September starts the countdown to fall. Schools are back in session, the days are getting shorter, the nights cooler, and in lots of places, harvest begins. September lets you know it’s arrived by the smell and feel of the air. Here in the desert, the start of September is just like summer. I suppose fall has to start everywhere else before arriving here. But once it does get here, it’s well worth the wait because our best weather is just around the corner.
In Illinois, September was when I’d start getting my gardens ready for winter. It was time to collect seeds, divide and move perennials, tuck blankets of leaves around their feet to protect and feed them over the long cold months to come. And not being a big fan of big and such, I would spend a fair amount of time running from all the spiders. I got really good at running!
As much as I loved all the outside time in the gardens, it was also sad to know that soon there wouldn’t be any flowers until spring. One of the things I love most here in Tucson is having flowers all year long. I have to change them out with the different seasons of course, and summer is tough, but there is always something that will grow happily here no matter if it’s blazing hot or shiveringly cold!
Important Dates in September
5th Labor Day
We all know that Labor Day traditionally marks the official end of summer and is good for a long weekend – woohoo. But do you know the origins behind this holiday? I looked it up for you in case you didn’t. CLICK HERE to learn some more about this great summer holiday.
10th Full Moon
I’m sure we all know when it’s a full moon because the night has a special glow to it. Here in the desert, the light of a full moon reminds me of cold winter nights when the ground is covered in snow except it’s sand creating the glow and the air is much, much warmer! But did you know that the official definition of a full moon happens when the Sun and Moon are aligned on opposite sides of the Earth and the Moon’s face is lit up by the sun?
11th Grandparents Day
Many of us are not as fortunate to be in the same place as our grandkids but thankfully we have a big virtual world to tap into so that these simple things can be enjoyed even across all the miles between us. Here are a few things you can do together whether you’re together or not.
Things to do on Grandparents Day if you’re far apart.
If you love kids’ books like I do, keep a stash of your favorites and read them over FaceTime or Zoom or even just the phone.
Take a Walk
If you can’t stream a walk with your grandkids, go for a walk and take pictures of things that you’re happy to see and then send them in a message or email with explanations why you love them.
I will admit that playing games virtually with younger grandkids has been a little more of a challenge than I anticipated but we’re figuring it out. If they’re old enough, Battleship is great as well as Guess Who. For younger ones, I Spy is fun. And there are lots of online games too.
Enjoy a Meal Together
I have spent many a meal with my grandkids and their parents over FaceTime. Sometimes I just sit in the middle of the table and talk to everyone at the same time and sometimes I’m passed around and talk to everyone individually. Either way is fun and a lot like being there. And you can always plan ahead and have the same meal as them which makes it even better!
22nd Autumnal Equinox 9:04pm EDT
The Autumnal Equinox is probably better known as the First Day of Fall – did you hear pumpkin spice y’all? Sorry, couldn’t resist that one. It’s when the days are shorter than nights as we head towards the shortest day of the year at the winter solstice. Did you know that the shorter days are also what tells leaves to turn their beautiful fall colors? Of course many of our trees in southern Arizona don’t turn colors or drop their leaves, but instead, our plants flourish with the still very strong sun and diminishing heat. CLICK HERE if you want to know more about this astronomical event.
25th at Sunset Rosh Hashanah
The Jewish New Year and one of Judaism’s holiest days. The exact date of Rosh Hashanah varies every year and is almost always in September or October. If you’d like to know more about this Jewish holiday, CLICK HERE to read about it on History.com
Interesting September Things
Birds are getting ready for winter since fall is just about here. If you love birds hanging out in your yard like I do, then you know the best way to keep them around is to feed them. There are lots of bird food options but it’s fun to make your own bird food too. Get recipes here and make your yard the most happening place for the birds in your neighborhood.
September’s birthstone is Sapphire. It’s a very interesting stone – read more about it here. September’s flowers are Aster and Morning Glory. It’s also when Sunflowers are ending their season. If you want to collect their seeds, it’s best to let them dry on the plant. Of course, the birds think you’re leaving them so they can eat them all up but hopefully you can work out an agreeable compromise so everyone wins. One year I cut all the big flowers off and dried them in a safe place. But then I had way too many seeds so I ended up throwing them out for the birds.
September is known as a great month for apples! If you’re near an orchard that has a U-Pick feature, you can go pick all the apples you’d need and make oh so many things!