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When Autumn comes, it sometimes comes in a blink of an eye.  One day it is summer and then the next, you notice a subtle crispness in the air.  Then it is pumpkin-spice time, chunky knitted sweaters and knee-high boots are everywhere.  This is the work of the Autumn Equinox. It is also known as Michaelmas, Mabon, and Harvest Home.  It comes without any fanfare.  We pass it on the calendar in its small print in a blink of an eye.

This year, the Autumn Equinox happens approximately at 10:26am EDT on Thursday 22 September 2016.  The sun will rise at 6:44am and set at 6:52pm, giving us 8 minutes more of daylight over night.  The equinoxes happen at the same moment everywhere.  More light is called equilux(“lux” being Latin for light).

Autumnal Equinox Illustration
Autumnal Equinox Illustration

 

Depending on what side of the equator you live, you have different seasons than the opposite side.  The equinox in September in the north is known as the Autumnal(fall) equinox and the one in the south is known as the vernal(spring) equinox.  Each year has two equinoxes, September and March, when the sun shines directly on the equator and length of day and night are almost equal on both sides of the equator.  This equinox occurs the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator-the imaginary line above the Earth’s equator-from North to South.  This can happen on either September 22, 23, or 24 every year.

Earth Orbits Sun At a Slant
Earth Orbits Sun At a Slant

The angle at which the Earth is tilted at is 23.4º, to the ecliptic, or the imaginary plane Earth’s path creates around the sun.

Both hemispheres are always tilt a little towards the sun on any other day of the year, but on these two days, the Earth’s axis is always perpendicular towards the sun, as illustrated in the picture above.

On the Equinox, the night and day are nearly the same-12 hours-all over the world.  Equinox is derived from the Latin word aequus,  eqi meaning “equal” and nox meaning “night”.  Despite this being commonly accepted definition, in reality, equinoxes don’t exactly have 12 hours of daylight.  If you want to read more about why they don’t have exactly 12 of day, please click HERE.

hello autumn!
hello autumn!

Until December, the days get shorter until the Winter solstice, when the light will make its slow creep back to long summer days.  Technically, Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, compared to the summer solstice in June, which has the longest sunlight.

Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0
Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

Due to the fact that it takes Earth 365.25 days to orbit the Sun and why we have a leap year every year, the precise time of the equinox varies every year.  But usually it happens six hours later on each successive year.  On leap years though, the date jumps back an entire day.

Male Siberian Hamster
Male Siberian Hamster

Brilliant leaves and geomagnetic storms aren’t the only things that ramp up around the time of the autumnal equinox.  The creature world also does too.  Animals at high latitudes also go through biological changes with the changing of the seasons.  For example, the Siberian hamster, experiences the growth of their testes of up to 17 times their normal size in days leading up to when the days get shorter.

The Japanese traditionally mark both the Spring and Autumn Equinox with higan, higan-festivala seven-day period where they honor and remember their ancestors by visiting their graves by cleaning graves and offering flowers and foods, and burning incense sticks and praying.

 

 

 

Priest blessing food and flowers during the Polish Festival of Greenery.
Priest blessing food and flowers during the Polish Festival of Greenery.

In Poland, the Polish celebrate the Polish Festival of Greenery bring bouquets of flowers and foods to a priest for a blessing, and then using them for medicine or keeping them until the following year’s harvest.  The Roman celebration of the Fall Equinox was dedicated to Pomona, goddess of fruits and growing things

A well-fattened goose which had fed well on the stubble on the fields after the harvest is traditionally feasted on.  Ginger is also part of the tradition too.  Every single piece of food that is served that day at the feast is seasoned with ginger from gingerbread to ginger beer.

The last piece of corn that was harvested was made into a doll in England,corn-huskdolls representing the “spirit of the field”.  Drenched in water, this would represent rain or they were burned, representing the death of the spirit of the grain.  Large wickerwork figures are burned in a mock sacrifice or constructed to present a vegetarian spirit.  The large wickerwork figures also represented those two factors as well.  Farmers and merchants gathered at fairs.  Often there would be a large glove was suspended above the fair, symbolizing  the handshake of promises and open-handedness and generosity.

 

Burning Man Galen Oaks 2015
Burning Man Galen Oaks 2015

The “burning man” has seen a revival in the US.  It is celebrated at the end of summer.  It is an enthusiastic festival of performance arts and creativity.  Participating in your own burning man celebration is a powerful way to connect with humanity, past and present.

 

 

Autumn is a great time to still get out and do many activities before having to stay inside all winter.  This is just a small sampling of the many activities celebrated worldwide to usher in the annual Autumn Equinox.

How do you celebrate Autumn Equinox?  Do you look forward to autumn?  Please continue the conversation below.  If you liked this post, click “like” below and share to your favorite social networks.   I hope you enjoyed this post.  Thanks!

 

Till next time…

xo-heather

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In Old English, September is called Haervest-monath(Harvest Month).  This is time when the harvest is gathered, ready and put up for the winter months.  September’s name comes from the Latin word septem, meaning “seven”.  This month

Mary Howitt quote meme

 

This year, Labor Day, (the first Monday in September), falls on the 5th.  Did you know Canadians also celebrate Labour Day as well?

