Autumn starts in September, when Jock o' Bennachie notices that daylight gets shorter, and it gets colder and wetter.
Autumn is when the earth begins to tilt away from the sun, leading to cooler temperatures and changes in our environment.
Plants stop producing fruit and most crops are ready to harvest.
Many animals start to grow thicker coats to protect them from winter.
Many animals start to store food in nests and dens or in their body as fat.
Tree leaves start to change colour and wilt (shrivel up).
Some animals get ready to hibernate.
Jock loves watching the leaves on the deciduous trees like birch, sycamore, beech and oak
changing colour before falling off. They turn beautiful shades of red, orange, yellow and
brown because they lose chlorophyll. That’s the chemical which lets plants make food from
sunlight and keeps leaves green in spring and summer.
Nature is a great recycler and all the leaves that fall on the ground are decomposed by a vast army of nearly invisible organisms that live in the soil such as bacteria, fungi, mites, earthworms, insects, and small animals that will feed on the leaf litter.
Many trees are also producing seeds and nuts in autumn. More about this further on.
Thanks to the evergreen trees like Scots pine and holly, Jock still sees loads of greenery on Bennachie all year round.
As Jock puts on his big old jacket partly made from feathers, dried moss and straw, his furry and feathered friends are also getting ready for the colder weather.
Some grow thick fur to keep the cold out, e.g. the red squirrels grow thicker coats and bushy tails plus ear tufts, and are busy burying nuts to keep them going in the cold days ahead.
Busy Autumn Animals
Some animals like Red deer stags (seen on the west side of Bennachie) are rutting. Watch the YouTube video
Scotland's Big 5 - Red Deer to learn more.
Bats are busy eating loads to add weight, ready to go into a deep sleep called hibernation over winter.
Frogs and toads start to get ready to hibernate in the mud at the bottom of ponds, or carefully concealed in logs
and tucked under leaf litter. Some toads even bury themselves to hibernate…
perhaps you could make a frog and toad abode at home, here’s how
RSPB - Make A Frog and Toad Abode.
Jock says goodbye to some of his summer bird visitors like swallows, swifts and ospreys who fly south to Africa to warmer weather. Even the meadow pipits head down from the summit of Bennachie to lower farmland and milder areas. But he also is excited to see his winter feathered friends arriving from the north. We’ll look at them later.
In autumn many of his plant pals are already making seeds ready for spring!
His minibeast chums are also getting ready for winter in autumn, some thinking about hibernating
and others looking for warmer spots to shelter from the coming weather - more about them later on.
Jock's Autumn Jokes
Jock loves nothing better than a good laugh at a good joke. These are some of Jock’s favourite Autumn jokes just for you...
What did one autumn leaf say to another? -
I’m falling for you!
What is the cutest season? -
What happens when winter arrives? -