Signs of autumn

Signs that the seasons are changing

As you may have already noticed, the early signs of autumn are appearing.  This is the perfect time for both adults and children to take notice and see the changes as they progress. Whilst we have been gardening with the children and going on our nature walks we have noticed that the leaves on the trees are starting to turn.

Download our signs  of  autumn  activity  sheet.

Autumn in the UK

Unfortunately the past few years in the UK have been bad for the autumn where sudden temperature drops cut the autumn short. This drives off the insect life and forces leaf fall before they had a chance to show their full colour range. Let’s hope it will be different this year but get your kids noticing the signs early just in case.

9 Signs of Autumn

Red admiral butterflies:
I knew the time for this post had come when I saw one of these whilst I was in the fields. Red Admiral butterflies are a common garden visitor across the UK and are known to often land on humans. Our daughter enjoys encouraging them to crawl on to her finger then holds them high above her head and watches them take flight. They truly are splendid to behold and I love how much our children enjoy them, although we do save them from the hands of our toddler.

The Red Admiral can be found right across the country and are most commonly seen in the Summer and early Autumn.

Ripe apples:
I don’t recommend scrumping but if you have an orchard near you it might be worth taking the kids for a walk to see how well the apples have grown, assuming the orchard has public access.

Autumn is the time for harvesting apples. Cup the fruit in your hand and gently twist, the fruit should easily come away from the branch, if the fruit does not then it is best to leave it for a little longer.

We had our first blackberry pie of the year yesterday and the berries were just right. Obviously different plants ripen at different times and the weather of an area also has an affect.

When blackberry picking with your children tell them to try and pick the firm, fully black berries as unripe berries do not repine once picked.

If you can brave removing the head from a teasel and dethorn the stem you can entertain the kids with a simple hair brush. The teasel was used to tease wool for spinning by our ancestors in the UK. Kids may not even understand what spinning is but it’s an interesting tidbit of history.

Teasels are a great source of nectar and pollen for insects during the summer and in Autumn their seeds are perfect for birds.

Thankfully it’s still early for this but many may have experienced invasions of ladybirds into their homes in previous autumns. As the temperature drops you may find them in crevices as you open windows, better ladybirds than flies though.

Ladybirds like to sleep through the colder months and you may find them venturing indoors during the Autumn.

After their late summer moulting, during which they are silent, you will start seeing and hearing the robins again. Attempting to maintain dominance over territories they will take perch and sing their autumn song. The best time to hear them is the early morning and late evening when light levels are low.

The Robin does not sing during the period of moulting as he does not want to be noticed by predators. Hearing Robins sing again towards the end of August is a good sign that Autumn is on its way.

Wild berries in trees and bushes:
Perhaps an old wives tale but I once heard many berries in the trees means it’s going to be a cold winter. I’m seeing quite a few ripening now so we shall see.

It is always recommended to check a field guide before picking wild berries.

Squirrels hiding nuts:
It’s not too common seeing squirrels on the ground, their preferred place appears to be in the trees. However that changes as the autumn comes when squirrels begin collecting and burying their nuts/seeds ready for winter.

Squirrels collect nuts and seeds during the Autumn and bury them in various places. The squirrel has a highly-developed spatial memory and acute sense of smell that he is able to find his stash of nuts and seeds months later.

Autumn foliage:
Last but definitely the most important is the changing colours of the leaves. The affect it has on our moods and the way we view this time of year was certainly deep on my partner and I. For this reason it is our favourite season and when we both have our most fond childhood memories.

For a few weeks in Autumn leaves of many deciduous trees change from green to various shades of red, yellow, purple,orange and magenta.
There are clues all around us that the seasons are changing and Autumn is near. Download our Autumn checklist and see how many signs your children can spot.

Download our signs  of  autumn  activity  sheet.

We hope you have a lovely autumn and share your autumn pictures with us on social media.