Patriot Day is observed in the U.S. on 11 September or 9/11.

patriots day

Grandparents’ Day is also celebrated on 11 September  too!  Please honor your grandparents(if you still have them) today and every day.  I have two Grandma’s left whom are alive and kicking in their 80s! 🙂

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Fall is right around the corner!  The Autumnal Equinox falls on 23 September this year.  At this moment, there is an equal amount of daylight and darkness hours in a day.  Find you current sunrise and sunset HERE.

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The month is then wrapped up on 29 September with Michealmas, an ancient Celtic “Quarter Day”.  This day was marked with the end of the harvesting and steeped heavily in folklore.

St. Micheal
St. Micheal

Some seasonal all-time favorites to bake would be:

Apple Pie Recipe by Grandma Ople
Apple Pie Recipe by Grandma Ople

 

Autumn Cheesecake Recipe
Autumn Cheesecake Recipe
Apple Crisp Recipe
Apple Crisp Recipe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a great time Martins on TM12 300to prepare winter bird seed for those of our feathered friends who stay around in the winter.

 

 

Full Harvest Moon
Full Harvest Moon

 

 

The Full Harvest Moon will be making its annual appearance on 16 September 2016 3:05P.M. EST.  There will also be other night sky events going on this month as well.

 

Some Folklore For This Month:

  • Heavy September rains bring drought
  • September blow soft, till the fruit’s in the loft
  • Married in September’s golden glow, smooth and serene your life will go
  • If the storms of September clear off warm,  the storms of the following winter will be warm
  • Fair on September 1st, fair for the month
September's Flower-Asteraceae(Aster amellus)
September’s Flower-Asteraceae(Aster amellus)
Sapphire, September's Birth Stone, which was once thought to guard against poisioining and evil
Sapphire, September’s Birthstone, which was once thought to guard against poisoning and evil
September's other flower, the Morning Glory(Convolvulaceae)
September’s other flower, the Morning Glory(Convolvulaceae)

 

fall is here
I’m excited! Are you?

What are you looking forward to(or baking) this fall?  I’d love for you to continue the conversation below.  And if you’ve liked this post, please tic like below and give it a share if you’ve really liked it.  Thanks 🙂

Till next time~

xo-heather

Top 10 Horror Movies

I love Autumn with the leaves, the pumpkins and the decour and even the Halloween decorations.   The leaves are beautiful now and the scenery around this neck of the woods in western NY is truly breathtaking and something to behold.  I am not thrilled about the season that follows it.  Rumor has it that it is supposed to make landfall this weekend and settle it for the next six months or so…it’s truly most unwelcome.

I have compiled a list of top 10 horror movies I’d like to share with you today.  Maybe you’d seen some of them, maybe not.  If you haven’t, they’re worth checking out.  Let’s start with number 10 and work our way down to my number one.

the-exorcist10.  The Exorcist  This movie needs no introduction.  1973 American supernatural horror film directed by William Friedkin, adapted by William Peter Blatty from his 1971 novel of the same name. The book, inspired by the 1949 exorcism of Roland Doe, deals with the demonic possession of a 12-year-old girl and her mother’s attempts to win back her child through an exorcism conducted by two priests. The adaption is relatively faithful to the book, which itself has been commercially successful. The movie features performances from Linda Blair, Ellen Burstyn, Jason Miller, Max von Sydow, and (in voice only) Mercedes McCambridge. Director William Friedkin came on board given the acclaim of his earlier film, The French Connection. The film experienced a troubled production; even in the beginning, several prestigious film directors including Stanley Kubrick and Arthur Penn turned it down. Incidents such as the toddler son of one of the main actors being hit by a motorbike and hospitalized attracted claims that the set was ‘cursed’.  If you’re going to watch it, watch the unrated version.  That version is truly very scary and disturbing.

Wicked_little_things9.  Wicked Little Things (also known as Zombies) is a 2006 zombie horror film directed by J. S. Cardone and stars Lori Heuring, Scout Taylor-Compton and Chloë Grace Moretz. It also claims to be based on true events.  Karen, Sarah, and Emma Tunney are all moving to a small town in Pennsylvania where, unknown to them, in 1913, a horrid mine accident trapped dozens of children alive, underground. But there’s a problem. They’re still alive.  The film debuted as one of the eight films that make up the horror movie festival 8 Films to Die For.

 

ginger_snaps8.  Ginger Snaps is a 2000 Canadian horror film directed by John Fawcett. The film focuses on two teenage sisters who have a fascination with death. The title is a pun on the cookie ginger snap. “Snap” (snapping) also relates to losing one’s self-control, or a quick, aggressive bite. During the film’s production, the Columbine High School massacre and the W. R. Myers High School shooting took place, causing public controversy over the film’s horror themes and the funding it received from Telefilm.  It is the first entry in the Ginger Snaps series, followed by Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed and Ginger Snaps Back.

