The Tipping Point

Share this post

Can you smell it? Can you feel it? Is it the way the light shifts or how the little events in your day change—traffic patterns, morning routines, a heavier jacket? Thoreau wrote in his first book,  A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers:

“That night was the turning-point in the season. We had gone to bed in summer, and we awoke in autumn; for summer passes into autumn in some unimaginable point of time, like the turning of a leaf.”

Fall seems to have a switch like no other season. Its official demarcation is the autumnal equinox, this year on September 23. For a moment, we are poised in balance when the overhead sun is at a 90-degree angle to the equator. Then slowly, the sun’s focus starts moving toward Earth’s Tropic of Capricorn waistline, and our hemisphere moves into longer nights and shorter days.

Deciduous trees and fruit trees have a switch, too, issuing an event Thoreau called their “winter campaign.” When the nights get long enough, the trees reach their “tipping point,” where the extended darkness sets off a chain of enzyme events causing the leaves and fruit to fall to the ground. This ensures the trees’ survival as the leaves become mulch to feed the tree, and the fallen fruit disperses the trees’ seeds.

Like the action of a pendulum, the season is already swinging toward spring in its preparation for winter. Thoreau saw the spring flowers in his autumnal Massachusetts landscape: “The increasing scarlet and yellow tints around the meadows and the river remind me of the opening of a vast flower-bud; they are the petals of its corolla, which is of the width of the valleys. It is the flower of autumn, whose expanding bud just begins to blush.”

As we transition into fall, we’re seeing a wider variety of apples and pears, and looking forward to persimmons, pomegranates, and more. Happy autumn from The FruitGuys!

Enjoy & Be Fruitful!

Sign up for our monthly newsletter


Recent The FruitLife articles:

Profiles of the men and women of the fruit world
August 24, 2016
Family and sustainability are core values at Frecon Farms
July 27, 2016
How to help save the endangered Gravenstein apple
July 27, 2016
Reflections from Lagier Ranches, 2014 Community Fund grantee
June 29, 2016
Honeybees land at FruitGuys HQ
May 24, 2016
May 17, 2016

More recent articles:

Keep your workouts outdoors this winter
September 28, 2016
Exploring the meaning of work in America
September 28, 2016
How to find your favorite variety of one of fall’s best fruits
September 25, 2016
Office etiquette for the election season
September 21, 2016
Will the king of the road finally lose its throne?
August 24, 2016
Easy lunch-box meals for kids and grown-ups
August 24, 2016
Tips for taking a break from politics
August 24, 2016
Seasonal fruits complement tasty tapas
August 23, 2016

About Us

Our monthly online magazine features articles about fitness, health, food, and work, as well as recipes featuring farm-fresh fruit!