Science Literacy Week is almost over – almost, but not quite! There’s still time to get some free science-y goodness in your life, so hop on over to the Science Literacy Week website to learn about last-minute events happening near you.
For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, today marks another ending… it’s the autumnal equinox, which means summer is officially over. That doesn’t mean a whole lot for me, weather-wise – this is southern Ontario, and my rose bushes will be blooming into November. But today is a day of transition, all the same – the tipping point, the liminal space between the freedom and expansion of summer and the hermitting I inevitably resort to as the cold and darkness of winter settle into my bones.
But whether today marks an ending or a beginning is really a matter of perspective. Or, more precisely, geography. After all, today is also the day that the sun rises at the South Pole for the first time since March: it’s the first day of spring. Which means that, if you’re a penguin, things are starting to look up. In fact, Adélie penguins are celebrating the turning of the seasons – as I type this, males have returned to their breeding colonies and are busy building nests in hopes of enticing females.
They build them out of stones. Which I personally would not enjoy sitting on for several weeks, but hey – at least it keeps your egg (and your tailfeathers) out of the icy spring meltwater!
How do you celebrate the shifting seasons? Are you a “Hooray for pumpkin spice!” person or a “Dear God, where did I put my sweater?” person? I’d love to hear your stories.
Want to know more about the Antarctic equinox? Polar: Wildlife at the Ends of the Earth is available at bookstores and libraries near you.