7.  Dead Birds(2004) A handful of thieves discover they have more to worry aboutDead-birds than the law in this independent horror story, set during the Civil War. William (Henry Thomas) is the leader of a group of runaway Confederate soldiers who, with the help of an escaped slave and an Army nurse, stage a daring robbery at a bank holding a cache of rebel gold. The heist does not go smoothly, and William’s associates soon fall into in-fighting as they head toward Mexico with their stolen fortune. Needing a place to rest for the night, the criminals set up camp in a mansion overlooking an abandoned plantation, but it soon becomes obvious that the old house is not as empty as they thought, as a handful of angry ghosts make their presence known while William and his cohorts fight over the gold. Also featuring Isaiah Washington, Patrick Fugit, and Michael Shannon, Dead Birds was the first feature film from director Alex Turner.

cabinfever6.  Cabin Fever  is a 2002 American black comedy horror film directed by Eli Roth and starring Rider Strong, Jordan Ladd, James DeBello and Giuseppe Andrews. It was produced by Lauren Moews & Evan Astrowsky and executive produced by Susan Jackson. The film was the directing début of Roth, who co-wrote the film with Randy Pearlstein. The story follows a group of college graduates who rent a cabin in the woods and begin to fall victim to a flesh-eating virus. The inspiration for the film’s story came from a real life experience during a trip to Iceland when Roth developed a skin infection.

5. High Tension (French: Haute tension, released in the UK as Switchblade Romance)hightension is a 2003 French psychological suspense and slasher film that was later released in 2004 in the UK and 2005 in the US and Canada.  Two college friends, Marie and Alexa, encounter loads of trouble (and blood) while on vacation at Alexa’s parents’ country home when a mysterious killer invades their quiet getaway.  High Tension was picked up by independent distributor Lions Gate Entertainment following a successful screening at the Midnight Madness section of the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival. Originally rated NC-17 in the U.S. for strong graphic violence, a few graphic shots were cut from the final version of the U.S. release in order to secure an R rating (the original NC-17 cut was released in some theaters), and the film was dubbed for commercial appeal. However, the original cut (referred to as an unrated version) is available on Blu-ray and DVD.  High Tension has been associated with the New French Extremity movement.

4.  Martyrs (2008) This ultra-intense Canadian-French shocker benefits frommartyrs-feature1 discovering its horrors cold. A prologue depicts the escape of a child from an apparent house of enslavement, and one thinks of notorious real-life cases of people keeping children locked away in basements. But writer-director Pascal Laugier has a larger idea in mind, when the story skips ahead 15 years. The kidnapped girl, now played by Mylene Jampanoi, is bent on a violent rampage of her own; her lifelong friend and minder (Morjana Alaoui) comes upon a bloody scene too late. The film then introduces a series of secret chambers begins to unfold in the narrative, and you might just feel your head spinning and your stomach lurching.

3.  Halloween is a 2007 American slasher film written, directed, and produced byhalloween_2007 Rob Zombie. The film is a remake/reimagining of the 1978 horror film of the same name; the first in the rebooted Halloween film series and the ninth installment of the Halloween franchise. The film stars Tyler Mane as the adult Michael Myers, Malcolm McDowell as Dr. Sam Loomis, and Scout Taylor-Compton as Laurie Strode; Daeg Faerch portrays a ten-year-old Michael Myers. Rob Zombie’s “reimagining” follows the premise of John Carpenter’s original, with Michael Myers stalking Laurie Strode and her friends on Halloween night. Zombie’s film goes deeper into the character’s psyche, trying to answer the question of what drove him to kill people, where in Carpenter’s original film Michael did not have an explicit reason for killing.
2.  Halloween is a 1978 American independent slasher film directed and scored by halloween_hecamehomeJohn Carpenter, co-written with producer Debra Hill, and starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis in her film début. The film was the first installment in what has become the Halloween franchise. The plot is set in the fictional Midwestern town of Haddonfield, Illinois. On Halloween night in 1963, a six-year-old Michael Myers dressed in a clown costume murders his older sister by stabbing her with a kitchen knife. Fifteen years later, Michael Myers, age 21, escapes from a psychiatric hospital, returns home, and stalks Laurie Strode and her friends. Michael’s psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis suspects Michael’s intentions, and follows him to Haddonfield to try to prevent him from killing.

 

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And my top 10 favorite movie of all time is…

  1.  Silent Hill is a 2006 Canadian-French psychological horror film directed by Christophe Gans and written by Roger Avary, Christophe Gans and NicolasSilent_hill Boukhrief.   The film is an adaptation of Konami’s survival horror video game series Silent Hill. The film, particularly its emotional, religious, and aesthetic content, includes elements from the first, second, third and fourth games in the series. It stars Radha Mitchell, Laurie Holden, Jodelle Ferland, Alice Krige, Sean Bean and Deborah Kara Unger.  The film follows Rose, who takes her adopted daughter Sharon to the town of Silent Hill, for which Sharon cries while sleepwalking. Arriving at Silent Hill, Rose is involved in a car accident and awakens to find Sharon missing; while searching for her daughter, she fights a local cult while uncovering Sharon’s connection to the town’s past.

Are you a horror movie fan?  Have you seen any of those movies?  What are you favorite horror movies?  I’d love some recommendations of some new and different ones to watch.  Please leave your answers below.

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