Friday, October 2nd 2020, 2:39 pm - Get ready to learn some new facts.
Fall is a season where the leaves change colour, temperatures drop, and everything suddenly tastes like pumpkin spice.
Those are some fairly standard fall facts. But there's a lot of interesting things that happen this time of year. Here are five lesser-known tidbits.
5. HERE'S WHY THE LEAVES TURN RED
In the fall, you may see trees with yellow, orange, or red leaves -- and while all are common, the colour red doesn’t come quite as easy as an orange or a yellow, explains Weather Network reporter Nathan Coleman.
"Through the process of photosynthesis, leaves become green. That’s right, they become green," he says.
"Orange and yellow are their natural colours, but the use of chlorophyll changes that. Two pigments that are ever-present in the leaves are carotene and xanthophyll."
Xantho is Greek for yellow and carotene is Greek for -- you guessed it -- orange.
"When it comes to leaves turning red, some scientists would argue it depends on the weather," Nate continues.
"Red hues come from the pigment anthocyanin. Unlike chlorophyll and the orange and yellow pigments, it’s not always there."
Red leaves are produced when there has been an excess of sunlight and leaves need added protection to recover nutrients.
If it's been rainy, you may not see as many red trees.
4. FASTER THAN (A) BOLT
Courtesy: Jason Mclean Saanich, B.C.
Many animals migrate to warmer climates during the fall, among them, hummingbirds, which are among the world's smallest migratory birds.
And while their size already sets them apart, here's another interesting, fall-inspired fact: "Many hummingbirds will fly all the way to the tropics during the fall, at a rate of 48 km/h, usually non-stop," says Weather Network meteorologist Nadine Hinds-Powell.
"That's faster than the world's fastest man Usain Bolt, whose fastest speed is 46 kilometres per hour!"
3. WHAT'S IN A NAME?
Courtesy: Robert Morrow, Bracebridge, Ont.
Autumn and fall are used interchangeably in British and American English, but the names have distinct origins.
Fall is more of an American-style term, according to Merriam-Webster, although both names originated in Britain.
Autumn is derived from the Latin word autumnus and dates back to the 1300s.
The term 'fall' gained popularity in the 1600s and is a nod to the falling leaves. As the British Empire expanded and settled in North America, the English language split into British and American English. North American settlers appeared to prefer 'fall' over 'autumn,' which is why it's the predominant terminology in Canada.