What happened to autumn this year?

In Season: An autumn scene from the White Mountains in New Hampshire. Autumn seemed to go missing in the Hunter this year.
In Season: An autumn scene from the White Mountains in New Hampshire. Autumn seemed to go missing in the Hunter this year.

Does anyone get the feeling that we skipped autumn this year?

It felt like we jumped, more or less, straight from summer to winter.

Weatherwatch meteorologist Don White said we weren’t the only ones to think this.

“A lot of people had that impression,” he said, adding “my wife thinks that”.

“It was very warm for a long period of time and got quite cool suddenly. That’s just the way the weather patterns have gone this year. It is unusual.”

It was a very hot April, he said.

“April was basically like summer. That was very unusual. Now we’ve suddenly gone into mid-May weather. It’s been a sudden change.”

Sometimes it feels like we never really get the four seasons in Australia – not compared to other countries anyhow.

New Hampshire in the US is one of the areas most famous for its deciduous trees and autumnal leaves in “the fall”, as the foliage turns to various shades of red, yellow, orange, purple and pink [see picture].

Other tourist areas best known for colourful autumn foliage are Canada, northern parts of the United States, Scandinavia, north and western Europe in the areas north of the Alps, the Caucasus region near the Black Sea, Russia and Eastern Asia, Argentina, Chile, southern Brazil, Korea, Japan and New Zealand's South Island.

Australia supposedly has four seasons, probably because we followed the European tradition.

But the Australian Aboriginals took a different approach, with some tribes documenting six seasons. 

We shouldn’t forget the reason for the seasons. The Earth is tilted at an angle of 23.5 degrees, possibly because of a collision with another massive celestial object. 

This is why, as the Earth turns, different areas of the planet get more or less sun at different times of the year.

Blowin’ in the Wind

Bob Dylan playing the harmonica in 1963.

Bob Dylan playing the harmonica in 1963.

Topics got a bit excited when we read that Bob Dylan will be performing in Newcastle in August. 

Dylan is surely the world’s most famous harmonica player. So our sense for connections lit up when we also read on Monday that a harmonica workshop for beginners will be held at Customs House Hotel in Newcastle next month.

“Have you ever had the urge to pick up a harmonica and start playing the blues?” the media release asked.

Ahh, not particularly. But we’re sure plenty of others have.

Player and teacher Tony Maguire reckons he’ll have participants “playing simple blues riffs” on a harmonica within the first 20 minutes of the workshop.

“It’s a very easy instrument to learn,” said Tony, who has taught the harmonica to various people, with ages ranging from eight to 80.

The four-hour workshop will be held on Saturday, June 16. It isn’t free. For more information, phone Tony on 0402-388-742.