post mentioned other fascinating autumn manifestations including autumn color, animal behavior, a reminder of natural cycles, and thanksgiving for God’s providence:

Another post reinforces our thankfulness and wonder at the average 55 degree temperature drop during the year at 41 degree N. lat., our allure at the “land of the midnight sun,” and our sense of wonder at the Creator’s plan who supplied for us all things to enjoy.

We reminded readers of the Earth’s axial tilt of 23.5 degrees, a key to understanding the beneficial conditions on this planet. We quoted the well known verse in Genesis 8:22: “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” (NIV):

Finally, what if the earth had no seasons at all? Life on Planet Earth would be barely recognizable. The presence of seasons is vital in sustaining our enormous population of 8 billion souls. We suggest readers thank the Heavenly Father for designing Planet Earth to possess seasons. Our lives depend on this fact.

1 Comment

  1. Charles Shoemaker on October 30, 2022 at 11:16 am

    The tropics of the norther Amazon don’t have much variation hot, humid, whether wet or dry!!! Day/night hours vary little.. 😀

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